Hongra (hong-rah),” Grandmother said gently. “The music you are listening to is not good for children. The beat is strong, and the words put bad ideas into your head.”
Hongra was just 5 years old. She lives in the country of Mongolia with her parents and grandmother. Hongra loves music and had discovered rock music on the radio. She began dancing to the beat, and soon was repeating the words to the music. Some of it was really bad, and it worried her grandmother.
“But I like music,” Hongra told Grandmother.
“Come with me to church,” Grandmother invited. “You will hear wonderful music that will fill your heart with good things.” Hongra had never been to a church before, but she agreed to go with her grandmother.
“When I entered the church, I heard the people singing praises to God,” Hongra said. “I liked the music! As I learned to sing along with the other children, I liked it even more. I wanted to go to church every Sabbath. It was like a whole new way of living and thinking.
“A lot of children my age attend our church, and that makes me feel more comfortable.”
Hongra’s parents don’t go to church with her, but they’re happy that she goes with Grandmother. Sometimes the family listens when Hongra reads the Bible to them. That makes Hongra happy.
“I’ve been attending church for five years now,” she says. “I feel God has really changed my life. I understand that the music I once liked was bad, and that God has better things for us to listen to.
“I’ve also learned how to forgive. When my little brother broke my precious cup, I was tempted to get mad at him. But I prayed for forgiveness and found that God took the anger away. My parents were impressed when they realized that even though I was hurt, I wasn’t angry. God helped me to be kind.
“My little brother is too young to go to church with me. So I tell him Bible stories and teach him the songs I’ve learned at church. I want him to know about God, even though it’s hard for him to sit and listen.
“God changed my life through music. He taught me that His music is so much better than the world’s music. I want to sing to God forever. God is happy to receive our songs of praise if we’re sincere and want to praise Him.”
Boys and girls, we can praise God by singing, by telling others about Jesus, and by giving our mission offerings on Sabbath morning. How will you praise God today?