Women of God on the Mission Field
June - July 2000 1
Statement of Purpose The chief end of all mission work is the Glory of God. Our greatest concern is that His Name be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun (Malachi 1:11). We find our constant motivation, not in man or his needs, but in God, His commitment to His own glory and our God-given desire to see Him glorified in every nation, tribe, people and language. The HeartCry Missionary Society is dedicated to the task of fulfilling the Great Commission through sponsoring national pastors and missionaries in the foreign field.
Principles of Ministry * Every need of this ministry will be obtained through prayer. We may share our missionary vision with others and even make known to them the specific tasks which the Lord has laid on our heart to do, but we may not raise support through prodding or manipulating our brothers and sisters in Christ. If this ministry is of the Lord then He will be our patron. If He is with us, He will direct His people to give and we will prosper. If He is not with us, we will not and should not succeed. * We intend to never enlarge our field of labor by contracting debts. This is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the New Testament. In secret prayer, God helping us, we will carry the needs of this ministry to the Lord and act according to the direction that He gives. * We will not compete with other biblical mission agencies, but use the resources that God has given to us to work in partnership with them. If the Lord directs, we will sacrifice our own goals and resources that other mission works may be helped and the Kingdom of God increased. * In meeting any need, those of us who are supported financially by this ministry will be the first to sacrifice all things necessary for the will of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. * We will not measure the success of this ministry by the amount of money given, Bibles distributed or national missionaries supported, but by the Lordâ€™s blessing on the work.
HeartCry Magazine A ministry of the HEARTCRY MISSIONARY SOCIETY EDITOR, Paul David Washer ASSOCIATE EDITOR, Rosario Washer MANUSCRIPTS, Rita Douglas PRODUCTION, Kingâ€™s Publishing
HeartCry JUNE-JULY 2000
In this Edition 4 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 21 22 23
From Charo’s Desk: Missions debt to the women of God. Gladys Marin. Serving God in the high jungle region of Peru. Teresa Suarez. Ministering to church members and gang members alike in the city of Lima. Efigenia Colmenares. Ministering to pastor’s needs in the Andes Mountains and preparing children for the Kingdom of God. Karen Laos. Teaching women the Word of God and caring for her own family is a full time calling. Ruth Acea. Proclaiming Christ to one of the most dangerous, drug infested neighborhoods in Lima. Concepción Zacarías. A testimony to God’s faithfulness. Cristina Churata. Church planting in northern Peru. Laura Carrasco. Keeping HeartCry together in Peru. Maria Zaracías. Balancing evangelism, youth camps and family. Esther. Ministering alongside her husband in the country of Nigeria. Lydia. Soul winning, teaching, and admonishing the women of Nigeria. Lidia Hadczy-Pop. Ministering despite hardships in Moldova. Simona Palade. Discipling university girls in Romania. Maria Muresan. Supporting her husband’s ministry in the prisons of Aiud, Romania. Paraschiva Gae. Preparing Sunday School teachers throughout Romania. Corina Vocila. Trusting God through the Romanian revolution and beyond. Suplimenta Marin. Ministering among the Gypsies of Romania.
HEARTCRY MISSIONARY SOCIETY
From Charo’s Desk
Charo Washer, playing with the children after open air evangelism in the small pueblo of La Noria, outside the north Peruvian town of Sullana.
For this special women’s issue of HeartCry, my husband Paul suggested that I take his place in writing, “From the Director.” It seemed appropriate to me also that a woman should introduce the many women of God whose lives, testimonies and ministries are presented in the following pages. I have looked forward with great anticipation to this issue, because I long for you to know these women for whom I have such great respect. It has taken a great deal of time and patience to collect each testimony. The women often work in the background and are not as accessible as their missionary husbands. Some of them are my closest friends that I have known for years, others I know only through the ministry, and still others, I know only from the testimony of those around them. I pray that you will read their stories with great care, that the testimonies of their lives will encourage you to trust God and seek Him passionately. To begin, I must first mention that it would be impossible
to overestimate the role of women in the history of Christian missions throughout the world. In the Gospels, we find the women who traveled with Jesus and the apostles and ministered to their needs. In the book of Acts, we find Priscilla who, along with her husband Aquila, was used by God to spread the Gospel and strengthen the early church. Also, there is Phoebe the servant of the church in Cenchrea, and Suodia and Syntyche who shared in Paul’s struggle in the cause of the Gospel. In modern times, we have women such as Amy Carmicle of India, Mary Slessor of Calabar and Lottie Moon of China. They poured out their lives like water for the glory of God and their names can be found in anyone’s “Whose Who” of world missions. At the present, there are women around the world who lay down their lives for the sake of the Kingdom of Christ and that one pearl of great price. There are also young girls in grade school, high school and college that dream of one day bearing that sacred title of
missionary. While other girls are thinking about proms and dates and dresses, their hearts are set on Christ, His glory and the cries of the lost who must hear the Gospel. I hope that these testimonies will encourage them to not only pray, but to go! The women you are going to meet in this month’s publication of HeartCry will probably never be known to the world, but their names are known in heaven. They stand faithfully beside their husbands as colaborers in the Great Commission of Christ to spread the Gospel to the farthest corners of the world. They have sacrificed both comfort and leisure to give themselves to a greater call. They are light bearers who follow Christ no matter the cost. Like the rest of us, they are just “ordinary people” who have been called and equipped by an extraordinary, all-powerful God. Most of these women are mothers, some are even grandmothers. Many of them have been in the ministry longer than I have been alive, have walked closely with God through countless trials, and have the look of maturity, knowledge, and wisdom. Others are young, barely out of their teens and recently married. What they need, God will supply, and with their tireless zeal, they will make up for what they lack in maturity. Some of these women have had the benefit of a formal education and even seminary training. Others have been taught through their countless hours in God’s Word and by their many years of labor in the field. Some live in urban areas with electricity and running water, while others must draw their water from a well and read by kerosene lamps. They are all so different, and yet they all share the same passion - to live their lives as a testimony for Christ and for the glory of God. As you read through these testimonies, you will begin to notice something that goes contrary to the opinions of the world and even of some who are in the church. These women are dedicated to Christ and His Commission by first of all being dedicated to their husbands and families. They are not “Christian busybodies” who constantly give themselves to the activities of the church, but they are supremely dedicated to the high calling of serving Christ in the context of their families. I so appreciate the many times in their testimonies that I read such statements as, “I support my husband in the ministry God has given him,” or “I am devoted to being an example to my children and raising them in the love and discipline of the Lord.” In Romans 12:2, the Scripture states that the will of God
is “perfect” or “complete.” This means that there is no need to violate the will of God in one area of our lives in order to fulfill the will of God in another. God’s will is perfect, therefore as wives and mothers, if our ministry outside the home is having adverse affects on our ministry to our husbands and children then we are out of God’s will. Today, Christianity is filled with so many superficial and time consuming activities. There are women’s groups, Bible studies and outreach ministries, and yet the family seems to be disintegrating before our very own eyes. Many women are caught up in this senseless rage and are allowing “ministry opportunities” to swallow up the time that should be devoted to caring for their husbands and children. We are deceived in thinking we can please God outside the home, even if it means neglecting the home. But what a powerful testimony it is to unbelievers when they see our husbands loved and cared for, our children submissive and polite, and our houses clean and in order. We can be used of God to impact our generation by simple obedience - the caring for our husbands, and the training of our children to be men and women of God. Please understand that I do not have anything against women in the ministry, for I myself am a missionary and have led countless Bible studies and women’s groups. I am simply crying out that we must return to the most important things. It does no good to study the Bible if we do not obey its commands. Should we be ministering outside the home if our home is in disarray? Should we teach on the second coming if our children are disrespectful, without proper manners, and ignorant of the most basic Biblical truths? Could it be that so much of our extracurricular activities are nothing more than a substitute for simply doing the will of God as it is set out for us in the Holy Scriptures? If a woman desires a husband and children, then she should dedicate herself to this high calling with passion and purpose. It is an employment that requires more than cooking, cleaning, and caring for a house. The woman behind the man and the hand that rocks the cradle is one of the most powerful instruments of God in all of Christendom. Let us not buy into the lie that seems to be creeping into our own churches that a woman is her “own person” and that she should pursue her own interests and career above all else, even if it is a career in the ministry.
