"Sometimes, even when a miracle happens in your life, when time passes, sometimes we forget what happened," Napoleon Barillas Lopez, of Nicaragua, says. A miracle did happen for Lopez and his family, one he says, is "something for which I will be grateful all my life."
After the Lopez family was baptized into the Church, Lopez shares, "We decided we would follow all the commandments of the Lord. And one of them was to pay our tithing." But their dedication would be tested.
"One day," he goes on, "we realized, we had a certain amount of money that was exactly the tithing we had to give to the Church." At the time, Lopez was already working two jobs to make ends meet. "Talking with my wife, we had a little debate in our minds and in our hearts that if we give this money to the Church to fulfill what we said we were going to do, then we wouldn't have any money to buy groceries."
In a leap of faith, the pair decided to pay their tithing, and pray for help. "Even with all the problems and all the excuses we might have," he says, "this is the money for the Lord. We were going to give the money to the Church, regardless."
"One of the things that I have to be grateful to my wife is at that time her faith was stronger than mine," Lopez recounts.
In an effort to secure funds for his family, Lopez went to his non-member brother to ask for a loan. "I knocked on the door and my youngest brother opened the door." Though he felt bad to ask for the money, Lopez did so. His brother's reaction was to question. "He told me, 'You told me you were going to be baptized in the Church, and that if you paid your tithing, you were going to be blessed with everything that you needed.'"
As it turned out, the Lord would provide. Word spread that a nearby grocery store had done a drawing--and a man named Napoleon Barillas had won.
The pair of brothers rushed home to find a truck waiting in the driveway with the free groceries loaded in the back.
As his brother quietly exclaimed, "I can't believe this; I really can't believe this," Lopez thought, "I couldn't believe it myself."
In a moment of desperation, the Lord had answered their prayers. "Everything that you could imagine was there." From canned beans to meat to cereals and more, the groceries were exactly what the Lopez family needed to make it through.
"I think that what happened was to prove to us that faith precedes the miracle," Lopez testifies. "I have no doubt of that."