In July 2012, Alex Sattelmeier got married. Shortly after, the newlyweds found out they were expecting.
But not long into the pregnancy, the couple also learned that their baby had serious brain and heart complications. Her name was Noel, and they were told she would live only minutes.
Sattelmeier, 25, lives in El Paso, Texas, where the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope will be held this weekend, April 5-6. She is working with BGEA as an administrative assistant to help with counseling and follow-up, which is essential in the discipleship process for those who make decisions to surrender their lives to Christ.
It’s been nearly a year now since baby Noel passed away. She was born on April 26, 2013, and lived for 15 days.
“Two of the doctors said they’d never seen anything like it,” Sattelmeier said. They were surprised she survived that long.
It was after Noel’s death and a period of mourning that Sattelmeier decided to check into a job she’d heard about—the job with BGEA. There, she has found encouragement and healing. She has also learned how to share her faith with others.
“There (are) tons of people out there that need to be saved,” she said. And she can use her testimony—and her daughter’s story—to share the joy and comfort that Christ can bring.
When Sattelmeier was pregnant, she was unsure how God would use her baby’s complications for good. She thought it might come through healing. She knew God could do it: “I mean, what a great testimony would this be?”
She prayed and prayed for God to heal her daughter, but then God did something else. He changed her heart. Instead of praying for healing, she started praying that He would be glorified, no matter what.
Although Noel lived only 15 days, Sattelmeier has already seen how her short life is glorifying God. Even before her passing, doctors were dumbfounded by Noel’s ability to breathe on her own.
The heart-wrenching experience of losing her daughter has also taught Sattelmeier something: “That God is so good. Her life had more of a purpose than I could ever imagine.”
Today, she sometimes shares the story of her daughter when people ask. It gives her a chance to talk about her faith and God’s goodness. While taking the Christian Life and Witness Course in preparation for the Festival, she learned how easy it can be to share that with others.
“We don’t want to get uncomfortable for Christ,” she said. “We want to stay in our little comfort zone.”
Sometimes, people feel like God has blessed them with a heart for serving others or some other gift, so they think they’re off the hook when it comes to sharing the Gospel. But God has called everyone to share.
“I don’t have an excuse not to,” Sattelmeier said.
She has been praying for several friends to go to the Festival with her, and knows that no matter what happens, God can use it for His glory.
Watch and Share: The Greater El Paso Festival of Hope will be streaming live at www.billygraham.org/live, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (MST) and 7:30 p.m. EST on both April 5 and 6.
You can be a powerful witness to Christ: BGEA offers an online version of the Christian Life and Witness Course which teaches participants how to share the Gospel in daily situations and how to care for new believers. Click here.