Charo Washer 5
Gladys Marin I was saved when I was very young in an evangelistic campaign at my church. My parents were Christians and we all attended church together. My family was extremely poor and therefore even as a small girl I had to work and help supply for the needs of my family All these responsibilities at such a young age kept me busy and away from becoming curious about sinful things. At times, my friends would ask me to accompany them, but for the most part, I simply did not have time to run around like the rest. Instead, I studied, worked, and went to church. This was my life. I met my husband Arturo in my church. I had known him for years, but I did not pay attention to him until we were both asked to stand up in the wedding of a mutual friend. As time passed, we grew to know each other and my parents granted him permission to visit me at our house. I admired his desire to serve God and supported him as he labored in our church and in other missions. When I was 19 years old, we asked my parents permission to be married and it was agreed that we should wait another three years. This would give Arturo time to finish His studies at the Bible Institute and also give us the opportunity to save enough to be able to have a place of our own. Little did we know that it would actually be almost seven years before we would be married. Two years after we asked permission from our parents, Arturo was put in jail for a crime he did not commit. He had been robbed of his personal documents a year earlier, but never went to the police to report it. His documents were used by drug dealers to commit drug sales and other crimes. Everyone who was even acquainted with Arturo knew that he was innocent, but he was sentenced to spend eight years in prison. From the first day of his prison term until his
release, many brothers and sisters from different churches visited him almost every day and he won many people to Christ. Soon after Arturoâ€™s imprisonment I went to brother Paul Washer for help and he immediately hired a lawyer who found out what had really happened. Apparently the powerful drug dealers who had used Arturoâ€™s documents discovered that he had been put in jail, and they bribed the authorities so that He would remain there without opportunity for release. Because of this, there was little that could be done in the power of flesh. The authorities asked us to pay $3000 in bribe money to release Arturo, but we refused and turned to God in prayer. I could not understand, but I only prayed and God gave me grace to believe that He would remain faithful and that He had everything under control. Many brothers and sisters from our church would visit Artuto to encourage him, but they would leave the prison encouraged themselves. God had given Arturo such grace and joy that he spent his time witnessing to the prisoners and preaching almost every day. Like Joseph in the Bible, he earned the trust and respect of some of the prison guards who allowed him to go to the different cell blocks of the prison to visit other prisoners and preach to them. At times, we were even allowed to take food and medicines to the prisoners and Arturo would use these things to minister to them. Thanks to our God and His working through HeartCry who provided the lawyer, Arturo was able to walk out of jail after only a year and three months. The day he left the prison he came to my house. When I opened the door and I saw him standing there I was speechless. I did not know that he had been released. I cried tears of joy and gratitude to God and thanked him for sustaining us through the terrible trial. We were married two years later. My husband and I now minister very close to his hometown in San Martin of Moyobamba. This is a very beautiful
Left: Arturo and Gladys Marin live in this room in the town of San Rafael in jungles of San Martin. Below: Arturo leads the music in his church with the help of his wife Gladys playing the tambourine. Opposite page: Gladys draws water from behind her home. They have no running water.
area of Peru that is part jungle and part mountains. The people here are very loving and very generous in spite of their poverty and need. This is one thing that has always impressed me very much about poor people, especially poor believers. They are often more generous and selfless than the ones that actually have much more to spare. This has taught me to give with love and to give trusting that God will provide for my needs. My ministry is to work with the children, teach womenâ€™s Sunday school and help in anything I can. I often travel with my husband and support him in all that the Lord has called Him to do. The women in our village work in groups and hardly ever alone. They cook together, wash together and
work on the farm together. At first, I felt ashamed because I was younger than most of them and could not work as hard or as long, but now God has helped me and I am able to keep up. I thank God for the opportunity to minister among the poor people of the jungle and I thank all of you from Heartcry who support us in our ministry. We appreciate the clothing we received from the churches in the United States and the special gift that each of the missionary wives received from the â€œunknownâ€? sister in the United States who loves us. We are very blessed and grateful for this gift of love.
