BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — In December 2001, economic devaluations and the freezing of bank withdrawals led to an economic crisis. Angry people took to the streets to protest. As the situation deteriorated in the capital city, some rioters and delinquents began destroying businesses, offices and homes.

One evening when the public mood became particularly ugly, Wan Liang Wu, a university student and counselor in the Buenos Aires Argentina Congreso Stake, and his wife, Marcela, were at the back of their family store. President Wu had felt confident that this store, established by his great-grandfather in 1899, would not be harmed.

He was wrong. That evening, some 300 angry lawbreakers arrived at the store. They broke the metal screens protecting the entrance and streamed inside where they began smashing merchandise and shelves.

In a panic, he took his family and several employees to their living quarters upstairs where they hid, fearing for their very lives.

"At that moment we felt very alone and terrorized," said President Wu. "We felt like the hunted prey of the people; we could hear windows being shattered, and we could almost feel the blows of the thrown rocks and broken tile. We called the police but they did not respond to our call."

The Wu family knelt and prayed to the Lord for protection.

"In my tear-filled eyes, I saw in my mind a passage from the Old Testament, when the Lord opened the eyes of the prophet Elisha and his servant to see the angels protecting them.

"I desired very much to see my angelic protectors, but instead it was the assailants who appeared on the balcony, coming in a swarm, destroying and tearing up our work of many years. Soon after, the patrolmen arrived and dispersed the destroyers.

"We were very emotional and destitute human beings. We collected our belongings in a pickup. We felt to leave and never return; we were totally lost. Just as we were leaving, however, the stake president, Oscar Alberto Ormeo, arrived and began to console us.

"At six the next morning, after we had slept a few hours in the home of one of the families of our stake, I awoke with a start, with the fleeting, irrational hope that it had all been a dream. My wife and I returned to the store to begin putting wood over the broken windows. It was then that I saw the angels: members of the Church. The store was full of them. Some were standing guard over the building. Others were repairing the shelves and cabinets. Others were mopping the floors and gathering up the strewn merchandise."

Sister Wu said softly to her husband: "As with Elisha, 'they that be with us are more than they that be with them.' " (2 Kings 6:16.)