Sunday, August 24, 2014

Songs for the Soul

Guitars and music are an important part of life in PNG (this is not Digisarimo)
Digisarimo gently strummed his green guitar, cradling it as if it were a child. “When I sing my songs,” he shared, “I get this feeling of the presence of God coming and touching me. It’s a powerful feeling.”

The ability for music to communicate Biblical truth has been a part of the Christian life long before David picked up his harp. Now, in the Gwahatike language group in the Madang province of Papua New Guinea, Digisarimo works hard to translate hymns and write songs that communicate deeply with his people. “I am not one of the translators, but God translated,” he explained.

Digisarimo’s involvement with hymn writing started when Jee-Young An, a Korean linguist advising the Gwahatike Bible translation, began a Bible study and invited Digisarimo to join. “When I joined that study, that’s when I came to Christ. I then started working on songs in my language, because when I looked at my own language that God had given me, I saw that it was better [than the trade language]. It is beautiful. And so, I started translating songs, which I am still doing—there are plenty more to go!”

As one of the primary songwriters in Gwahatike, Digisarimo is aware of the responsibility that he holds, not only for Gwahatike, but in assisting the other local languages as well. “I’ve also been translating songs into the other nearby languages. When [those people] hear songs in their own languages, they are happy and come to God.”

Digisarimo bent his head, his hat barely shading the excitement in his eyes. “I believe that this work that I’m doing is God’s work.”