Teresa Suarez My mother was the first in our family to become a Christian and she suffered terribly because of her faith. Every time my father was drunk, he would beat my mother for leaving the Catholic church and joining the “Evangelicals.” I cannot tell you how many times I watched my mother being beaten and verbally abused simply because she believed in Jesus. I often wondered why she would not obey my father and return to the Catholic church. Why would she hold on so firmly to Jesus and her new found faith in Him? As for me, I continued to attend the Catholic church and would try to convince my mother to do the same. She would only pray for me and read to me from the Bible. Many times my mother invited me to visit her church to hear the Gospel, but I always refused. I was determined to remain faithful to my religion, but I could not deny the change in my mother’s life. One day, a woman who was a very good friend of my father’s became very sick. She would scream and convulse as though she was going to lose her mind and no one knew how to help her. My mother went to her and prayed that God would heal her. Everyone was frightened, but when my mother prayed the lady was healed. Then the lady who had been almost insane trusted in Christ and was saved. My father was so astonished over what he saw with his own eyes that he repented of his sins and trusted in Christ. The miracle became well known throughout our entire neighborhood and many people came to have great respect for my mother. My mother and father began to attend church every time there was a service. I could not hardly believe what had happened in my father’s life. I could not understand what could be so powerful to make him change his mind about all that he believed. He was a completely different man. Soon after my father’s conversion, I graduated from school and found a job in a factory near my home where I worked ten hours every day of the week. One evening, my mother invited me to go to church with her, but I told her that I was too tired. After everyone had left the
house, I sat there alone and thought to myself, “Why am I here alone when I could be with my family?” I decided to walk to the church, but was embarrassed to go into the building. Then an usher saw me trying to look in from the outside and invited me in. I found my parents and sat with them. I did not feel as out of place as I thought I would. I listened to the preaching that day and it touched my heart, but I was too embarrassed to go forward during the invitation. It was not long after that I was invited to go to an evangelistic campaign with the youth of the church and I was converted. The preaching of the Gospel finally broke through my cold heart and I confessed my sins, crying out to the Lord and asking Christ to save me. I returned home that evening and told my parents that I had come to know Christ as my Lord, and they were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for what the Lord had done for me. Not long after my conversion, a young man by the name of Adalberto moved into our neighborhood. He liked me very much, but I would only witness to him about Christ and what He had done in my family. He was unconverted and without the knowledge of God. Because of this, he thought that what I said was nothing more than a nice story. I would not go out with him because he was not a Christian, but I would always witness to him and treat him as a friend. He would sometimes come to the factory where I worked in order to walk me home. I was a young Christian and still ignorant of the Word of God. I know now that I should have never allowed him to walk with me. After a short time, my father discovered that there was a young man walking me home from work. One night as we walked to my house, my father jumped out from the bushes with a belt in his hand and began to chase Adalberto and beat him as he tried to run away. As Adalberto was running, he fell into a ditch full of water. My father caught up to him and beat him even more. Finally my mother arrived and yelled out to my father, “Antonio! What do you think you are doing? You are a Christian, how can you behave like that? What kind of testimony are you giving this boy?” When my father finally stopped beating Adalberto, he told him that we were Evangelical Christians and that it would not be possible for him to see me because he was not a Christian. I thought I had seen the last of Adalberto, but as time went by, he began to attend our Church. At first, he stood outside and would not enter because he was afraid of my father. Little by little, he made his way closer to the building and listened from afar. One day, my mother saw Adalberto near the door and invited him to come in. She told him that it would be fine and that my father would not do
Teresa Suarez and some of the believers of their church, “The Lily of the Valley.” They are preparing a fellowship meal in honor of what God has done for them through your giving to HeartCry.
anything bad to him. He attended the church only to impress my father and me. He wanted us to see that He was a good and moral man, but my father would not even look at him or give him permission to speak to me. One day Adalberto sent word to me that we needed to run away and be married. I told him that I did not agree with his proposal and that I could not dishonor my family or my God. When he heard my response, he was broken. He was sad that I did not love him “enough” to agree with his plans, but he was even more broken because he realized that he had never thought or cared about God’s opinion. It was at that
moment that he began to see his great need of God and he began attending church in order to seek God’s face. A short while after, Adalberto was converted and gave his life to Christ. Everyone in the church received him joyfully, even my father who had beaten him. The next day, Adalberto spoke to my mother and asked her if he could speak to my father about dating me, but my mother told him that it would not be possible for him to date me until he became a mature believer. She also told him that my father would be waiting to see if he had really become a Christian before he would allow him to get close to me. As time went by Adalberto became a very active Christian in our church. He was also obedient to my father in all things concerning me and never once tried to visit me. Then one day when I least expected it my father gave Adalberto permission to visit me at our home and six months later we were married. Not long after, we both felt the call of God to serve Him full time and we attended a Bible Institute to prepare for the ministry. We graduated together. God has blessed us very much. When we found out that we could not have children, God gave us a beautiful baby boy who had been abandoned and dropped off at the seminary. We adopted him and now have a very happy family. My husband and I minister together in the church every day. I teach the women and children and support my husband in his ministry. Recently, we have begun to minister to one of the gangs that live in our area. These young boys are from 12 to 18 years of age. They come to our house every Friday night and we have a Bible study together. They are very troubled and violent young men, but God is doing a beautiful work in their lives. By God´s grace, they are beginning to see the great love He has for them. Please pray that they will all come to know Christ so that their lives will be changed.
Efigenia Colmanares presenting an award to one of her grade school students at the Divine Redeemer Christian School in Sullana, Piura.
Efigenia Colmenares I had the great privilege of having a Christian mother who raised me up in the fear of the Lord from the time I was a little girl. I became a believer at the age of nine during a Vacation Bible School. Not long after that I was also baptized and felt Godâ€™s call to serve Him with my life on the mission field. I prayed to God that He would open the necessary doors and provide for me everything I would need to prepare for the ministry. I also prayed to God that in His time He would give me a husband who would love Him above all things and would have a great desire to serve Him in the mission field. I also told God that if there was not such a man that I would gladly serve Him alone. After graduating from high school, God lovingly opened the doors for me to go to the Bible Seminary of Iquitos where I studied to become a missionary. I began attending a church in Iquitos where I met my husband, Angel. He had been pastoring the work for almost five years when I began attending there. We were like-minded and had the same passion for missions. On October 31 of 1971, we were married. I am privileged to say that God has answered my prayers by giving me a godly husband that loves Him, his family, and serves His congregation faithfully. God has put us together as a team, and now we serve Him in the mission field with our
three sons. They travel with their father and me and help us in the preaching and singing. I feel privileged to be a ministerâ€™s wife because I believe that the labor of a pastor is the most important one in the world. To tell others the Good News of salvation is above any other task or position this world can offer a man. When we were first married I traveled with my husband through some of the most remote areas of the Andes Mountains and taught the mountain women how to study the Scriptures and witness to others. I made my own teaching materials out of used magazines, cutting pieces here and there to make visual aids to teach the sisters. In 1990, God opened a wonderful door of ministry in our own church when He allowed us to establish a Christian school. The paper work was hard and tedious, but God gave us strength to persevere in this task. At first we spoke to many people about this vision and we did not receive much encouragement. We trusted God and He began to lead us. When the school began we had only five children. At this moment we have 60 children enrolled. Many of the children do not pay for their tuition, because they come from such poor families. The Word of God is the center of everything we do and teach. I praise God because through this ministry we have been able to reach children and entire families for Christ. Please pray that God will provide according to His riches in glory that we may be able to find another place to use as a school building since ours is getting too small. I also covet your prayers for us, especially for the health of my husband Angel. Pray that we will remain faithful witnesses of Christ in this generation. I thank each and everyone that supports this ministry and makes it possible for us to reach others with the Gospel. Your labor of love is not in vain in Piura.
