I was on my way back from a prayer meeting in the Pagosa Springs Church in Colorado. It was night, and a few minutes into the trip my vehicle suddenly had a problem and I had to pull over. In that mountainous region there was no cellphone signal; therefore I was unable to communicate with anyone.
So I prayed and asked God to send someone to help me. God allowed the engine to work for a few more miles, but the problem came back just as I found an ample rest area for parking next to the road. There were two trailer trucks stationed there already, but I didn’t ask the drivers for a hand because I figured they would be sleeping.
Soon another trailer truck came and parked very close to my vehicle. I told the driver I needed help and he kindly solved the problem. Before continuing on, I handed him a Christian magazine called El Centinela.
He asked me if I was a Christian. When I told him that I am a pastor he got very happy and told me he was coming from far away, begging God to send him someone to help him solve a conflict he had with his conscience that had been tormenting him for quite some time.
The curious thing was that I was also praying and asking God to send someone, but for a different problem. In the midst of that solitary and obscure location between the mountains, I counseled the man and prayed that God would give him peace and allow him to continue his trip without torment. He was very grateful and, thanks to God, was already feeling much better. We exchanged names and cellphone numbers before parting.
Several days later we started to communicate and I offered to study the Bible with Alberto. He gladly accepted and over a period of time I taught him about the prophecies of Revelation, of which he already had a basic understanding due to his membership with another church.
As he traveled throughout different states, he received Bible studies via cellphone that started opening his eyes to the great truths that he had previously ignored. When Alberto heard of the Sabbath doctrine, he did not hesitate in speaking with his boss about allowing him to stop every Friday evening and continue after the Sabbath was over. It was a great blessing that his boss granted this request.
In every city or town where he stopped, Alberto would search for an Adventist church to attend on Sabbath. In that way he was able to meet many brothers and sisters in Christ who would learn of his testimony. They gave him many publications and invited him to eat in their homes. Alberto also began to share the Adventist message with coworkers, as well as his testimony.
Every two weeks he would go back to rest in his home city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where he lives with his family. He shared everything he was learning from the Word of God with them. Eventually, he began attending a Seventh-day Adventist church in El Paso, Texas, which is very near his city. His mother lives there, and his desire was to get her out of her erroneous religious tradition and unite her with our church—for which he had to struggle a lot. The Adventist pastor had asked him on various occasions if he wanted to be baptized, but Alberto told him that he wanted to come to Colorado to be baptized by me.
In June of 2015 we held an evangelistic campaign in the church of Bloomfield, New Mexico. I encouraged Alberto to get permission from his boss to travel and be baptized at the end of the campaign. Alberto made the arrangements and almost three years after our encounter on the road, I had the privilege to baptize him. Before the baptism, Alberto announced that on that same Sabbath and almost that same hour, his mother was also being baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist church in El Paso.
The next day Alberto joyfully returned to his work with the firm determination to continue sharing the gospel so that others may also enjoy the truth that set him free.
And all this was made possible through a cellphone after an encounter prepared by God. He allowed a mechanical problem so that Alberto de Santiago could get to know the divine message that has transformed his heart. Praise God for His mysterious ways!
At the time of this writing Rubén Balaguer was the district pastor for Durango, Colorado.