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Making a beautiful sound

By interserve
  • Migration |
  • 538 People are praying for this

    In the afternoon, long after visitors had left, the sound of many men singing wafted over the walls of a central immigration detention centre in South East Asia. The singing was beautiful, rhythmic and strong, it was a call to prayer led by my friend Aroon*, a persecuted Christian refugee from Pakistan. I had known Aroon and his family for six years and helped them while they avoided the authorities prior to the terrible day when immigration police broke down their apartment door and arrested over 50 men, women and children in the building where they were hiding.

    Aroon was with over 150 men housed in one cell with about 15cms space to lie down crammed head to toe, but just like Joseph, God gave him favour with the guards and among the prisoners. He was allowed to have daily prayer and Bible study with a small group of men and later he was asked to preach words of encouragement to the whole room of men from different religious backgrounds. Separated from his wife, mother and three small children (who were also detained in other facilities) God gave him strength to live generously and patiently with words of comfort and hope for the men in this cell. He was able to share the Word of God with power, bringing comfort and hope and a number of men chose to follow the risen Lord during that time. A small group of men decided that they wanted to stay connected upon their release to continue praying and studying the Bible together and the idea of refugees supporting refugees (RSR) began.

    On his release on bail, Aroon realised that there were many skilled musicians among the refugee population in South East Asia and called a group of 15 refugees together to discuss producing an album of songs for refugees and by refugees in five different languages. With a little crowdfunding and much prayer, an album of worship songs was produced called Loved Not Abandoned. Their prayer was that these worship songs would praise God and also demonstrate that refugees have gifts and want to use them during their trials because they knew that they were loved not abandoned.

    The production of this album encouraged those who were making it, strengthened friendships between refugees (who are literally competing with each other for positions in placement programmes) and also their faith in God. The songs have been listened to so many times that some money for the refugees has been made through YouTube. Music and videos are cheap to make in South East Asia (about $US 700 a song) and there are many other refugees who would like to record worship songs.

    My role as an Interserve worker was to become a friend to a family, to accept their invitation to eat with them and join them overnight, to observe God working through them, to pray with and for them and encourage them and find regular supplements for their monthly income. When people are arrested and detained my role was more about ensuring that they were visited at least once a week and to source things they asked for e.g. a pillow, a Bible or money to use inside the detention centre.

    It became plain that God was working in a mighty way through Aroon and his family, to bless a big group of refugees, and to inspire expats in South East Asia. I was there to listen to him as a leader and advocate for the needs of refugees as they saw them with the wider community and the world.

    *Name has been changed for the protection of identity

    Do you enjoy music? Have you ever thought about how you could use music to reach and help others?

    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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