Thank you for joining us in prayer for Dr. Eric Sarwar from Pakistan.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan gained sovereignty in the 1947 partitioning of British India. It is the only nation established in the name of Islam. Constitutionally, all Pakistani laws must conform to the Quran. The country has a large economy and rising middle class, but also faces challenges related to illiteracy, corruption, and terrorism. Of Pakistan’s 225 million people, more than 96% are Muslims (mostly Sunni) and 2% are Hindu. Although Christians represent a small minority (just over 1%), the Church continues to persevere and grow, enduring persecution with courageous faith.
A gifted musician and songwriter, Eric is the Founding President of Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship in Pakistan (Tehillim is Hebrew for Psalms). He recently earned his PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Eric’s doctoral dissertation – titled “The Psalms, Islam, and Salaam: An Exploration of the Heritage of Divine Song” – offers resources for Christian-Muslim peacemaking through the sacred musical tradition of the Psalms.
To learn more about Eric’s work, read his reflections on Reaching Muslims through Music for Lausanne Global Analysis. Also check out his Fuller Studio article, With All Your HeArt, about the power of art in Christian worship and peacebuilding. Eric and his wife Shumaila have two sons: Gabriel (11) and Ethan (9).
Eric shares the following message:
Nothing compares to the great joy of sharing with you all. Finally, on June 12, we celebrated virtual commencement at Fuller Theological Seminary. We are anticipating our move from studying at a seminary to service in a Muslim context. In this transitional period, we request prayer for the ministry God is preparing for us at Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship (TSCM) in Pakistan. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and Fuller Seminary’s hooding ceremony in October, our travel to Pakistan will be postponed until this fall.
Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship (TSCM) was established in 2005 in Karachi, Pakistan, as a ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. TSCM is a registered trust with an independent board of governors and holds a separate bank account in Karachi. The Tehillim Resource Centre in Karachi was constructed in 2012. Since then, it has provided training, resources, and worship music classes. Despite pandemic lockdowns, TSCM has produced various resources, including these highlights:
1. Sights and Sounds of Tehillim Pakistan: a video featuring special students with disabilities
2. Punjabi Zabur: a digital version of the 1908 Punjabi Psalter
3. Exploring Psalms in Punjabi Context: our most popular program during the pandemic, watched by more than 700 viewers every week
4. Psalms of Lament in Pakistani Context: a four-week online course
In October, I will also be publishing “Meer Mughanni Ka Leay – For the Choir Director: An Exposition of the Psalms of Sons of Korah, Asaf, Jeduthun, and Heman.”
TSCM Upgrade Needs
We are planning hybrid (online and in-person) courses on Worship & Music Studies and Mission in Muslim Contexts at the Karachi campus. The need for undergraduate and masters-level courses is increasing. We urgently need major upgrades to keep up with the demands.
Our Karachi campus requires an additional floor for an IT room, a conference hall, two classrooms, and a library. To offer online courses, we also need high-quality computers, a strong internet connection, audio and video recording studio equipment, IT professionals, and an editing team. Join us in prayer for sustainable financial partners for ministry in Pakistan.
Thank you for your unceasing prayers and sacrificial generosity, which enable us to participate in God’s mission in Pakistan.