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.”
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
. . .