How it All Began

The date was January 6th 2011, a date that forever changed my life. It was the day that the idea and motivation of Gifts of Grace was started.

The day started out like any day. It was Three Kings Day in the Dominican Republic and my companion and I had just entered into a teaching appointment. I was a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We entered into a small house where there was a woman in the kitchen, a man sitting on a chair watching a baseball game, and a little girl mopping the floor. The father was drunk and the little girl was wearing something that reminded me of a pillowcase worn by Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter. We were about to leave when the mother called to the daughter, indicating that lunch was ready and she should come fetch the food for her father. While handling the food over to the father she slipped on the wet floor, spilling her father’s lunch and drawing blood from her worn elbow. The man rose up, took a whip from the back of his chair, grabbed her by the hair, and struck her across the face. Us missionaries did the only thing we could think of doing at the time, my comp ran to aid the little girl and I took the man’s whip and said something along the lines of “if you’re going to do that again you’ll have to go through us.” He left the house in a drunken rage. The young girl’s mother came up to us after he left and pleaded with us to take her to get something to eat, as she wouldn’t eat again until late that night or possibly tomorrow and she hadn’t eaten since late yesterday.