A Call to Listen by Whitney Wiley

Whitney and her husband, Caleb, are College Church mid-term missionaries to Madagascar. Music projects are part of Caleb's life--while at College Church, Caleb was involved with ChurchFolk.

Listen to the music of Sakalava believers as you read Whitney's post.

A local Christian radio station in my hometown of Houston is famous for its punny slogan, “God listens.” It naturally comes to mind when I consider our calling to work with the Sakalava Music Project in Madagascar. My husband, Caleb, and I are preparing to spend a year on a small island in Madagascar, recording local worship music for a new church that recently received the Bible in their language. All cheesy double entendres aside, the truth of a listening God has informed this ministry in drastic ways. 

God does listen to even the least of these, and he is at work drawing these people to himself. The Sakalava people are a minority group of about a million people in Madagascar, and God is sending people to this field white for the harvest, leading an ever-growing church of new Sakalava believers. 

God has called the missionaries already on the island to listen, hearing the gifts of local people and the way music is bringing the gospel alive in their hearts. Despite any preconceived plan or audio expertise, they readily followed the Spirit’s leading in fostering and equipping the new believers in the creation of worship music. 

God is using music to reach the hearts of the Sakalava people in their own language and style. He speaks their language and loves their songs, and as they listen they are transformed. A local radio station has picked up the song you are listening to now, and is broadcasting the truth of creation throughout the island. 

And as we go to serve on this island, recording more of these songs and teaching the local believers how to record and distribute their music for the sake of evangelism and the church, we pray that God would give us the grace to listen as He listens. Because, ironically, that is often the first step in proclaiming the gospel.