I met Sahil back in 2015 on 25 Project’s very first team expedition to South Asia. Sahil had just joined the Mercy Homes, and he was in my discussion group–along with a handful of other thirteen-and fourteen-year-olds. We were all a little shy: me, being on my first mission expedition, and the kids experiencing their first Bible camp led by westerners. As the week went on, though, we all warmed up to each other–but Sahil kept his distance.
If you’ve worked with teenagers before you’ve probably noticed that in every group there’s at least one withdrawn teen–one you just can’t seem to reach. In every activity and discussion, Sahil passively observed, afraid to say anything louder than a mumble and content to watch while others played games and joked around. Every attempt I made to reach out seemed to scare him further away. I wondered who this shy young man really was behind the walls he put up.
One afternoon, we led a creative activity that began with having the kids draw a self-portrait. While some rushed through it, Sahil was meticulous…and talented! I saw him come to life when he was able to express himself creatively. That’s when I knew this shy, sensitive young man had a special gift –something, perhaps, even he was waiting to uncover in himself.
After the team had gone home and life for the kids had returned to normal, Sahil did uncover his gift. That same year, Sahil went to church and saw the leaders worshipping God with music, and he thought, “I want to play keyboard for God.”Sahil asked to begin keyboard lessons, and now, at the age of 17, he is helping lead his church in worship. His Youtube channel, Music For God, is full of Christian Hindi cover songs and keyboard tutorials for the four students he now teaches. He hopes to one day write his own Christian Hindi worship songs.
God at Work
I feel like a proud big sister, in awe of what God has done in Sahil’s life in just a few short years. This sullen and shy young man who seemed to feel uncomfortable in his own skin is now leading his church community in worship. He is broadcasting his faith openly in an area of the world where it can be dangerous to do so.
I’m so grateful for those who have chosen to partner with him. You have helped uncover and nurture a member of the body of Christ that desperately needed to find his gift. You have been a part of raising up a creative Christian leader in a part of the world that needs them. Thank you for being a part of raising up God’s kingdom in South Asia and believing that even small things –like keyboard lessons –can change a vulnerable child’s life.
Rae Hodges, our Director of Communications, wrote this article. It was first featured in our 2019 Annual Report.