In 1984, my husband and I were in Europe, boarding a plane for Switzerland. It was meant to be like a second honeymoon, since Switzerland had been my favorite place on our first honeymoon.
A few days before our trip, after years of great emotional pain, I had recommitted my life to Jesus by asking Him to come and live in my heart. Then I asked Him to fill me with the Holy Spirit, as He had the disciples on the day of Pentecost, as described in the book of Acts, chapter 2, in the Bible. Jesus then baptized (or immersed) me in the Holy Spirit. In a miraculous moment’s time, I went from a tearful, broken, depressed, hopeless person to someone filled with utter joy and peace! All of life was new! His unconditional love surrounded me like a blanket, or more accurately, a comforter. Truly, He is the Comforter!
The Bible suddenly became alive to me! Words were jumping off the page and into my heart and understanding. I received a prayer language, and often heard chapters and verses in my spirit. When I looked them up (never having read the whole Bible before, and having no idea what they said), they were speaking to me!
It was in this new life that I stepped onto the plane, wanting to tell the whole world that Jesus is alive, and what He’d done for me. I was eager to know how to say His name in every language! As I started down the aisle, I was praying silently in my new language. I was eager to get into my window seat beside my husband, so I could catch the earliest possible glimpse of the beautiful Swiss Alps.
A very unusual “thought” started coming to me over and over as I walked down the aisle of the plane. It was: “Sit in the middle seat.” Knowing that was definitely not my own thought, since it was not my desire, I reasoned it must be the Holy Spirit. Eager to obey Him in all things, I told my very surprised husband to sit by the window.
Within a few minutes, a woman sat down in the aisle seat next to me. We exchanged smiles and hellos. I was praying silently and fervently, promising the Lord I would do or say whatever He wanted. As we made small talk, I learned Raquel was from Argentina. As the plane began to take off, with all the accompanying noise, I whispered to my husband. I asked him if she was probably Catholic, being from Argentina. He affirmed my assumption, so I assumed she knew about Jesus.
Not hearing any direction from the Lord, I decided to read my Bible. Believe it or not, ever since I’d been filled with the Holy Spirit a few days before, I could hardly put it down! Before then it had been a dry book I really did not understand. It was the first thing I wanted to make sure I packed, and I pulled it out of my purse. I began to read the Old Testament.
At that time, we were attending a Messianic Jewish congregation, as well as visiting a Presbyterian church from time to time. Some of the papers from the congregation (with some Hebrew on them) were sticking out of my Bible. Raquel turned to me and said, “Oh, you read the Old.” I said, “Yes, and I read the New, too.” She said, “I only read the Old, because I’m Jewish.” WOW! My heart began to pound out of my chest, because at last I realized why I’d been instructed to “sit in the middle seat.”
As we began to talk, I told Raquel about our congregation. I talked slowly and simply, since English was not her native language. At one point, I held up two fingers close together and said, “The Jewish Messiah and Jesus are the same.” She said she had never heard that before, and seemed very intrigued and open. I shared parts of Isaiah 53 with her, and how accurately Isaiah’s prophecies spoke of Yeshua, or Jesus. When we parted at the airport, she promised she would read Isaiah 53 when she got to her friend's house in Switzerland.
My joy was so great when I got off the plane, I had lost all interest in looking at Switzerland! My husband couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to look out the window of the airport as he stood in line for the rental car. All I wanted to do was call my friend and “Jewish spiritual mother” at the congregation back in the U.S. I quickly found a telephone and did just that! Driving through the mountains, my heart was praising God and praying for Raquel. God is good, and He speaks today!