Yoana Sashova, a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist — and a third-generation musician — won second place in “The Voice of Bulgaria” competition in June 2020. Sashova achieved that feat with “The Heavens Declare You,” a set of song lyrics she wrote to the tune of a well-known song by pop singer Billie Eilish.

Sashova “turned the chairs” of three out of four coaches at the blind auditions. She was then asked to sing a second song, which made her a star. Her second song was at number one on YouTube for the month following and generated more than three million views.

Open About Her Faith

From the start, Sashova introduced herself as a believer in God, and she kept witnessing about her faith throughout the competition.

Despite the fact that she had been asked several times by journalists not to talk about her faith, Sashova was adamant: “I can’t help it! I owe Him everything!”

After singing her own spiritual song, her coach told her, “In these times, when virtues and values are somehow out of date, you appeared as a bright ray of light and are the absolute antithesis of the reality that surrounds us. You are a symbol of humanity, purity, and sincerity, a great gift of God. To me, you are a hope!”

Another coach, commenting on her final song, “Consolation,” remarked, “You are a believer in God. May He bless you!”

Thousands of positive comments about her singing were posted on social media platforms. “We will be praying for you. Thank you for presenting our God in the most dignified way — with words, deeds, talent!” wrote one. “A person gets goosebumps on hearing the beautiful voice and the unique playing of the guitar. Well done, girl! God has given her a talent that most of the Bulgarian singers lack!” wrote another. A third comment added, “There is hope for this world once people have managed to appreciate a modest and talented girl without silicone! We are too used to vulgarity and pranks; it’s a miracle when something normal appears!”

Turning to the audience at the finals, Sashova said, “God is great! God loves you! I am so grateful He has given me the opportunity to be here.”

Sashova’s interview with Hope Channel Bulgaria generated unprecedented interest, and many have posted comments on the great impression she made on them with her witness.

“I met Yoana’s family years ago,” said Corrado Cozzi, Inter-European Division communication director, “a family with the gift of music that they transmit with passion and with a very deep spiritual feeling. Yoana could only follow this passion and transmit it with the same enthusiasm. We are proud of her.”

“The Heavens Declare You”

Sashova often writes her own music and lyrics and plays guitar. In 2019, she won the children’s competition for Bulgarian folk songs. It was at that time she wrote “The Heavens Declare You” based on Billie Eilish’s tune, “When the Party’s Over,” a song that laments the end of a human relationship. Sashova’s lyrics declare her love and devotion for God.

“And Your glory is timeless. I know You walk before me, I humbly follow You,” Sashova’s song says. “Here’s my heart — it is broken. But You are my consolation — I’m waiting on You only. I hear Your voice, and I know You walk beside me. You stretch out Your pierced hands, You save my soul! Here’s my heart — it is broken. But You are my consolation – I’m waiting on You only!”

Sashova attends the Roma Seventh-day Adventist Church in the town of Kyustendil in southwest Bulgaria. This Roma community has the densest Adventist population in Europe, with 1,300 church members living among 12,000 inhabitants. They worship in two congregations.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division news site.

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