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Song in My Heart

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 16.

By Andrew McChesney


ome famous singers became passionate about music in their childhood, but this was not the case with Gabriela. She grew up in La Paz, Bolivia, with a passion for Jesus.

From birth, her mother taught her about the love of Jesus.

She grew up knowing that the Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment about the seventh-day Sabbath, reflected His character of love.

She understood the significance of tithe and offerings.

When she was 9 years old, she gave her heart to Jesus in baptism.

But as the years passed, she began to know about the delights of the world, and the door to those delights was music.

Gabriela liked to sing for fun on school vacations. Then she was invited to join a musical group, and she gladly agreed, thinking that she could start a musical career and become famous. By the age of 19, she was sure that singing was her life.

While studying at a university, Gabriela sang with several music groups. Sometimes she wondered whether she might be making a mistake, such as the time when she was involved in a terrible traffic accident and she was the only person injured. She finished her undergraduate studies with a degree in psychology.

Then she and several friends created a new musical group that met with instant success. The group performed at numerous events, and Gabriela enjoyed going to parties and spending money on luxurious items.

She liked singing and spending money. But when she wasn’t singing or spending money, she felt empty inside. Life didn’t seem to have any meaning.

Gabriela didn’t stop going to the Adventist church completely. She was a Christian on some Sabbath mornings, but she returned to her other life after the worship services.

One Sabbath morning, she listened to the special music in the church and a desire formed in her heart to sing for God.

“I would like to sing in church,” she thought. “My mother would be so proud of her daughter singing in church.”

Soon Gabriela was attending church regularly, not only for the morning worship service but also for the afternoon program. She started listening to Adventist singers. She realized that she wanted to leave the music of the world, but she struggled with a desire to become famous.

She prayed to God for help.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. Gabriela could no longer perform on the stage. Rather than despair, she felt an enormous sense of relief. Now it would be easier to cut all ties with the empty, meaningless part of her life.

She became close friends with the church pastor, and he invited her to Bible studies. She accepted happily. When she finished, she decided to rededicate her heart to God through rebaptism. She felt that God was giving her a new opportunity to live for Him.

Gabriela entered the waters of baptism less than a year into the pandemic. In a prayer at her baptism, she declared that everything she had belonged to God.

“I give my life, gifts, and talents to Your service,” she prayed.

After her baptism, she traded the stage for Zoom, where she sang for the glory and honor of God. At the request of church leaders, she also began conducting online psychology seminars and Bible studies. Through her influence, four people have been baptized during the pandemic.

Gabriela has a special message for young people who might, like her, be tempted to stray from the path that leads to Christ.

“Do not waste your time in the world,” she says. “Every person has gifts and talents, and you only need to find them and use them for God’s glory.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a new church in La Paz, Gabriela’s hometown, in Bolivia. Thank you for planning a generous offering on September 24.