Esfir Zavricico [Photo courtesy Esfir Zavricico]

September 12, 2023

Faith Alive

What started out as an ordinary summer day turned into a life-changing experience for Andrews University student Esfir Zavricico.

She began the morning with her regular devotional time, then prepared to travel with her father from their home in Turkey to Moldova. 

When they arrived at the airport, they were moved to a separate area to pay some fees. Esfir recalls their number in line was 1072. “We realized the line was moving too slow. Everyone started worrying they would miss their flights, but no one could do anything.” 

While Esfir and her father waited, a mother with five children approached. Unable to understand Turkish, the mother sought a translation of what was happening. Esfir’s father was able to communicate with the mother in Russian and explained that the family needed to wait until their number—1084—was called forward. “Their flight was the same time as ours,” Esfir notes. “We waited and prayed.”  

Hours passed, as did the boarding time, and the mother again requested help. Esfir’s father began asking people to switch places with the family, but nobody would move. While he was busy, Esfir saw her number on the screen. “It was our turn!” she recollects. Although she was anxious not to miss her flight, her devotional reading, which had been about serving one’s neighbors, came to mind. “I felt this strong conviction that God would be very pleased with us if we helped His children.” 

At that moment, Esfir decided to ask her father to switch numbers with the family and, in a matter of seconds, he agreed. “The mother couldn’t believe her eyes,” Esfir conveys. “There was so much joy in my heart! My dad and I were sure we did the right thing because we knew God was pleased.” 

Placing their trust in God, Esfir and her father continued to wait. Miraculously, the line began speeding up, and their number was called with minutes to spare before their flight departed. After running through the airport, they arrived at their gate to find that the plane had just begun boarding. “God had stopped the whole plane just so we could make it to our flight. My faith became real, and my devotional lesson came alive that day! I could feel how God miraculously gave me His love for my neighbor,” Esfir expresses. “May we all experience God and have our faith come alive through experiences like this!” 

Compiled by Isabella Koh, University Communication student writer, Andrews University