Tithing, Timing, and Transportation

By Atilio Coitiño Guzmán

The author lives in São Paulo, Brazil.

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We had no money to go to church, so we started to walk.

family standing on side of busy street

Illustration by Doug Fakkel

One Saturday my wife and I realized that we did not have enough money to take public transportation to church the next day, and there was no way to make a cash withdrawal. Our tithing was in a donation envelope ready to be given to the bishop. We began to talk about how we would travel to church. If we used the tithing money to pay for transportation, we felt that the Lord would understand; however, we decided that it was not right.

The other possibility was to not go to church, and again we thought that the Lord would understand since we had never missed before. However, if that happened, we would not be able to take our tithing to the bishop, so that possibility was also ruled out.

Trying to be faithful, we decided to leave earlier than usual and walk to church. We left on that beautiful Sabbath day for the chapel, which was about three miles (4.8 km) from our home. For our four children (the oldest was six), it was like a party, and they enjoyed running and playing along the way.

When we reached a certain point on a wide and dangerous street, I heard the Spirit tell me, “You should cross now.” I told my wife, and she responded that it was dangerous because that part of the street began to curve, blocking our view of oncoming cars. I responded that I felt we should cross there, so we quickly crossed, my wife and I each taking two children. Just as we stepped onto the sidewalk, a car stopped on that side, and the driver asked, “Are you going to church?”

The driver was a brother who did not belong to our ward, but I had met him before because I had visited his ward. We responded affirmatively, and he offered to drive us there. As we got in the car, the brother explained that he never took this route and he was only passing that way because his business partner had lost the keys to the office and he was taking his keys to his partner.

I thought to myself that this hadn’t happened by chance. The Lord knew we needed transportation to go to church. Our tithing was in my pocket, and it provided us the opportunity to teach our children about the blessings that come from paying tithing. We arrived at the chapel earlier than ever but happy and grateful. We participated in all the meetings and did not tell anybody about what had happened.

Summers in São Paulo are very hot, especially at midday, when our Church meetings ended. We were preparing to return when someone came up and asked us, “Do you have someone to take you back?” We responded that we didn’t, and he said to us, “Do you want me to take you?” We accepted his offer, and my wife and I looked at each other with emotional smiles.

More than once the Lord had given us a great blessing for our obedience.