The Story Behind the Songs

The Band has created over 18 songs so far; the lyrics are mostly taken straight from scripture that has been recently translated into Sakalava. Scripture translation is a journey of many years, but song creation is one way to use the early efforts of translation teams. While the recently completed book of Matthew by Rosina and her team will need many more years of editing, analysis, and feedback, we can begin using the words now to create stories and songs. One of my favorite songs the band has created is The Parable of the Sower, and it is such a visual, story-like song that easily relates to our rice growing friends and neighbors. The best part of this process is the time I spend with the Band explaining the meaning and context of the words I am giving them… something I look forward to continuing upon our return.

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Ladis and I talking about a new song…

Last year when we were close to leaving for the states, the Band informed me that they had created a song entirely on their own. Jed had recently taught on God’s word from Psalm 119 and our team had taught on Jesus’ nature and purpose from John 14 during a gathering. They combined those lessons into a song that stresses the need for the Sakalava to follow Jesus… that their faith in Christ leads to a “family” relationship. The word they use is havagna (havany), which I have translated to family in the lyrics below, but it is an inadequate translation. Havagna is everything for the Sakalava, their identity is defined by their havagna – their people around them, both living and dead. I pray the Sakalava would know Jesus as their havagna – their everything.

Enjoy Groupe Tsinfitaka’s Jeso Lalagna

Click on this link for the lyrics and English translation: Jeso Lalagna