This is just one testimony of a small gesture nestled in humble circumstances; the kind that often gets lost in the frenzy of looking for “something big.”  While searching for success stories – stories of how The Salvation Army is helping families – we came across this heart wrenching one from Adams County.

In the words of Pastor Dan York, Salvation Army of Adams County:

I was asked to share a success story from those that I have helped in the past year. There are many that come to mind; however, there is one that stands out above all the rest. In 2011, with a weak economy causing grants and gift to be down, I was able to help all that I wished I could.  In late October I received a call from a twenty four year old woman that touched my heart. I met with her on a Wednesday morning and asked her to tell me her story. Here it is:

She said “I married the love of my life on September 18. My husband had just returned from serving in Afghanistan in August, and we rushed to make everything perfect for our wedding. He had a cold or touch of the flu before the ceremony and we really didn’t think too much about it. We went on our honeymoon and he got worse. We had planned on being gone a week, but had to return home because he really was feeling bad. Thirteen days after our marriage, he started coughing up blood – I rushed him to a Fort Wayne hospital. It was around noon when we got there , expecting them to put him on something to help him overcome this flu bug, and at three o’clock, they came out to inform me that he had passed away from massive cardiac arrest. They said they did all they could to save him, but they just couldn’t bring him back. I sat stunned, not believing what I was hearing. We were newly weds, this can’t be happening.”

She went on to tell me that they hadn’t sent all the paperwork in, like social security notification of her name change, and the necessary papers to the military letting them know that she was his wife. She said that she would get some benefits and that social security would also help her out, once all the papers were filled and approved. However, presently she had no money, no job, though she was looking for one.  She said if I could help her with utilities, she would pay me back once she got on her feet. I sat there stunned, her is a beautiful young lady, even younger than my youngest daughter, now a widow that was only wanting me to loan her some money for a short period until she got on her feet. I told her that it was a joy for me to be able her and that I would help her again in the future should she need it. I said you are what Salvation Army is all about. We could not be more proud to help anyone in a time of need than her. I asked if I could pray with her, and she said please do. She left and I sat there with tears in my own eyes, believing that I had done something great that day, something spiritual and powerful. In just a small way, I felt we had made a big difference in her life.

Pastor Dan York Salvation Army of Adams County