Sangla was in trouble. As headman of his village in Arunachal Pradesh, India, he had faced many challenges and always resolved them successfully. But this time he felt there was no way out.
Some villagers, jealous of his standing in the community and wanting his job, had given a false report to the authorities, claiming he had close ties with an underground rebel group. Sangla had been questioned several times, but in the end, he was cleared of all charges. However, now the authorities were telling him they had learned there was a plot to assassinate him, and for his own safety, he had to leave his village.
So, with a heavy heart, in May 2015 Sangla fled across the border into Myanmar (formerly Burma) to stay with a friend.
It was there, during those dark days of discouragement, that he noticed his friend listening regularly to a program called Adventist World Radio. His friend seemed to love it so much that Sangla wished he could listen as well. However, the program was in Burmese, a language he didn’t understand. So they searched different frequencies to see if the program also aired in Hindi … and it did!
From then on, they took turns listening to AWR in both languages. For two long years, Sangla remained in exile. During that time, he learned some interesting things from the program, such as the difference between clean and unclean meats. By the end of the second year, he had come to the conclusion that the seventh day of the week was the true Sabbath according to the Bible.
At about that time, word came that the situation in his native village was peaceful again and it was safe to return home. It was a joyous reunion when Sangla got to see his family once more. One of the first things he did was introduce them to Adventist World Radio!
After listening to the program, all the members of his family agreed that it was something they should listen to every day. Soon they discovered the truth about the Sabbath.
For two long years, Sangla remained in exile.
Then they stopped eating pork … and stopped raising pigs as well! They next removed all jewelry from their bodies, and soon after agreed they should stop working on Saturdays.
The day came when they all agreed they should be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The amazing thing is that all this happened as a result of listening to Adventist World Radio, and before they ever met a Seventh-day Adventist. As a matter of fact, they thought they were the only Adventists in all of Arunachal Pradesh!
Sangla’s friend in Myanmar learned of their decision to be baptized and contacted an Adventist pastor in Myanmar, who got in touch with the Myanmar Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The union contacted our AWR region staff in Bangkok, who then instructed the AWR studio director in Mizoram, India, to look into the matter.
The setback was really God’s setup.
This past June, Pastor Fanai, the director of the Arunachal Region of Seventh-day Adventists, went with one of his evangelists to visit Sangla and the group of people in his village who were hungry to learn more about the gospel message. After two months of Bible studies, on September 1, 2018, Sangla and 10 members of his family were baptized.
Today, many people in Sangla’s village and the surrounding communities are listening to AWR. Every Sabbath, a large group meets at Sangla’s home to worship together, and already a plot of land has been donated by the village headman to build a an Adventist church for the community.
God used Sangla’s trouble and his exile from his country to lead him and his family to the truth. What Sangla considered a setback was really God’s setup for a better comeback!
There were so many things that had to work together to bring about this result. I am so thankful that the “chain of custody” remained unbroken as Sangla’s friend in Myanmar relayed the news of Sangla and his family’s interest in learning more about the Adventist message. It was forwarded several times to different people and entities before it reached our AWR studio in Mizoram, India. I’m so glad nobody dropped the ball!
But above all, I just praise God that AWR has your support, which allows us to produce programs in more than 100 languages. It allowed Sangla to listen to AWR in his native tongue. And I praise God for your support, which enables our radio towers in Guam to continually broadcast the midnight cry – the distinct gospel message for our time – to all the hard-to-reach places of the world.
That’s what we’re all about: taking the gospel to the hard-to-reach places of the world in people’s own languages until Jesus comes again. Thank you for being a part of this miracle!
Yours in the Blessed Hope,