Efigenia and Angel Colmenares laboring in Piura, northern Peru, where God has planted 550 churches.
Karen Laos I became a Christian in a rather unusual way. I began attending the Church of the Savior that the Washers had established in the district of Barranco. My aunt and cousin had recently become Christians and were members there. I was a very angry and bitter person and my only motive for going to Church was to prove that the Christians were hypocrites and liars. My parents were divorced when I was very young and there was always fighting, gossip, anger and bitterness in my home. I could not believe that the love and consideration that I found among the Christians was real. I knew they had to be false. My aunt who attended the Church of the Savior owned a small restaurant and since the co-pastor, Paco Laos, was single he would eat there often. Since I was not a Christian, I could not believe that Paco was as moral and polite as he appeared. I told my cousin many times that there was no one as moral as Paco tried to appear and that he was just a fake. One day, I found Paco’s phone number and I decided to make a prank call to prove that he was not a virtuous man. I told him that I was a secret admirer and that I was in love with him. He remained silent on the other end of the line and then said, “Whoever this is, I do not appreciate this kind of conversation,” and he hung up. I made several other attempts to prove that he was a hypocrite, but he always hung up on me, not giving me the opportunity to speak. He was always firm, but never angry. I wanted him to be angry or to follow my game, but that never happened. Because of this, I continued to attend the church and saw that he was always a godly man in everything. One day during the preaching, God brought conviction of sin upon me. I saw my own sin, and my blackness of heart. I was broken by Paco’s testimony and the love and kindness of the other Christians. That day I came to know the love of God in Christ and my life began to change. I began to study
the Word, and was discipled by the older women. Eventually, I became more and more involved in the things of God and even participated in the music ministry of the Church. As time went on, I began to have feelings for Paco, but I only kept them to myself. Because of the terrible things that I had done, I did not think for a minute that something would ever happen between us. But after a few years passed, God brought Paco and me together and we were married. We now have a daughter and are co-laborers together in the ministry. Besides my relationship with God, the most important thing in my life is my ministry at home; meeting the needs of my husband and daughter. I travel with Paco as much as I can when he goes into the jungles and mountains, but it is difficult with a small baby. I am quite shy, but God has helped me to come out of my shell and has given me the strength to have a teaching ministry among women. I have a great love for the teaching ministry. The first time I was ever given the opportunity to teach I was quite nervous, but God gave me the grace to do it. Paul and Charo Washer were scheduled to preach and teach in a Bible conference in the jungle, but were unable to come. Without Charo, there was no one to teach, and I felt as if God were looking straight at me saying, “What about you?” Like Moises, I tried to think up all the possible excuses, but I knew that none would be good enough. Paco helped me to put my lessons together and although I was nervous, I was able to teach with the help of God. Since that time, God has put a great love in my heart for the women in the mountains and jungle, and for teaching them the truth of Scripture I want to thank each and every one of you that labor with us through your prayers and support. We are honored to be your hands in reaching out to the people who live here in Peru. I covet your prayers for my family and me. It is our prayer to be faithful witnesses of Christ wherever He may place us and to be made more like Christ in every aspect of our lives.
Karen teaching her children’s Sunday school class in the Church of the Savior in Barranco, Peru.
Ruth and her daughter Joyce serving the Lord in the district of La Victoria.
Ruth Acea Before I became a Christian I lived a very empty life. I was not a “bad person,” and therefore most of the people in my neighborhood considered me to be a moral woman who lived a “good” life. Nevertheless I was a very sad woman with a terrible void. I thought that my sadness resulted from the fact that my parents were divorced when I was a little girl and that I had never seen my father, but the real reason for all my turmoil was that I desperately needed God. My life began to change one day when my older sister became a Christian and invited me to the church that she was attending. The very moment she asked me, my heart jumped as if it knew somehow that the answer to my pain and sadness would be within the walls of that church. I was not able to attend on the day she asked me, but went the following day by myself. I thought that the church was open every day and did not know that there were special meeting days. When I arrived, the janitor was cleaning the church and no one else was there. When I asked him when the service would begin, he told me that they did not have services that day. As I started to walk out, I was very sad until he stopped me and told me that there would be a special evangelistic campaign beginning the next day. I went sad, but came back the next day to hear the preaching. I could not wait to go to church that day, I felt as if I was going to explode. I did not understand at that time that the Spirit was working in my heart and leading me to Christ. As I listened to the message, I could not help myself and I cried throughout the entire service. I felt as if the preacher knew everything about me and everything in my life was open and exposed for everyone there to see. I realized that God
knew everything about my sin and yet I felt His peace, love and acceptance. That night I repented of my sins and laid them all at the feet of Christ. I laid down all my pain and walked out of the church a new person. I had always been a very shy girl all my life, but God began to transform me completely. I began to be more confident and open before people. I began to grow as I read the Scriptures and saw that I was special to God and that He alone could supply all my needs. With each new truth I learned about God, I began to cling to Him ever more tightly. Now I see that my life would have been terrible if I had not come to know Him. I loved to sing ever since I was a child and as I grew older I took singing lessons and sang professionally. At that time I did not know it, but God was preparing me to be able to sing for Him in the church as I do now. I love singing to my God and about what my He has done for me. I met my husband Rogelio (Cuba) when I was 37. Even before I was a Christian, I always knew in my heart that there was a very special person worth waiting for. It was a long wait, but God brought me Rogelio in His perfect timing. After we were married I found out that I could not have children. This was very sad for me, but then the Lord allowed us to adopt a beautiful baby girl, our daughter Joyce. She is truly the joy of our lives and we thank God for her. In the church where my husband and I labor, I teach the ladies Bible study. At first it was difficult for me because I had never taught adult women, but there was a need for someone to do it and God helped me in His power and for His glory. I also owe a great deal to Heartcry for providing the teaching materials that I use and for my husband who is always a great help to me. He is a very good teacher and helps me prepare my lessons. With the group of ladies that I am teaching, we visit other women in our neighborhood that need Christ. We also visit the nursing homes and witness to the ones that are lost and without Christ. Sometimes we find great opposition because many of the women in the nursing homes are very religious and set in their ways. Others, are so lonely and sad that they listen to us and tell us to come back and visit them. With the help of my husband and the members of the church we also have a ministry to the street children of La Victoria. Some of these children are sons and daughter of the people who sell drugs or are prostitutes on the streets. We witness to them and teach them about the Lord. At the moment, we do not have any opposition from their parents. Please continue to pray for us as we preach the Gospel, that God may save many of these little lives in His time and for His glory.
