Alexander Sánchez felt invisible during his first year of college. He had never felt so all-alone as he did that year. During his second year of college, he at last found God in a real and mighty way. And it all has to do with prayer!
“I’ve been involved with The Salvation Army since before I can remember,” Alexander says. “I was only a year old, and my mom was looking for a good place to worship that could provide her a good basis for raising me and my older sister. I’ve been in the Army ever since.”
At first, the little family attended the corps in Caguas, Puerto Rico. But when the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Guayama was under construction, Alexander’s mom was the first the Army hired (as business manager).
“So we started attending the Army in Guayama, even though it was a hour commute for us from Caguas,” he says.
The first time he publicly accepted Jesus was during his enrollment as a Soldier. But his feeling of truly becoming “born-again” didn’t come until his sophomore year.
“I didn’t have any friends during my freshman year. I barely spoke in my classes or at home. I felt completely alone. I was invisible,” he admits.
During that period in his life, Alexander felt himself drifting away from God. He was also mindful that he was drifting away from his family and friends who loved him.
When Youth Councils rolled around that year, Alexander accepted an invitation to go with the group from the Guayama Kroc. It was that weekend that his life was radically changed.
“It wasn’t going very well until we had a special dinner on Saturday,” Alexander says. “There was a period that night where all we were doing was praying. I just kept my head bowed. I didn’t feel like God was really going to listen to me.”
After a while, however, Alexander began to pray.
“Instantly I felt a rush of heat passing through me. It was like a fire had started in me where I was standing. I felt as if there was something pouring over me. I felt something calling to me, telling me that I wasn’t alone; that I wasn’t invisible!”
Alexander describes what he felt as “a love bigger than any love [he] had received before.” After that night, he adds, he felt “refreshed.”
“It was as if I was the same person, but completely different inside at the same time,” he says. “I knew that God was with me and that He would be with me wherever I went.”
Alexander’s love for music took a whole new turn as well. He got involved in music and music instruction at the Kroc Corps Center, and even in events in the Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands Division.
“I’ve realized that God needs me here at the Guayama Kroc. I had prayed to God to show me how to serve Him, and He sent me here to the Kroc Corps Center. He sent me ‘home,’” he says.
Alexander’s breakthrough leaves him with a heart for other young people who are feeling like he used to.
“When people hear a testimony, they usually expect a grand story of how God completely transformed a person’s life, how they were pure evil and now they live for God and only for God,” he points out. “My story isn’t like that. My story is different because it shows that not everyone at your corps may feel close to God. Some may feel invisible to Him and to others!”
Alexander wants other young people to know that feeling like you are invisible to God is a dangerous thing.
“Some may think that just because we’re not part of the worship team or the brass bands or activity at the corps, we’re invisible. I’m living proof that even a guy who prefers to work in silence and not be the center of attention [is not invisible], God sees us and cares for each one of us.”
Alexander plans to be a teacher and complete his bachelor’s degree in a few years. After that, he wants God to show him what His further plans are for his life.
“I want to serve Him with all my heart and soul,” he says.
And to think, it all began with a very earnest, and very private prayer.
Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor