Victor and Demetria Gallo
Early converts of the Bolivian Indian Mission, founded by Mr. and Mrs. George Allan.
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
From Ripening Fruit by Margarita Allan Hudspith, pp. 96-98
When we think of little Victor Gallo, we remember a young laddie with flashing black eyes and a happy countenance. His skin was dark brown, but it did not hinder his love of Jesus from shining forth.
His sister Demetria, took care of him from the hour of his birth, teaching him constantly of the love of the Saviour. His mother's continual drinking left little time for love and care of the family. He was born with another handicap also: his heart was defective and no one thought he could possibly live. But as he grew, his sturdy little body showed no signs of weakness.
He enjoyed Bible stories, but the truth he intensely loved was that the Lord Jesus Christ was to come again. One afternoon, he went with his sister, on an errand to the country. She noticed him standing on a rock looking up into the sky, and finally asked him what he was doing. He answered, "I am watching for the Lord to come." That evening at supper he announced that the Lord Jesus Christ was coming soon to take him and his two sister, who were believers, to Heaven to live with Him, but that his father and mother and other sisters and brothers would be left behind.
As might be expected, this stirred up some discussion among the non-Christian members of the family. A few days later Victorcito came marching into Mr. Allan's sitting room, and without even greeting him said, "Jesus Christ is going to come again isn't He?" Mr. Allan answered, "Yes, certainly." He gave a satisfied little exclamation, and walked out with the same air of determination with which he had entered. We found out later that his dissipated father had been trying to shake his faith, and he was seeking support from his friends. The missionaries were truly his friends. He loved them and they loved him. There was nothing strange or foreign about them to him.
His death came suddenly as might have been expected with such an active body and a weak heart. He was trotting along the street with sister when he coughed and cried out. His father came to the door of his little shop just in time to catch him in his arms, and within five minutes, Victor's spirit had left his body. No human effort could make his heart beat again. The missionaries felt bereaved as though one of their own family had left them.
Though the priest had been called to the house, the missionaries went with the little company to the grave. They sang the songs he loved to sing: "Jesus Loves Me, this I know" and "When He Cometh to Make up his Jewels." Then Mr. Allan spoke a few words about Victor's life and faith. When he declared that the boy's spirit was with the Lord at that very moment a laugh of derision broke forth from those with no greater hope than purgatory. But for the Christian, hope blooms with immortality and the glad assurance of the Apostle Paul, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."
Victor's sister, Demetria was quiet and gentle, of humble spirit and pleasing personality. In her home, often a drunken madhouse, she was frequently made to suffer keenly for her faith. When one thought of her and her surrounding, it was to think of a beautiful flower growing from a rubbish heap.
There was a time when as sure as she attended a meeting she received a thrashing from her father. Her deep inner joy, however, was that which the Lord alone gives and none can take away. Whipping could not deter her from attending the services.
It was the thought of this girl's sufferings for the Gospel's sake that inspired the translation into Quechua of that lovely hymn, "Many Names Are Dear, But His Is Dearer."
For a time she both studied and taught some classes in the San Pedro Girl's School. On Sunday, she taught the little folks in the Sunday School.
Later, the way was opened for her to accompany Mr. and Mrs. Fred Legant to Arampampa. That her father permitted her to leave home, and for the purpose of helping open a new evangelical work, could only be attributed to answered prayer. A consecrated national worker is a jewel without price. Demetria, with her sweet humility and love for the lost, was a gift from the Lord Himself.
Some years passed in faithful service and then she came to live in the city of Cochabamba. In her early thirties she contracted typhoid fever and was taken to the Catholic hospital in a serious condition. After days of anxious suspense, Demetria regained consciousness and was making such a satisfactory recovery that she was to be discharged from the hospital on Monday. On Sunday afternoon don Criscologo Barron, the national pastor, called to see her, and they had a time of worship and thanksgiving for the way the Lord had raised her up. For the first time the hospital authorities awakened to the fact that their patient was an evangelical. Imagine our consternation and shock to learn on Monday morning that she had passed on to be with her Lord.
Counted by years, her time of service and witnessing was not long, but there was a quality and sweetness in her life and work which assure us that she gained the Lord's "Well done, good and faithful servant." [Matthew 25:23]
[Her blood cries out from the hands of the Roman Catholic Church!]