“When I met Jonathan Singh, he greeted me with, I don’t like Christians,” smiles Lazurus, pastor of Jyoti Great Commission Fellowship and ServLife staff member in Kathmandu. “But God is faithful and many things have changed since.”
Jonathan and his wife, Munna, were dedicated followers of Christ from eastern Nepal, Lazurus learned. But an epic crisis entered their lives, followed by a bankruptcy and relationship struggles that nearly ended the couple’s marriage in divorce. God seemed far away indeed and for a time the Singhs liked it that way, They preferred it like this for years, in fact. Just long enough for their faith to seem dead and their family to be at odds that appeared irreparable. Which would be about the right time for God and His people to work out a plan that would be otherwise unthinkable.
“We couldn’t imagine this family’s healing, muses Lazarus. “Things were bad all the way around. But we knew that God could do what no man could. So we invested our lives to bring this family back into a relationship with Him.” The investment paid off. With time and love and unbending support, the Singhs re-embraced the God of their past. And with their newfound church family and faith, they reached for a future that included God. “Jonathan had no regular job to support his family,” Lazarus reflects. “But he was gifted in music, unusually gifted.”
Gifted indeed. Singh could arrange music in ways that left his Nepalese brothers and sisters in Christ breathless. And after his restoration to God, venues opened up for him to arrange both Christian and secular songs. Before long, he was well known for his work, and decently paid, too. But only a little more time passed before Jonathan began investing his efforts on constructing music that expressed his love and appreciation to the God who had rescued him from unbelief and himself.
Jonathan had another challenge, though. He needed a keyboard to make his music, and if he were to arrange his work prolifically, he would need to have one of his own. A nearby recording studio was prohibitive in terms of both costs and hours of operation. But Singh worked hard, raised 50,000 rupees ($704) of his own and prayed quietly for the rest of what he needed.
His answer to prayer came through a loan from ServLife. Together with Singh’s earnings, the church worked with the musician to buy a keyboard that would both provide a continual source of income for the Singhs and an outlet for Jonathan’s offering to his God.
“Since I have this keyboard, I have steady work and my income has grown. Now I want to help the church through music,” Singh says.
Singh isn’t kidding. His recent contemporary worship album has fifteen choruses in the Nepali language, a great contribution for the churches of Nepal. Titled “Heart of Worship” the album will be soon released.
“I could not believe this small effort could bring about such change,” says Lazarus. “We thank God for Jonathan. We thank Him that this man has returned to His creator and is standing on his two feet.” Lazarus takes a deep breath, holds it a second like he’s inhaled something pleasant. “And right now, I can just see the great smile on the face of Jonathan’s wife.”