Do You Hear What I Hear?
In Peru, as in any other nation of the world, parents desire to give the best to their children, especially around Christmas. In many instances, it is physically impossible because of limited resources. In an effort to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit in her heart, a young sister in the city of Arequipa led a drive to gather food, clothes and toys to distribute to those in need.
Sister Marilyn Daysi Mestas Salas recounts:
I began to gather all of my son's toys together to be able to give them away, and then I went to visit Sister Celinda. I told her that we were going to meet at the church and hopefully prepare things to donate. When she heard this, she said, "Miss Marilyn, I have a friend that I know who donates milk and toys. I could ask her to donate something." This gave me great joy.
The moment I left, I began to pray with all of my heart, "If it's Your will, Lord, to give help this year to other people, do it like that, but if not, help me to be more diligent for the next time. In the name of Your beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen."
The next day, I went again to visit Sister Celinda, and she told me the answer was "Yes." Her friend would donate milk and toys. When we went to collect the donation, we were given the surprise of a large metal milkmaid with all the milk and more than 100 toys.
That day, as I was preparing the hot chocolate, my father-in-law laughed and asked, "Are you preparing all that hot chocolate for us?" I said, "No, this is for those people who need it. There are a lot of people that don't have anything." He asked, "Why don't you buy the traditional sweet bread (panetones) to share with the hot chocolate?" I told him that Brother Alberto and I had already bought 50 sweet breads, but that wouldn't be enough. He said, "I am going to give you 50 more sweet breads." I told him, "Thank you and God bless you."
I told my brother-in-law what I was organizing, and he told me, "You know I do not have money, but I will help you, even just with butter." I told him, "Thank you," and encouraged him that God doesn't look at the amount, but that which comes from the heart.
Later, my sister-in-law saw what I was preparing and asked me about it, and I told her. After a while, she came back with a box full of 200 cereal bars and said, "Here. Take this." I told her, "Thank you and God bless you." In this manner, I gathered more than what I had imagined!
When the moment came to find a taxi to carry everything to The Church, there were no large taxis, only small ones. I spent more than 30 minutes looking for a taxi, until I thought about taking two taxis. Then I prayed, "My God, help me. I beg you Heavenly Father to send me a vehicle more than adequate to carry the hot chocolate (which were two large drums), the bags of toys, the 100 traditional sweet breads, the box of cereal bars, and us, Sister Rubi, Isaac, and me!"
I was astonished because I yelled, "Taxi!" and a big 4x4 came around the corner. There are never any of that type of vehicle used as a taxi, but that day there was. The taxi stopped and the driver said he could take everything and gave me the same price as a small taxi. "Thank you, my God," I said at that moment. And so we took everything to the church.
God inspired Sister Carmen to take the donations to a village far from the city where there is a lot of need. When we arrived, we parked on a corner, and the people began to come. We told the children to come because we had hot chocolate, but many were afraid. When we told them we also had toys, they all began to come. We organized ourselves. Brother Alberto took pictures, Sister Carmen served the hot chocolate, Sister Flor handed out the sweet bread, Sister Rubi helped to form lines, Brother Juan passed out the cereal bars, and I gave out the toys.
So, we met many people and delivered all that we had and finished successfully. Everything was beautiful! I thank God for all of the blessings He has given me. Amen.
"And ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need." Mosiah 4:16
What began with a simple prompting from that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, a little idea to help others, became something great, something beautiful! The Holy Spirit leads us to have concern for others. The Holy Spirit leads us to pray with all of our heart. The Holy Spirit leads us to understand that God looks at and loves most that which comes from a sincere heart. As a child of God, you house His Holy Spirit, and it whispers to you, draws you, leads you.
As Christmas passes and we start a new year, a question arises from your Sister Marilyn, "Do you hear what I hear?"