On File

‘Thank you, Lord’

thankyoulord_ins1I had always been part of a church, but when The Salvation Army came into the lives of my children, I took Jonathan and Maria to the San Juan, P.R., Corps and then went to worship at my own church.

After my church service was over, I would pick them up at the corps.

When I learned that the Fortissimo Music Program at the corps would teach percussion to Jonathan, I had hoped the training would help my hyperactive child. When I saw how excited he was every week to go to the classes, I said to myself, This is for him.

Jonathan’s younger sister Maria, who accompanied him to class, also wanted to learn music, but I resisted. I thought, At only five years old, she’d be too young. But Major Linda López, then corps officer in San Juan, insisted Maria stay.

“She has the focus and she can learn music,” López said. Maria took classes with her brother. There were times when she wanted to quit because the lessons were difficult, or she was self–conscious as the smallest student in the class. Nonetheless, I pushed her to continue.

Maria and Jonathan, along with their mother Mercedes Leon (above), attend the San Juan Corps in Puerto Rico.

Maria and Jonathan, along with their mother Mercedes Leon (above), attend the San Juan Corps in Puerto Rico.

Today, she’s the first one out the door to go to her lesson. The music, which once belonged to her brother, is now for both of them.

One day, I dropped Maria and Jonathan off at the corps, but leaving them felt wrong to me. I needed to be where my children were, at The Salvation Army. I wanted to see God direct them. I wanted to see them give back to Him. So I prayed to God to show me what to do and where to go.

Today, we all attend the San Juan Corps.

When they competed in Star Search earlier this year, my son asked me, “Mom, what are we going to do if I don’t win?” I told him, “Nothing. You came to perform and use your talent to give thanks to the Lord. Prize or no prize, you are a winner in His eyes, and in mine.”

When they announced that both my children had placed first in their categories, I simply said, “Amen.”

It’s overwhelming to realize His blessings in my life. They have come in so many forms—through the Army, through my two beautiful children, and through their talents.

thankyoulord_ins3To God, I say, “Thank You, for the wonders that You have done for my children, and for me.”

— Mercedes Leon is training to be a soldier at the San Juan, P.R., Corps.

For more on the Fortissimo Music program, read the October 2016 issue of SACONNECTS, or click here.

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