‘l gave you away so that you could have a better life.’

Everyone had heard bits and pieces of what had happened, but Wes wanted to tell the story while they ate.  That Sunday, Nana Ahlseen decided to bring dinner, choosing a recipe in honor of the country where Wes was born. Kimmy took a bite and asked, “What are we eating? I can see beef, onions, tomatoes and boy is it spicy!  The best part of this dish is that it is mixed up with French fries!”

“It’s Lomo Saltado, one of the best-known dishes from Peru,” Nana said.

“It’s almost as good as when I got to eat it during our trip,” commented Wes. “l always loved it when we would go out to eat at El Serrano in Lancaster. I never thought eating the food in Peru would be even better. Who knew that a trip I was so nervous about, could turn out so great! Mom and Dad, you always told me I was adopted when I was 18 months old, but I don’t remember anything from when I was a baby in Peru.”

Mom asked, “Wes, what did I always tell you about your mother in Peru?”

“She loved me so much she wanted me to have a better life. Mom, what kind of love did you call it?”


“Unconditional love, just like Jesus loves us.” Mom smiled broadly. “Who imagined that we would get the chance to go back to Peru and meet Wes’ relatives? God moved so many people to make it all possible.  Manuel, the owner of El Serrano, was making improvements to the restaurant and brought in a carpenter from Peru. Manuel wanted him to meet Wes, so we took Wes and his birth certificate over to the restaurant. Come to find out that the carpenter had been in Wes’ hometown of Limabamba and knew his birth family. The carpenter was returning to Peru so I sent a letter and pictures with him for Wes’ birth mother. We then found out that his birth mother wanted to see Wes. That’s why we decided we would go to Peru.

“Wes, do you remember the most important part of this story? When we told Manuel about our travel plans. Manuel asked, ‘How did we get to this point? You had no contact with Wes’ birth family and now you are planning a trip to Peru?’ Wes, how did I answer him?”


“Mom, you said that you thought somebody was praying and somebody had questions.”

“That’s right.  And everyone thought that was a crazy idea, didn’t they?” Mom smiled.  “So, Wes, you tell the rest of the story.”


“So, we took a long airplane ride from New Jersey to Lima, Peru. It was so hot! Hey guys, did you know that Lima is a desert? We got there and then went to the hostel, that’s like a hotel here in America. We were eating breakfast the next morning when we heard, ‘Would George or Deb come down to the desk? Manuel is here.’ We didn’t know anyone in Peru. Mom went down and there was Manuel from El Serrano. He decided he just needed to see the end of our story. He was so excited. We all left for the park where we were to meet my birth family.

“We waited a little bit. I think we were afraid that nobody was going to show up. Finally, here came my uncle, aunt, cousins and my birth mother. I was a little afraid, everybody was crying.  What if they wanted me to stay here? My birth mother’s name is Teofina. She was talking Spanish and Manuel was telling us she said, ‘l gave you away so that you could have a better life.’ That was weird. That’s what you always told me Mom.

“Then we all went back to where we were staying, and my Peru mom wanted me to sit with her on the same chair. I called her “mom” ‘cause I didn’t know what else to call her. Mom, you asked me about that, remember? And I said, ‘Teofina is my birth mom, but you are my favorite mom.


“That night we went to my uncle’s house for supper. He asked, ‘How did this happen? How did we all get together?’ Mom told him exactly what she said back in the restaurant: ‘Somebody was praying and somebody wanted answers.’ Mom, you tell them what my uncle said.”

“With tears streaming down his face, he said, ‘l have prayed for 13 years that this boy would come back to us. We wanted to make sure that he was a son and not a servant.’


“Mom said loud really loud, ‘l knew somebody was praying!’”

All the kids looked at each other. Kimmy said, “How come everybody’s crying? It was a really cool adventure!”

Dad spoke up.  “Matthew 21:22 says, ‘If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.’ But I think, kids, the one mistake we make is when we decide how and when our prayers should be answered. Wes’ uncle prayed for 13 years, and he got an amazing answer. He got to see Wes with his own eyes! That was probably more than he even prayed for.

“Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the opportunity to visit Wes’ family, and Lord, it was so exciting to be a part of a plan to answer his uncle’s prayer. From getting to know Manuel, to the carpenter coming from Peru, to the carpenter carrying a letter back to Wes’ mom and then the meeting in the park. It was not only an adventure, but what an example of answered prayer. Thank you, Lord.”

