A Divine Connection on a Plane
“I felt very weak in my own self.”
Aggie Alvarez, a GEM missionary, was returning to her home in Brussels, Belgium, on August 4, after spending a week in Slovenia at GEM’s Annual Conference. At this time, she had served on the field in Belgium for a month and had many questions about her work.
“[God], what are you calling me to? How am I going to minister? What does my life look with you being transformed in Belgium?" These thoughts overwhelmed her as she woke up at five that morning, as she left for the airport, and as she journeyed back home. She did not feel ready to share the gospel with anyone that day.
“We minister as we're being transformed,” she said. “That's where I felt I was. God was renewing a lot of things in my life personally.”
Aggie was 24 years old and traveling by herself. This sparked peoples’ curiosity–what is a young, single, American woman doing in Europe?
And that’s exactly what Peter wanted to know. Aggie sat down next to him on her final flight to Brussels, an older Belgian man looking for some small talk. On the verge of tears, she asked God to just give her this time in the plane to think and pray.
“What is a girl like you living in Belgium?" Peter asked. With this question, God opened a door to the gospel.
“I've always been aware that no matter what I'm going through I'm always going to put the gospel first,” she said. “He began to talk to me more and more; I began to realize, ‘Okay, this guy is not going to stop talking to me. God must be doing something.’"
“Well, you know, I'm actually working full-time ministry in Belgium. I'm a Christian," she responded.
Taken aback, Peter counters, “I think all religions have some aspect of truth. That's really nice what you're doing, but I just believe in everything. I believe God is in everything." Despite having Muslim family members, he had decided to embrace all religions, instead of just one.
"Well, you know, I honestly have to disagree with you. I've really seen Jesus in my life."
When Aggie was young, her father was deep into drugs. He had a broken marriage with her mother, who became a Christian. He lost his business. He hated God. Then one day, Aggie’s nine-year-old sister became very sick and went into a coma. The doctors had no hope. They told her family that if she ever woke up, she would be in a vegetative state. Through all of this, the dad observed members of the church faithfully and frequently coming to visit them, offering support and comfort. One of them boldly asked him, “"Why don't you just give your life to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and God will hear you to heal your daughter?" He fell to his knees and asked for forgiveness, for everything. He accepted Christ as his Savior. That very moment, Aggie’s sister woke up–completely normal!
“I've learned that no one can argue with what God has done in your life,” Aggie said.
She shared this story with Peter and told him, “This is why I've seen again and again that Jesus is the only way to life and the truth.”
Peter began to cry, "You can't deny the power of Christ with that story. You can't deny it."
“That's why I've given my life to Jesus because he's changed everything in my life and in my family,” Aggie agreed.
After sharing more about her faith with Peter and his son Ken who had been quietly listening to their conversation, the plane landed and they offered her a ride home.
“We really want to honor you. It would be a blessing for us to give you a ride home."
During the hour-long car ride to her home, Aggie could sense a change of heart taking place in Peter.
"I love my kids very much,” he said. “I’ve had them grow up, but I should have told them more about God. And I should have told them more about living in that way."
Before they parted ways, Peter told her, "I know that this is a connection for a long-term. I know that this is a God-alignment. This is a God-divine connection."
“I shared my life, my testimony, the gospel according to what I've seen in my life,” Aggie reflected. “You have to be ready in and out of season." Despite feeling weak and unable earlier that morning, God used Aggie to bring His Light into the lives of others.
Aggie and Peter have plans to meet again and learn more about the Bible.