New Delhi “Milk Ministry”

We feel the Savior’s love for people as we serve them.

After the lockdown began in New Delhi, India, the police barricaded the streets and restricted travel in and out of our community. Shop owners and workers had to obtain proper documentation to come to work or to bring goods to their shop.  For many days, the grocery stores had little food in them because the trucks carrying goods did not have the proper permits.

 My husband Brad, mission president for the India New Delhi Mission, asked Anil Kumar, a member of the church, what the mission could do for the members of our community.  Anil identified some children whose parents were out of work and could not afford to buy milk.  Anil advised against supplying fresh milk and recommended a milk replacement powder that Indian people commonly use.

We purchased ten 1 kg bags of powdered milk at a local store.  Anil distributed these himself to the needy families.  When he distributed them, he realized there were more children that could benefit from receiving milk.  We decided to expand the operation to allow the sister missionaries and me to distribute milk to the neighborhood down the road from the church.   

Anil obtained a list of women with young children living in the neighborhood and we drove there with the milk in the back of the car.  All the women knew ahead of time we were coming, but they seemed hesitant to approach us.  I thought it might be because the sisters and I were wearing our Helping Hands vests as well as gloves and masks.  Later, Anil told me it was because no one had ever given milk powder before and they were not sure what to expect.


Eventually, they all received their bag of milk.  While the women seemed shy, there was a boy about 10 years old who was not shy.  He saw the gathering by the car and came over to us.  Soon, he ran away but returned carrying a small child.   I felt compassion for him as we gave him a bag of milk.  After the last bag was handed out, I looked at the people who were standing around.  I knew there were more who could have used the milk and I had a desire to help them.

Conditions in the community improved but we decided to deliver milk again.  We purchased more bags than we had before.  In addition to the milk, we handed out small wooden toy cars to the children.  These were donated by Elder and Sister Toone, a missionary couple serving in the New Delhi Mission.  Again, after the last bag was handed out, that feeling of compassion returned and I felt a desire to do more.

Now, I think of those shy women and the bold little boy every time I travel by their neighborhood.  I think of the scripture 3 Nephi 17:5-6: “. . . he [Jesus] cast his eyes round about again on the multitude . . . and He said unto them:  Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.”  I felt the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for the people we served. Our offering was small but hopefully helped them feel that love also.  Sister Chellapilli, one of the sisters who handed out the milk, felt love for them also.  She said, “I am very grateful for this opportunity to help someone else’s mother. . .when I was young, my family was very poor and we didn’t have enough money to buy milk. . .in the future, if I am in a better position, I will definitely do the same.”