Concepcion Zacarias speaking to some of the ladies in the Baptist Tabernacle; a church established by her husband Ernesto Zacarias. The church is located in Villa el Salvador one of the poorest areas of Lima.
Concepcion Zacarias I became a Christian after I was already married. At the time my husband Ernesto and I had many problems. We fought constantly and even thought about divorce. One day a group of Christians began to meet in our neighborhood and held worship services. My children were curious because of the singing and began to attend these meetings. I did not think anything of it because I did not care one way or another. My children would come home after going to these meetings and they would share with me about what they had learned there about God. They were very happy and liked these meetings very much. They invited me to attend, but I did not care to hear someone preach. Eventually this group established a church in our neighborhood and my children attended faithfully. One day they came home with invitations to attend a special service and listen to a group of preachers from Argentina. I did not even acknowledge the invitations, but my husband went for the sake of the children. When my husband returned he was in tears and told me what had happened to him. He said that Christ had forgiven his sins and that He was now a Christian. He asked me to forgive him for being a bad father and husband and told me that we needed to begin a new life with Godâ€™s help. I stood there in disbelief and was very sarcastic. I thought that my husband was only acting in order to keep our marriage together. For a long time I was very hard to the Gospel and treated my husband very bad. He had a very bad temper and I constantly tried to make him mad so that I could prove that he was only a fake and that Christ had not done anything in His life. He only prayed and waited for God to work in my life. I could not deny that a change had taken place in my husband, but I could not make myself admit it. Finally, I became very sad because of my attitude, and
decided that I was tired of being so angry and bitter. I waited for an invitation to go to church with my husband and children. I was still proud, but deep in my heart I really wanted them to invite me one more time to go with them because I knew that I needed Christ to change my life. One day, my husband pleaded with me to go with him and the children and I accepted. When we arrived at the church I paid very little attention to what was being said because I felt nervous. When the invitation was given, I saw that many raised their hand so I raised mine too. I did not know that by doing that I was showing that I was interested in knowing more about the Gospel. The preacher asked the ones that had raised their hands to come forward and a counselor took me to a room where she explained to me the Gospel. This time I was very attentive and I understood everything well. I repented of my sins and gave my life to Christ. I came out and my family received me with tears of joy. We began to attend church together faithfully and I began to grow in the Lord with the help of other sisters in the congregation. My faith in the Lord was tested a couple of years later when my husband fell under the influence of his old friends. He went back to the world and started to act like he had before. I prayed and fasted many times for him and the people in our church prayed earnestly with me until God brought such great conviction of sin upon him that he could not live in his sins any more. God restored our family once again and showed me that He is my rock in this world even if everything else is completely wrong. He will never leave me nor forsake me. Now, many years have passed and my husband and I are church planters. We thank God for His salvation and for giving us children that now serve Him as preachers, seminary professors, missionaries and music ministers.
Cristina Churata My name is Cristina Churata and I am 22 years old. I came to know the Lord when I was 15 years old. When I was a small child my parents took me with them to an Evangelical church, but their conversion was not genuine. After a short while they returned to the world and have not turned back to God. Growing up, I attended a Catholic school for girls. I admired the nuns because I thought that they were women without any sin in their lives and that they were closer than others to God. For a time I even considered becoming a nun myself. One day I was invited to a Baptist church by a friend and heard the Gospel for the first time in my life. I immediately repented of my sins, gave my life to Christ, and began to attend church faithfully. At the moment of my conversion, God gave me a desire to follow and serve Him. I began to travel with others from our church to minister to smaller and
needier churches in the poor areas around Piura. My new life in Christ brought me much trouble in school because I shared with other students about Christ and what had happened in my life. In spite of the pressure, God gave me the strength to stand and be a witness for Him. He also helped me to grow in grace and holiness. After I finished high school, I still felt in my heart a strong desire to serve God with all my life. Through prayer God confirmed to me His calling that I should become a missionary. A few years later, I met my husband Florencio, while doing evangelistic work in the mountains with the Colmenares family. He and Daniel Colmenares were attending seminary in Trujillo at the time. The more I grew to know Florencio, the more I knew in my heart that he was the person that God had prepared for me. I admired Florencioâ€™s love for God and His people. His dedication inspired me to serve the Lord with greater devotion. A few years later, after Florencio graduated from seminary, we were married. I now minister alongside my husband in the new work of Villa Primavera. It is a small, but growing church and we thank God for the people there. Our baby girl, Rosario, was born a couple of weeks ago and we are thrilled and grateful to God for His many blessings. My pregnancy was very difficult, but God gave us faith to pray and ask Him to keep the baby and me safe. I thank God for you, my dear brothers and sisters of Heartcry, who encourage and uphold us by your support and prayers. We are encouraged by brother Paul and Charo when they visit us and tell us of your concern and love for missions in Peru and the world. May God bless each one of you who labor beside us.
Florencio (with guitar) and Cristina (flowered shirt on right) ministering to a group of children during an open air outreach in Sullana, Piura. Florencio currently pastors the Baptist Church of Villa Primavera.
