Children’s Story – The Lord Will Provide, Part I

It was the last week of the month. As I was getting ready to prepare our Sabbath meal, I stood in front of my pantry, looking at the empty shelves. I wondered what I could do. The small ration that the Communist government of Cuba allowed per family per month was gone. Only two cups of rice and a small bit of oil and part of a loaf of bread were left. From my summer garden I had a green plantain (a banana that you cook), two tomatoes, and a small head of lettuce. That was all the food I had to feed my family for Friday night, Sabbath, and Sunday. The first day of the next month was on Monday, and I could not go to the store to buy more food until then. For my family of three—my husband, Hugo, our daughter, Lena, and me—there was not enough food. We usually had visitors come to our home for Sabbath dinner, but not on this Sabbath!

I put the rice to cook in a little pot. With one of the tomatoes, I made a little salsa, and I cooked six small “meatballs” made out of the single plantain. There it was—all of our food for two days! When Hugo arrived home that afternoon, I explained our food situation to him.

“Please do not invite anyone home for dinner tomorrow,” I implored. He understood.

When I heard our doorbell ring a little later, I went to see who was at the door. It was a young man who had come from a distant city. We knew he was interested in one of the young ladies in our church, so we had told him that whenever he wanted to visit our church, he was welcome to stay in our home. But why today? He was here, however, and I knew that we would have to share what little food we had with him.

While the young man showered, I quickly prepared a glass of water with sugar and a slice of bread for each member of my family. That was our supper. When our visitor came out of the bathroom, I served him a little rice, two of the plantain balls, and one leaf of lettuce made into a salad. “We have already had our supper, because we have to go to the church for a meeting,” I explained to him.

When we arrived at the church that evening, I learned that the girl our friend had come to visit was out of town. “Oh, no!” I thought. “Now we will have to feed him lunch tomorrow!”

My husband gave me the solution the next morning. “Let’s tell him that we are fasting today, so you can then give the food to him and Lena.” I agreed.

While sitting in church that Sabbath morning, I noticed a man from a neighboring church attending with his young son. He had brought his older son to a nearby hospital and had decided to stay at our church for the church service. My thought was, “Two more for lunch today!”

Later in the morning, Hugo whispered to me, “There is a couple visiting from Havana. When I was in the seminary, I was assigned to the church where they are members. Many times they had me to their house for Sabbath dinner. We have to take them home.”

My immediate reaction was desperation, but in a flash, Bible stories passed through my mind—the manna in the wilderness, the widow’s oil and flour, the little boy’s lunch that the Lord used to feed thousands. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8), I remembered. Trusting only the Lord, my Provider, I answered my husband with a confident, “Sure, invite them home. The Lord will provide.”

To be continued . . .