He Never Imagined
When Sahil* was a teenager, he often dreamed that one day he would be a songwriter. Those desires strengthened as time passed until he actually sat down and began to write songs and compose music for them.
Eventually, opportunities came Sahil’s way to visit a few professional recording studios to record some of his songs. His interest and passion in music and recording continued to grow, and he began to think, “Maybe I [can] have my own studio where I [can] record different variations and develop my own style.”
During Sahil’s study of music and worship, he heard some interesting news about a Bible translation ministry in his country in South Asia. He learned that this ministry, supported by JAARS, was building their own recording studio. They were searching for someone to monitor and oversee the studio.
Sahil made inquiries and received application papers, which he completed and sent to the ministry. “By God’s grace, they chose me to fill the position,” Sahil says.
Once the recording studio was complete, Sahil joined the ministry and helped monitor the recording studio’s activities. Sahil enjoyed his new job: “It was a great place for me to pursue my passion in music and audio recording, and the ministry allowed me to further my education through training.” In time, Sahil was given full responsibility in operating and maintaining the studio ministry.
During Sahil’s studies and training, he took a workshop on Ethnomusicology—the study of the music of different cultures. Ethnomusicology grabbed his attention, and God started preparing him to help others create songs in their language using the techniques he learned in the workshop. “God allow[ed] more training to come my way, which helped me understand God’s will in my life and his calling to this special task.”
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) says: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” In Sahil’s wildest dreams, he had never imagined he would be part of this ministry: doing what he loves for God’s glory. But the Lord knew.
The Lord also knew how the Bible translation ministry would expand and flourish. Nine years after its birth in this part of the world, this ministry now has an audio visual department that has produced nearly 350 songs in local languages, 150 Oral Bible Stories in three language groups, and basic health and hygiene stories for three language groups.
Through partnerships like the one with JAARS, 16 language groups now have access to the JESUS film in their native language and 11 language groups now have access to portions of the New Testament. Nine translation teams now have recorded complete New Testaments!
Recently, Sahil met Vilnay*, a member of a team that came to the studio to record some regional songs. Several years ago Vilnay gave his life to Jesus, and since then he has been using his gift—playing classical drums—to serve the Lord.
After recording the songs, Vilnay asked Sahil if he could have a photo taken with him. This sparked Sahil’s curiosity, since Vilnay has been blind since birth. Vilnay replied to Sahil’s question, “Although I can’t see you now, I want to keep this memory. Hopefully one day I will recognize you by your face”.
Although Vilnay can’t see now, he believes that one day his eyes will see all.
God’s plans are unique and mysterious! He can broaden our vision even here on earth to align more closely with his. Sahil says, “God changed my vision to his vision to benefit different domains of language development, community development, and Scripture engagement, eventually benefiting unreached people groups.”
How might God broaden and deepen your vision to help unreached people groups? Learn about those who still need God’s grace and love here.
*Name changed for security reasons