 “Pass me the box of tissues, please.” Mom sobbed as she then passed around the precious photo of Wes and his birth mom.

 “Mom, are you okay?”

“Just happy tears, Wes.”

Grandma Alseen went to the kitchen and brought out her latest cooking experiment. “Hope everyone has room for dessert. We are having Picarones. They’re sweet, sticky dripping doughnuts topped with honey, cinnamon, and orange.”

Jake said, “Wow, with food like this, maybe we should all go back to Peru.”

And all the family said, “Amen!”


  • What prayers were answered in this story?
  • How many years had Wes’ uncle prayed for Wes?
  • What is “unconditional love”?
  • Who has shown you that type of love?

Suggestion for Prayer: someone thank God for 10 different things or people


Riding in the car, Kimmy looked at her brothers and challenged them to a race.  Jake was too busy reading to care, but Wes accepted the challenge. As soon as the car was parked in Grandpa’s driveway, Wes and Kimmy jumped out and dashed toward the house. They were both out of breath as they were greeted by Grandpa Myers with one of his big bear hugs.  “Why the rush?” Grandpa asked.

“We raced like always, and I won!” Kimmy responded.

“Well, I let her win,” mumbled Wes. They sprinted off to the kitchen.  After hugs and kisses from both grandmothers, Kimmy declared herself an Olympic racer.

Wes asked Grandma, “What’s for dinner? I’m starving!”

 “One of your favorites, fried chicken,” smiled Grandma as she pointed to the stove.

Mom was just entering the room when she heard the conversation and began to laugh. “Oh my, do I have a chicken story for you! I’ll tell it while we eat.”


When everything was in place, the family settled down at the table.  Grandpa said grace. Mom began, “Last Friday afternoon I went into the garage to grab something out of the freezer for dinner and noticed that someone never quite closed the freezer door.  Water was dripping from the open door onto the garage floor.  Looking further, I was surprised to find a lot of the food still frozen, but it seemed like fifty pounds of chicken had thawed. It was still very cold, but not frozen. 


I knew my evening plans had suddenly changed.  I would be spending the evening cooking all that chicken before it spoiled.  While loading my arms with chicken, I was upset until I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit reminding me, ‘You can be grumpy and waste the evening cooking while in a bad mood, or you can make the best of it. Your choice.’


“Once I was back in the kitchen with the chicken, I turned the radio to my favorite praise music. I then began cooking and singing at the top of my lungs. The neighbors probably heard me. There was chicken on the stove top, chicken in the oven, chicken on the grill. I laughed as I was even doing the chicken dance.  There I was, happily cooking and singing until about 9:30. Then I realized that it would be impossible to finish cooking all that chicken before bedtime.  I didn’t want to spend the next day still cooking chicken.


“Again, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, ‘You know, you don’t have to do this alone.  There are others who would appreciate some chicken.’ My first thought was to drop some off at the mission the following morning. Then I remembered the family of five right across the street. They might enjoy chicken.  I called them and left a message explaining that I had extra chicken for them, but it needed to be used soon.


“First thing Saturday morning, my neighbor called. She had been praying for chicken just the night before!  She said she was pouring her heart out to God, ‘I don’t need a lot, just a little extra chicken in the freezer would be nice.’” 

Wes chimed in, “God had the chicken ready to go even before the lady prayed for it.”


Grandpa thought a moment. “I know what you mean Wes.  He is such a loving God.  God answered your neighbor’s prayer through your mom’s problem.  Your family also blessed – the open freezer was discovered before all the food went totally bad.  I love the verse: My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. (Philippians 4:19) Wes, do you want to pray for us today?”

Wes bowed his head. “God, thank-you for using my mistake of leaving the freezer door open so that our neighbor could have her chicken prayers answered.”

“And Lord, please help Wes remember that freezer doors are supposed to be closed, otherwise all our ice cream will melt,” Kimmy added.

And all the family said, “Amen!”


  • What did Mom have too much of?
  • Why was she grumpy?
  • Instead of being grumpy, what did she choose to do?
  • How did God use Mom’s overabundance of chicken to help the neighbor?
  • What does God promise in Philippians 4:19

Prayer time: thank God for everything He has done today