Naomi had a vision of a man sitting on a bench in a park. She knew he needed to hear the gospel today. Since she was preparing for a church service at La Chapelle Church of God later that afternoon, she could not go herself. And so, she told her friend Aggie, a GEM missionary, "You really need to go to the park."
Aggie grabbed a friend who spoke French and took a five-minute stroll across Place du Parc road and came upon a little park.
"As we went, we felt led to a bench," Aggie recalled. "And we found a [homeless] man, like in his 60's. We ended up going up to him. I only know very little French, so the other girl was ready to speak."
Amazingly, the man spoke to Aggie in Spanish, which is her second language. He said his name was Allen.
"I felt in my spirit, that he's been disappointed by God," Aggie said.
So, she shared the gospel with him, but Allen was hesitant about her story and began to talk to them about other religions. He told them about his horrible divorce with a woman who went to church. And since then, he wanted nothing to do with religion.
"You feel like God's let you down, and you're disappointed in him, right?" Aggie said to him. "And that's why you're looking in other religions?"
Allen looked at her straight in the eye, and almost began to cry, "Well, yeah." Then he tried to change the conversation.
But Aggie would not let this go so easily. "I know that it's hard to believe," she said, "but I promise that if you seek him again, if you let Jesus come into your heart, I promise you that the things that didn't work out, he will work them out for your good….And if you open your heart again, he will heal those parts that have been broken."
After inviting him to come to church that afternoon, and receiving a very hesitant "I'll think about it" in response, Aggie and her friend left the park and went back to La Chapelle.
They waited for Allen to come. Thirty minutes before the service started, he walked through the doors.
In that moment, Aggie's eyes were opened to who he was. "I wasn't seeing him as an old, 60-year-old homeless man. I was seeing him as a child of God that has been wounded and has become a prodigal."
She ran to him and said, "Please, come sit with me." She gave him coffee and wanted him to feel at home. Throughout the worship, Allen was touched by the love that he was receiving from these strangers. Because his only experience of the Christian religion was with the Catholic Church, he soaked in this worship that was foreign to him with tears in his eyes.
After worship, they took the offering. And though he had nothing, he pulled out some money and put it in the plate. "I saw that he gave, from the little money that he had," Aggie said. And she wanted to bless him for it.
"Something that the Lord has been really just pressing in my heart, is that we work with the body of Christ," she said. "We don't do anything individually, but God works among unity and being together." She went to the church leaders and asked if they could give back to Allen. They decided to give a portion of the offering to him.
"I just want you to know that this is a gift to you to show that God is always faithful," Aggie said to Allen. "We just want to bless you with this money."
He came back to church the next week.
"It showed me that God is working in Belgians through the body of Christ," Aggie said. "Again and again, [God] shows me that it's not just the missionary from America working alone; God is working among the workers that he sends with the Belgians, with the people that are already here together."