Little Bits of Miracles

A long time ago, a Sunday School student gave me a little notebook for Christmas. I brought it to El Salvador in the early years and jotted down some notes and stories. Most of the writings in this notebook have neither dates nor years, which has made organizing my journals and photographs from that era an archeological experience. A few days ago, I came across this little story, which I did not even know I had written down:
We visited Pastor Matías' church, Milagro de Dios - Miracle of God. They lost everything in a recent robbery, but greeted us warmly with snacks and singing.

Vonda gave away her guitar. I love her.

We took up a little collection ($150) which will pay for a new motor for the mill, to replace the stolen one. The Abuela of the Senior Citizen group stuck the money in her bra. She said it is the bank. She is the church treasurer.
I read this and my first thought was: I do love Vonda. I can still picture the moment Vonda turned to me and said, "I'm going to give him my guitar."

Mission of Healing 2004 - Visit at Milagro de Dios (© Tim Muth)

Pastor Matías has music in his bones. It's a miracle he can sing. He lost a lung during the war. A couple of years before this story took place, doctors found spots on Pastor Matias' remaining lung. He traveled to Milwaukee to receive medical care. Vonda accompanied him to an appointment when the doctors discovered his lung was completely healed. The doctors told the pastor he had received a miracle. I remember we looked at those images of his lung over and over, just struck with awe.

When Vonda and I were in El Salvador in 2004 with a Mission of Healing delegation, Pastor Matías invited us to come to his church, Miracle of God, to share a moment of gratitude together. Despite the loss of his guitar, and all the other equipment in the church just the night before, Pastor Matías and his team rolled out a radical welcome. When it was time to sing, Vonda handed over her guitar.

After singing, and talking, and more singing, and snacks, we took the offering we had collected from our group and gave it to Pastor Matías. He handed it to the grandma. She stuffed the money into her bra, gave herself a little squeeze, and delivered the line "this is the bank" with deadpan seriousness. Pastor Matías was just as serious, saying "she's the treasurer." Then the treasurer just burst out laughing clutching her chest and sort of running to "protect" the money and we all just cracked up.

Like lots of other small and special memories, pieces of this story have become part of our oral tradition. Remember when we visited Pastor Matías? Remember the grandma whose bra was the bank? Remember when Vonda gave away her guitar? These bits of notebook memories and delegation moments that stick in our hearts are part of the miracle story that God writes when we are together in friendship, love and faith.

It has been almost 22 years since Pastor Matías received a miracle. Breathing is not always easy for him, but when he has breath, Pastor Matías sings, and he tells anyone who will listen, that he received a miracle in Milwaukee. When we are together, expect miracles.

Photo shared by Pastor Matías

Mission of Healing 2022 - Linda & Pastor Matías (©2022 Tim Muth)


  1. This story of remembrance warms my heart. Thank you, Linda.


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