Laura Carrasco My name is Laura Carrasco and I was born in the city of Lima. I became a Christian at the age of 18. Before Christ saved me, my life was very sad and full of problems. My younger sister and I were the fruit of my mother’s third marriage that was at that time falling apart. There were eight of us children in all, and my sister and I were the youngest ones. We lived in a house with my aunt, uncle and my grandmother. I spent a great part of my childhood in lawyer’s offices and court rooms because of the constant battle between my mother and father over our custody. Most of the time, I did not see my father, but when I did, I only rejected him because of all the bad things I had heard about him. When I was 15 years old, my father came to know the Lord and I was allowed to visit with him. My father had become a godly man who would always tell me about Christ and urged me to give my life to Him. I told my father that all that did not interest me, but I could not deny that I could observe a radical change in his life. He was not angry, and he did not fight with my mother when he saw her. He actually acted much better than she did in every way. I was confused about all this but kept it all inside me. One day when I was 18, I was invited by two of my girl friends with whom I had gone to school, to go to a special service for youth in their church. These girls had become Christians and were very active in serving the Lord. At first
I hesitated, but I was curious and did not have anything to do, so I went along. The thing I remember the most about the Bible study was how friendly and kind everyone was and how much fun I had that day. I continued to go to the Bible study more than anything because I liked the people there, but one day, listening to the pastor’s preaching I understood the message of salvation, repented and surrendered to Christ. When I told my father what had happened in my life, he was very happy to know his daughter had also been saved. Being a Christian in my family was not easy and I was ridiculed constantly. Later, I understood that as a Christian, I would have to face persecution even from my own family. I drew all my strength and comfort from God and continued to grow. I was discipled by a good Christian woman and in time I became more involved in the things of God . I met my husband Jose a year after my conversion in the Church of the Savior and we were married a year later. We now have two children, Jose Alonso and Natalia, and we serve God together in the Church of the Savior of Barranco. I minister in our church as the secretary, teach the small children’s Sunday school and help out with the youth when there is need. I also work as HeartCry’s “secretary” here in Peru. I am in charge of sending the missionary reports to the HeartCry office in the States and of distributing the missionaries salaries.
Martin and Mary Zacarias ministering in Lima through evangelism and discipleship.
Mary Zacarias When I was six years old, my life was devastated by the divorce of my parents. From that day, my life was spent traveling from one of my parent’s to the other, taking turns, visiting one and then the other, and seeing up close how sin can destroy the lives of people. The Lord reached out to me and saved me when I was 15 years old thanks to the invitation of some young Christians that came to my house and encouraged me to attend a youth group meeting in their church. I was soon converted and started attending the Philadelphia Baptist Church which was very close to my home. It was there that I started to grow in the Lord and was baptized. One year after my conversion, I attended a missions conference and God touched my heart to become a missionary. I was sincere in my desire to obey God, but soon the pressure, and the negative attitudes of my family made me give up my calling and I did not prepare myself for God’s service. Instead, I received help from family members to study in the university and graduate with a secular occupation. When I was 23 years of age, I married Martin Zacaría and soon after, I gave birth to our first baby girl. By then, in spite of being an active Christian, my heart had become cold, materialistic, and complacent. The love I had for my career had almost erased that which God had once called me to do. Our lives were good, but just when I thought I knew what the future had in store for us, my husband felt the call of God to serve Him. A few months later, we were on our way to Argentina to study in the “Word of Life Institute” in Monte. Everything happened very fast, but I could not bring myself to object because I knew that it was all of God. Not long after, God broke my cold heart with His Word and made me see that the fields were white unto harvest. It was then that I laid my selfish desires
behind and asked God to give me another opportunity to obey and serve Him. I am now 33 years old and God has given me three beautiful children. Each one of us enjoy serving our great God and living by His grace through faith. My greatest ministry is to support my husband, teach my children to love and serve God, and keep my home. I know that this world and even some Christians may think this is too small a goal, but I know this is my God-given call. In my church, I minister teaching the children between the ages of 6 and 8 years of age. I also work with our pastor’s wife, leading the women’s Bible study. We have approximately 25 women that come and thanks to our God, they are godly testimonies in their homes as well as in the church. Most of these women are very involved in visitation and the evangelism of other women. Once a week my husband and I lead the couple’s Bible study in our home. We have about 15 couples that come to study God’s Word. We have a great time of fellowship and teaching. God has manifested His power in these meetings by saving and changing lives and building up Christian marriages. I am also involved in the training of four young women that are leaders in their women’s groups and in the discipleship of two married women that were recently saved. I thank God for the changes that I can see in their lives already. One of them, Maria Rodriguez, was rescued by God from a terrible life of sin and vice. Because of her radical conversion, her immediate family has now come to know the Lord and she is faithfully reaching out to the rest of them with the Gospel. During the summer we have several youth camps with the purpose of reaching youth for Christ. Most who attend the camps are Christians, but they also invite their unbelieving friends. God demonstrates His faithfulness and love by saving souls and changing lives. At the camps, I am usually working with other ladies in the kitchen, preparing food for the hundreds of youth who come. It is a difficult job at times because of the intense heat of summer, but every time I see a new soul come to Christ it makes it all worth it. I know that any work, done as unto the Lord, glorifies Him and allows me to participate in the Great Commission. I pray to our Lord that everything that I do in His name will be pleasing to Him. My desire is to be a godly example that my children can follow and others can imitate to the glory of God.
Esther (Last name withheld to protect her and her family)
I was born to parents that had both made professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but who did not live like Christians. When I was a small girl, most of my friends were Muslim and I would follow them to the mosque because that is where they attended with their parents. Our relatives were also Muslim and attended the same mosque. I began to learn Arabic with my friends and grew in the Muslim religion until I was 15 years old. Throughout my childhood, my mother attended a Christian church, but would not encourage me to do so. My father simply lived as though he did not know Christ at all. One day, my school teacher, who was also a friend of my mother, invited me to their Sunday school. I told her I could not go because I was a Muslim. But for some reason I became very curious about the Christian religion and finally agreed to go with her. I thought to myself, “At least
I cannot get in trouble for this because my mother goes there.” I went that day and liked the place and the people very much even though I was very shy. When the pastor asked the visitors to stand up, I was very scared, but I stood up and every one welcomed me. This made me feel better. I liked the church so much that I continued to attend, but I was not saved. I listened to the message of salvation many times, but my heart was not touched by the Spirit. I made a profession of faith because I thought that it was necessary in order to continue attending. I went through baptism classes and was baptized, but I was not a Christian even though I was a moral person that attended church faithfully. I knew that my heart was dead and apathetic. In time, I met the man that is now my husband. I met him in our church. We became good friends and finally he asked me to marry him. I told him “no” because I wanted to further my education. He said that he would not stop me from doing this and so we spoke to my parents and they agreed. After we were married for some years, my husband told me that God was calling him to serve Him as a missionary and that we needed to go to Bible College. Because of this, we both left our home town and went to Bible College together for three years. After we completed our studies we were assigned to a church in the area. I taught women and children, but my heart was restless and I doubted everything I did. It was then that I began to think that I was not a real Christian. One day, while listening to the preaching of another pastor, I was greatly touched by the message. The preacher spoke about the importance of a quiet time with God to meet with Him, pray, and share fellowship. I knew then that I did not know God because I did not desire this, and did not share this type of relationship with Him. Knowing this, I could not go on living my life as I had before. I went alone to my room, knelt before God and ask Him to save me. He has now saved me, and given my life and ministry true meaning. Every year, He uses me more and more. He has given me unspeakable joy as I minister in His name with all my heart. I thank Him for His patience and mercy towards me, a sinner. I minister alongside my husband, teaching the children and youth, and encouraging the women of our congregation. I also help to meet the needs of my family by weaving our national cloth and selling it. Thank you for all your help and prayers as we minister to our people here in Nigeria.
