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LIVING BY THE SCRIPTURES

The war in Vietnam ended in May 1975, and more than 100,000 refugees came into this country. I worked for a federal agency that was charged with processing these refugees. The agency asked for volunteers for the refugee camp, and I volunteered.

I was assigned to Fort Chaffee, Ark. The work was hard and the hours long. Two teams each worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week. I was assigned to the night shift, from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Throughout the night, we processed the steady stream of refugees. The stressful situation of cramped quarters, inadequate food, inclement weather, constant work flow, and the psychological stress of listening to the stories of the refugees began to take its toll.Early one morning at 4 a.m., I didn't know if I could endure. I heard a familiar voice say: "Wanda, I've got just what you need. This will keep you awake." One of my co-workers put a steaming hot cup of coffee before me. As I looked at the forbidden liquid and smelled its aroma, I remembered how difficult it had been to observe the Word of Wisdom when I was converted to the Church. Then I remembered this familiar scripture. I knew that my help would come from the Lord, and not from artificial stimulants. I graciously refused the coffee.

Although I am not strong physically, I continued my work long after the others on my team had returned home. Many with much stronger constitutions than myself were forced to leave. I am convinced it is only through the help from the Lord and my observance of the Word of Wisdom that I was able to complete this mission. Wanda S. Thomas, Chicago, Ill.