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Miracle in Pandemic

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 9.

By Andrew McChesney


olivia went into lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

All churches were closed, and worship services and other church activities were prohibited for fear of spreading the virus.

Small groups of believers began to meet in homes in El Alto, the second-largest city in Bolivia.

Guillermo prayed earnestly. How could people worship amid a pandemic?

As Guillermo prayed, an idea formed in his mind. Why not leave the city and hold worship services in a deserted place?

With much prayer, and with the help of several church members, he decided to worship God on one of the many hills around the city. The group chose a hill that in the Aymara language is called “Waña Quta,” or “Dry Lake.” It is located at the foot of a snowy mountain.

Eight male church members showed up for the first Sabbath gathering.

The men were not discouraged, and they continued to meet every Sabbath. As they prayed and worshiped, people kept coming. After three months, the group had grown to 100 people, including Adventists, Evangelicals, and members of other Christian denominations.

Cold, rain, and weariness did not discourage men and women, and young people and children, from making the mile-long (2-kilometer) hike up the hill. A single thought prevailed in their minds, “Let’s keep walking. God is with us.” They trusted in God with meditation, fasting, and prayer. Kneeling on the hill, they prayed with fervent joy to the Lord.

It was an enormous blessing to meet on the hill every Sabbath. Many people were seeking the Lord amid struggles with unemployment and illness. They left the hill with tears in their eyes and faith that God remained in control and would do great miracles in their lives. They encouraged one another with Philippians 4:19, which says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (NKJV).

As the world slowed down because of the pandemic, the preaching of the everlasting gospel did not stop. As a result of the hilltop miracle meetings during the pandemic, 13 people gave their lives to the Lord through baptism. Today, the faithful hilltop group has become a company of more than 50 members who meet every Sabbath in a rented hall.

Despite the pandemic, the gospel is spreading in El Alto, the second-largest city in Bolivia. But parts of El Alto still do not have an Adventist church. This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help to establish a church in one of those neighborhoods. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on September 24 to support the establishment of this church and three others in Bolivia.