During World War II, I was among the American troops who were captured in Germany.
German soldiers forced us to march 100 miles, in snow and subzero temperatures, to another prison camp. During that long week, we received only two meals.
One snowy evening, as we trudged along the deserted road, I glanced up and saw a beautiful little girl standing beside the road ahead of us. She wore a winter coat with a fur-lined hood encircling her sweet shining face. In her hands, she held a small wicker basket.
As we marched closer to her, I could see her bright eyes smiling directly at me. She acted like she knew who I was, but I had never seen her before.
When we approached where she stood, she stepped up on the road and held her small, covered basket out to me.
As I walked to the spot where she stood, she pulled back the white napkin which covered the basket.
I saw six biscuits inside.
I was so hungry!
Quickly, while still walking forward, I reached out, grabbed the six biscuits and stuffed them into my pocket.
The beautiful little girl flashed a radiant smile at me, and then she turned and walked away.
The other guys didn’t seem to notice the girl. If any of them had seen the biscuits, I knew they would have desperately fought to get them. Everyone was so starved!
In fact, when we arrived at the next village, our captors let us sit down and rest on the street curb. A man wearing an apron came out from the bakery across the street and threw four loaves of bread into the middle of our troop.
Everyone jumped up, frantically pushing and shoving as they tried to grab a handful of bread. In their desperation and hunger, they hit and fought each other for every scrap.
I stood at the edge of the group and stared. I wondered why nobody had tried to grab the biscuits in the girl’s basket.
Was it possible they hadn’t seen the biscuits?
Was it possible they hadn’t seen the little girl at all?
I can still see her beautiful face, even after all these years. It shone so brightly in the dusk. I’ve often thought of her. I had been too exhausted at that time to look back and see where she went or what happened to her.
Later, I realized no mother would have let a young girl take food to enemy troops at night during the middle of a war.
I believe she was an angel of God, sent as an answer to the prayers of my wife. Without those six biscuits, I would never have survived that week-long march in the freezing winter.
Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father feeds [the birds],
Are you not of more value than they?”
Allen Simantel, World War II Veteran
Simantel Berry Farms
From the book “Our Stories, God’s Glory“
A collection of real life inspiration stories from Oregonians