Andrew and Lydia with their newborn son Richard, ministering in Nigeria.
Lydia (Last name withheld to protect her and her family)
I became a Christian in 1982 through the testimony of two young men who were street preaching. My family professed to be Presbyterian, and therefore I grew up doing what they did, but without thinking much about it. Aside from going to church occasionally, my family and I lived like others in the world. I lived without any remorse or sadness in my heart when I sinned. I did not even know what sin was until a revival swept across our country by the grace of God. One day I was walking in the street and I saw the two young men I have already mentioned preaching about sin, salvation, the second coming, and hell. I laughed at them when I first heard them because I thought that their message was ridiculous and a fantasy. I also thought that they were ridiculous for making fools out of themselves. I could not understand why they stood there in front of all the people and continued preaching while everyone made fun of them. But my laughing soon stopped when they came to me and showed me in the Bible how my sins had separated me from God. They told me about where I stood with God at that
very moment, and how I could never save myself no matter what I tried to do or how I tried to live. They told me about what Christ had done to save me and that if I rejected the message of salvation my blood would be on my own hands. They preached to me that I needed to repent and believe in Christ. I became very afraid when I heard these words and told them that I wanted to know Christ and to repent of my sins so that I could escape the wrath of God. Ever since that day I have been free from condemnation and Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life. God is so good to me. Through the many trials and temptations, He is always faithful and merciful to me. I am happy to be His child. Above all things, my ministry is my home and caring for the needs of my family. I love my family and I help my husband in every way I can. I love my children and I dedicate time to teach them the Word of God and train them up in the Lord. My ministry in the church is soul winning, teaching and admonishing the women. I also teach the ones that want to become Sunday school teachers for children.
Lidia Hadzy-Pop My name is Lidia Hadczy-Pop and I was born on April 22, 1966 in Deva, Romania. My father worked as a miner, but after he became sick we moved to Salaj. My mother was a Christian, but my father was not. This brought many sufferings and trials to our family. He often fought against my mother and made her life almost impossible. I attended the church with my mother from my childhood. From the beginning, I enjoyed praising God very much. At the age of twelve, I began to sing in the church’s choir. At the age of 15, I repented of my sin, Jesus saved me, and I was baptized. The following six years, I worked in our church as the children’s Sunday school teacher. Because of my difficult family situation, I was very sad and did not think that I would ever marry, but I prayed for a
godly husband. In 1989, God answered my prayers and I was married to Pavel. He is a very faithful man who loves God and is very active in God’s work. He is also a good father to our two sons Pavel and Phillip. After our wedding, my husband began his theological studies at Emanuel Baptist Seminary from Oradea. In 1994 my husband graduated from Seminary and God directed us to go as missionaries to an unreached area of our country called Rimnicu Sarat, a town of 40,000 inhabitants that had no church. We moved there in 1994. The mission work began with many difficulties and trials because many of the people were against the Gospel. The town of Rimnicu Sarat is very religious and the people there observe many traditions, but they do not have Christ. In various occasions we tried to become their friends but they rejected us because we are Christians. This was hard for us because we come from an area where the people are more open to the Gospel. Many times I cried and wanted to leave this place, but God finally gave me peace as He confirmed in my heart that it was His will for us to be here. In the few years that we have been here in Rimnicu Sarat we have been forced to move four different times from our home, because the people do not want us to live near them. Many times our ministries have been hindered or even destroyed by the priests and the people because they do not want to hear the truth about Jesus. Regardless of all these trials, God has been faithful to help us and encourage us. After five years we have twelve members in the church in Rimnicu Sarat and others who attend as friends. Also we have another house church in a village near our town with four members and a few friends. I work in the music and teach the women and children. I also travel with my husband when he makes pastoral visits. Please pray for us. Our greatest desire is to share the Gospel to as many people as we can. I thank God for His guidance and for His care. We know that He will continue to bless us. Praise His Name! Lidia (seated, third from the right) and her husband Pavel (seat, second from right) with their sons Pavel and Phillip, and some of the believers from their small congregation in Rimnicu Sarat, Romania.
Simona and some of her strongest disciples at the university of Brasov, Romania.
