Searching Wholeheartedly

September 3, 2014 • Bolivia
Searching Wholeheartedly

The sister of a Children's Heart Project patient also experiences a transformed life when she comes to faith in Jesus Christ

Carola Contreras is the Children’s Heart Project coordinator in Bolivia. 

This is the story of Adriana, an 8-year-old girl who witnessed God’s saving hand in her sister’s life through the Children’s Heart Project.

Lupita, Adriana’s older sister, was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease at a young age and was told that it could only be corrected through open-heart surgery. Unfortunately, due to the lack of resources and medical expertise in Bolivia, an operation of that magnitude would have been nearly impossible to perform.

But by God’s grace, the doors were open for Lupita to receive a life-saving surgery through Children’s Heart Project. Everyone in the family—especially Adriana—was overjoyed when the opportunity opened up.

Searching Wholeheartedly

Carola spent time with Adriana each time she visited the family.

During my time with the family—before and after the surgery—Adriana was always ready to receive a hug or a smile. More importantly, she was always attentive to the conversations I had with her family. Her favorite part was hearing about her sister’s healed heart and about how much God loved Lupita and had provided all of the resources needed for her to get better.

As the second of three children in her family, Adriana had always felt that everyone was more important than her.

“My sister Lupita has always had my parent’s attention because she is sick and is also very smart—her grades are always better than mine,” Adriana said. “My younger sister also gets a lot of attention because she is little and has to be taken care of. But there’s nothing special about me. Besides, my parents always say I talk too much.”

Despite what she said, I knew there was something special about her. One of the things that Adriana repeatedly told me was that she had been trying to read an old Bible in her house but struggled to understand it. She felt disappointed because she wanted to know more about God but had a hard time coming close to Him.

Her life touched me in such a way that during my last visit with the family, I sat down with Adriana and asked her if she herself wanted a new heart. When she heard that Jesus had died for her sins, she smiled and seemed very relieved.

Searching Wholeheartedly

Because Adriana is the middle child in her family, she often felt forgotten.

“I need Jesus in my life,” she said. “It is very important for me to know that Jesus not only loves me but that He also wants to be by my side.”

At that moment, Adriana prayed one of the most sincere prayers of repentance I had ever heard and asked Jesus to enter her life and give her a new heart. She thanked Him for His infinite love, and even though she knew she didn’t deserve His love, she could feel it in a real way.

As soon as her prayer ended, I took the Bible I had brought for her out of my bag. She hugged it as hard as she could as if it were a great treasure.

“I finally have my own Bible which I am going to read every day!” she said.

Adriana truly understood that she was very important and valuable in God’s eyes and chose to search for God with all of her heart.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart,” (Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV).