In 2001, when the USA entered Afghanistan after 9/11, I had a burden to pray for this country, and subsequently wrote a song, which included the words “there is the sound of singing, songs of rejoicing.” This was a real statement of faith, as in Afghanistan at that time the Taliban had banned all music and there was no sound of singing anywhere.
Over the next few years however, with the increased freedom, music gradually came back onto the streets and into people’s lives, but even by 2009 there was no orchestra capable of playing the Afghan national anthem, let alone any other music.
In that year, renowned musicologist Dr Ahmad Sarmast returned to Afghanistan, and the fledgling Afghan government asked him to establish the first National Institute of Music (ANIM). Using as its base a ruined building and starting with virtually no instruments, by 2011 it had grown to 150 pupils, all gradually learning to play to professional standards.
Most importantly though, the music school offers a place of hope to some of the country’s most deprived children; those snatching a meagre income from working on the streets who find – through music – a way to transform their lives. The vision of Dr Ahmad Sarmast was, not only to establish a national school of music, but to recruit street children and orphans as its students, thus providing them with both a home and a place where they can realise their dreams through the healing power of music.
Music is also a very effective channel through which the source of true hope, the River of Life, the Holy Spirit, can flow, bringing healing and restoration, joy and peace and deep communion with the Father heart of God.
Pray that the people of Afghanistan will come to hear music in their heart language through which the Holy Spirit can reveal himself and the Gospel of Jesus.
Pray that these orphans and street children will not only find a place of security and safety in the music school, but through their love of music they will come to find the Father God who loves them, and come to use music to honour Him and to know the beauty of worship and singing songs of praise to the King of Kings.
Isaiah 35 vs 1 – 2, 5 -6: The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
Source: Aljazeera news “Dr Sarmast’s Music School”