When I met Anmol, he gave off the vibe of an unassuming musician who avoids the spotlight. He’s the kind of guy who’s quick to blush at compliments. He just wants to hide behind his guitar and keep from drawing too much attention to himself. He’ll play music even if no one was watching. That may be true now, but it wasn’t always.
Anmol’s scene used to be late-night bars where he played Metallica and AC/DC tunes on his electric guitar. He was a junkie, and his lifestyle led to the contraction of hepatitis B. But while on death’s doorstep, Anmol experienced a Lazarus-like recovery.
When a Prodigal Son Hits Rock Bottom
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a bit because the buildup to the beauty of his redemption is essential to grasping the vibrancy of Anmol’s testimony.
You may be as surprised as I was to learn that Anmol came from a family with a relatively long legacy of Christian faith. Anmol’s grandfather was the first pastor in Nepal. But Anmol didn’t embrace his grandfather’s faith.
“God, my dead body cannot praise you.”
“I was a prodigal son,” he confessed, “but God healed me in the very last days of my life. I encountered him just like Saul’s encounter in Damascus.” Anmol strummed a few chords on his guitar as he remembered the U-turn his life unexpectedly took when, at just twenty-one years old, his liver was failing.
The doctor told him he only had two more weeks to live. After his diagnosis, Anmol prayed desperately and earnestly for God to forgive him. He asked forgiveness from his family. He gave up drugs. The withdrawal symptoms, along with his liver failure, were excruciating.
He lived in twenty-minute increments, thinking this was the end. He had an inkling the Lord had more for him on earth, but his body was telling him otherwise.
The Turning Point
“God, my dead body cannot praise you,” Anmol remembered praying. But if he lived, he promised to sing for God’s glory. He picked up his guitar and began writing songs. His life had always been dedicated to music, but in the midst of this divine moment of repentance, the focus of his music changed.
He dreamed about being able to share the songs he was composing with others. But in reality, he knew he probably wouldn’t make it to his next birthday. On the doorstep of death, Anmol had sweet moments of intimacy with the Lord.
“Let your will be done, Lord,” he prayed. “You are the God who raised Lazarus from the dead after four days.”
As he prayed, he felt the presence of the Lord surrounding him. He felt the Lord healing his body. His doctor ran tests and discovered his liver function had returned to normal. However, the hepatitis B was still in his bloodstream, and the doctor told him he could never marry or have children.
However, Anmol now knew God to be a God of healing. So, he began praying every day and asking for a miracle. Although the doctor assured him there was no hope of healing and no medicine that could help him, Anmol clung to faith. Finally, Anmol’s blood test came back negative for hepatitis B. In the years that followed, he married and now has two children.
Living to Glorify God
Anmol’s life now has a new purpose—to sing, to write new songs, and to glorify the God who saved him. His songs are inspired by the Scriptures, especially Psalms. He explains that when he brings every sadness and sorrow to the Lord through his music, he senses the strength of the Holy Spirit working to encourage his heart and build up his inner man.
Anmol’s ministry extends past musical composition. Anmol started a church in a village and is now pastoring another fellowship. He mentors youth and teaches them how to play guitar with the hopes they’ll avoid the road he took in his youth.
He shows them the power, beauty, and depth of music written in God’s honor—music written in celebration of the answer to his grandparents’ persistent prayers for Nepal’s borders to open to the gospel.
Anmol played a song for me written in his grandfather’s day, before Christianity was allowed in Nepal. Decades ago in the 1950s, there was a community of Nepali Christians living across the border in India. Anmol’s grandparents were among them. Facing Nepal from the Indian border, Anmol’s grandparents would stretch out their hands and pray for the gospel to take root in Nepal. They prayed for eighteen years until their prayers were answered.
Now a new generation of believers, like Anmol, are writing songs about the gospel transforming lives. Pray that they will continue to carry this legacy of faith forward in their music.
Caroline Anderson is a writer with the IMB. She currently lives in Southeast Asia. Her childhood in Asia consisted of two important ingredients: braving hot chili peppers and telling people about Jesus.
Video by Andrew Rivers. Andrew and his wife serve with the IMB in Southeast Asia where he works as a videographer.