I know a lot of people read the article in the Church News about how members had donated to help the tsunami victims. I read it as well. I don't remember all of it, as I've been so busy out here, I can hardly remember one day from another. I do remember the thoughts and feelings that were generated from it though the feelings of the pure love of Christ, of His true Church, and the generosity of the saints.
Reading that article strengthened my testimony and I realized no matter who the people are, they are still our brothers and sisters and, more important, sons and daughters of one Heavenly Father. No matter what religion they embrace, the true Church of Jesus Christ will help anyone in time of need.
The people hit by the tsunami needed this help. I have seen this need while serving in the U.S. Navy. I will tell you first-hand these people were starving for food and water; everything they knew had been wiped off the face of the earth. The death toll in Indonesia alone has topped 220,000. Unbelievable devastation has hit its coast. What a blessing it was to read this article, knowing that our Church had put so much money, time, and effort into helping out a country that is the most-populated Muslim nation in the world.
Well, it was one thing to read the story, but a few weeks ago I had the blessing of building my testimony even more. We flew into the Banda Aceh airport in Indonesia like we had done a hundred times already, to fill our helicopter full of supplies. Food, water, clothes, toys, soaps you name it, we hauled it.
This particular day was different, though. We landed and the ground crew started bringing large boxes, one after the other to the helicopter. These boxes were different than any other ones I had loaded before. I noticed a dark blue label stamped on the sides of each one as I stacked them in the cabin. It wasn't until we were completely loaded and lifting that I had time to actually look at them to see what they said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
I could feel the Spirit so strongly as I sat there inbound to our next landing zone a devastated village down the coast. As I reflected back on the Church News article and realized that now I was living what I had read, my testimony of the gospel swelled within me. I was actually delivering all those packages many members had taken so much time to prepare.
Inside each box were individually bagged supply kits with all the essentials. It seemed everything in them had been carefully prepared through the Spirit, for what was contained in those boxes were items many of these villagers had been asking for. What are the chances that our Church would be able to provide what the people needed? What are the chances out of the thousands of boxes of supplies we have taken, and hundreds of thousands of pounds delivered to the grateful people here, that I, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would be on that flight to deliver them to their final destination?
Nicholas Hunter, a member of the Singapore 1st Ward, is serving in the U.S. Navy.