A pregnant woman living in one of the villages neighbouring our small family farm passed through on foot one Saturday morning on her way to the community clinic where she was due to give birth. As her labour pains increased, she found herself without any help or assistance in an unoccupied portion of our farm. This would have been a very difficult moment for any woman in that condition.
My wife, Vianney, being prompted to head to that side of the farm for some reason, found the woman giving birth without any help. Upon seeing this, my wife took responsibility to help this woman until she completely delivered the baby. Then she wrapped her arms around her.
During childbirth, this woman had sustained an injury, which led to a massive loss of blood. She could not be treated in a small health centre like the one near our farm in the Kikanda Sector. She was losing her strength, which meant that her life was in real danger.
It was at this moment that my wife came to request my assistance. She asked me to drive her and this woman very quickly to the big health centre where this woman would be properly taken care of—in hopes of saving the life of both mother and baby.
We drove quickly but carefully, delivering the woman and her new baby to the clinic. The worst was averted. Vianney covered all the medical expenses and even bought a layette for the baby, since nothing else was ready.
This opportunity to serve, where we helped a stranger, is so similar to the teachings of the Saviour found in Luke 10:30–36, in answer to the question, “And who is my neighbour?” In response to that question, the Saviour taught the principles of unselfish service in a story we now refer to as the parable of the good Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
“And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”
King Benjamin also taught this to his people, saying, “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
During last April’s general conference, President Russell M. Nelson, the prophet of God, invited those members willing to join with him in a day of fasting and prayer for those afflicted with, and health care workers and families affected in one way or another, by this COVID-19 pandemic.1
Confined for several weeks in our home following the lockdown decreed by the South African government, we spent many hours in fervent prayer for people all around the world affected in one way or another by the pandemic. So great was our sense of fulfilment as individuals and as a family to know that we were responding to the prophet’s invitation. Our testimony of the divine calling of President Nelson as a prophet, seer and revelator has seriously increased. Our love and our desire to continue to serve individually and as a family have been strengthened despite the difficulties and conditions we were going through.
Selfless service to our fellow men and in our callings in the Church is a token of love and unchanging fidelity to our Heavenly Father—and allows us to stay on the covenant path with Him.
Elie K. Monga was named an Area Seventy in April 2017. He resides in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is married to Vianney Mwenze and they are the parents of four children.