Simona Palade I was born in an Orthodox family that attended church only for Christmas and Easter. My parents were workers in a factory and they could hardly sustain us. The only one who ever spoke to me about God was my grandmother who raised me, but she did not know the Scriptures. When I was a teenager I began to ask myself, “Where did I come from? What happens to people after they die? Who created me? Who is God?” But I did not find the answer. In 1986, my grandmother died and a part of me died with her. When I graduated from high school, I studied Veterinary Medicine at the university. During that time, I met my husband Alex, and we developed a friendship that was interesting and romantic. We were married and it seemed to me that everything was going to be perfect for the rest of my life, however, it was not too long after this that we were thinking about getting a divorce. At one of the lowest points in my life, one of our colleagues at the university challenged us to read the Bible. We read it, but we could not understand what it meant. Then one day Alex began to change radically. He took my family and me to see the Jesus film. During this film, God spoke to me and I repented of my sins and asked Christ to save me. Alex and I were both baptized in Bucharest and our lives and family have never been the same since. We began to read the Bible and to share the message of God with other couples that were friends in the building where we lived. In 1992, we met some students from Campus Crusade and they taught us how to share Christ with other students. One of the first people converted through my witnessing was Ani Tomeci. Both she and her husband are now missionaries supported by HeartCry. During my third and fourth year at the university, Alex and I became very involved
in evangelism. After we graduated, Alex received a very good proposal to teach at the university, but we chose instead to work for God’s glory on the university campuses in Romania. In 1994, our first child was born and we named him Timothy. After this, I became very sick and had to undergo an operation. During my time in the hospital, I shared the Gospel with the women in my room and one of them named Natalia received Jesus as Savior and Lord. Today she is a missionary. Her mother and her sister were also saved. I understand that all these things are the work of God and I only need to be where He is working. In 1996, our second son David was born and he has brought great joy to our family. In the same year we moved from Bucharest to Brasov in order to start another campus work in that city. At first it was difficult to get adapted to the place. My husband and another missionary worked among young men, and I worked with the missionary’s wife among the young girls. In that year, only two girls became Christians (Cristina Popescu and Mariana Moldovan). After that first year of testing, there has been great fruit. God has been faithful to give not only the seed to the sower, but also a great harvest. Please pray for me as I continued to work among the young girls on campus and the women who live around the university. There are so many who are lost and have need of the Savior. Immorality is rampant and there is often little interest in the things of God. Pray that young girls and women will be opened to start a Bible study and do personal discipleship. Pray especially for the university girls to be convicted by God to renounce their immorality. They need Jesus to change their lives. Please pray that I be dedicated to my husband and the demanding schedule that he must bear as a missionary. I also need wisdom to raise my children in the love and discipline of the Lord. Finally, pray for my parents and my brother who are still not saved. We will continue to work for God’s glory as always. May God bless you.
Alex and Simona minister at the University of Brasov, Romania.
found a new desire in my heart to serve the Lord. Not very long after this, my husband left this job and became a full time pastor and missionary to the prison. I thank God from the very depths of my heart, because He loved me, forgave my sin, and gave me zeal to minister beside my husband in the Great Commission. I thank God for you and for your prayers and love for us and the mission work here in Romania.
Maria Muresan My name is Maria Muresan and I grew up in a Baptist family who attended church every time the doors were open. I thank God with all my heart that my family was Christian. I became a Christian at the age of 19, having realized that going to church and having a Christian family did not save me. I had to repent and present myself before Christ, asking Him to save my soul. I needed a personal relationship with Him. I needed assurance of my salvation that no one else could give me. Although I had always considered myself to be a Christian and very moral, God showed me that I was nothing more than a sinner who needed salvation. Not long after my conversion, I met the man who became my husband. We were married and God blessed us with two girls: Adina and Alexandra. As a married woman with a husband and family I attended the church regularly, but I felt that something was missing. The monotony of family life, and the problems that the world brings made me to feel far from God. My prayers were cold and without power, and I even began to make excuses to avoid going to church. In spite of this, God loved me and again He brought me to Himself. After the revolution, God opened up the door for my husband to work as the manager of a small factory that operated in a prison in Aiud. As he worked, he tried to minister to the prisoners who were around him. Every night he would come home and tell me about them and the struggles of their wives and children outside of the prison. Listening to my husband talking about the prisoners and their needs, I became aware that I needed God to forgive my indifferent attitude and light my cold heart. I needed Jesus and His presence in my life. Immediately, I
Paraschiva Gae My name is Paraschiva Gae and I am 61 years old. My husband Stefan and I have 5 children. All of them are married and four are serving the Lord. In 1974, my husband met some Christians from Germany who worked in childrenâ€™s ministries. My husband and I were Christians at the time and he thought that it would be very useful to start a ministry among the children in our churches. God confirmed my husbandâ€™s desire to work with children by showing him a systematic method to organize Sunday Schools for children in every Romanian church. We prepared the materials and began to teach the children. We traveled throughout Romania to nearly every city and town: Bucharest, Timisoara, Arad, Lugoj, Cluj, Oradea, Iasi, Braila, Ploiesti, and many others. As a mother of five children, it was not easy to travel and we sacrificed a great deal in order to accompany my husband on these trips, but God always helped us. During the reign of Communism we worked very hard. We had to prepare materials and to teach the brothers and sisters secretly because we knew that there were many spies in our churches ready to report us to the Communists. Fi-
nally the secret police stopped us from bringing materials from other countries and this affected our ministry. In spite of their constant harassment, we continued to smuggle Christian literature into Romania. In 1984, the police finally accused us of working in opposition to the Communist system. They started an investigation of us that lasted more than two years. On the 17th of February 1984 our house was searched by the Communist police and they confiscated from us 600 Christian books and many of our teaching materials. We were arrested, but God protected us and we continued our work until Communism fell. When I look at the past I can say that God was good and faithful and that everything worked out for good. Thousand of children’s lives have been turned to God. Many of them became the leaders of different churches in Romania and now labor for God. In the last 10 years, I have been very sick and I cannot continue the work with my husband. It is really only by the grace of God that at my husband’s age, (68 years old), he can continue the work in Romania. He trains hundreds of Sunday school teachers that they might teach the children in our churches. Praise the Lord for His care!
Corina Voicila I was born on the 7th of October in 1966 in the town of Arad, in West of Romania. My husband Valentin Voicila and I have one daughter, Maria Margareta, she is 12 years old. I work as a nurse’s assistant in a public school and my husband ministers as the editor of a Christian program that is aired on Romanian radio. I first saw Valentin when he worked as a theater actor in Arad. Later, I met him personally and we were married eight months later. In December of 1989, the Romanian Revolution began and it was the most difficult time of our lives. Our baby girl was one year old when the Revolution started in Timisoara, a city located 40 miles away from Arad. My husband and I spent the first night of the revolution locked in our tiny apartment listening to Radio Free Europe. This was the only radio in Romania which told the truth about communism and it was
outlawed by the Communist Government. We were filled with fear and sorrow because of all the people, even mothers and children, who were being killed in Timisoara. I knew that it was only a matter of time before the revolution spread to Arad and I also knew that my husband would die before he let anyone kill a woman or child in his presence. The second day, the revolution spread to our town, all the factories were shut down and there was chaos in the streets. My husband was a well known personality so he became the revolution’s leaders in Arad. Even though we were not believers, God’s love towards us was enormous. I felt His love and protection as I remained alone with my baby girl while Valentin was in the streets. I did not see or hear from Him for two weeks. I did not know if he was alive or dead. Later I came to understand that although my Valentin faced their tanks and bullets with nothing in his hands, he could not die because God had a special plan for his life. It was during these terrible moments that we became aware of how much we needed God. After the Revolution, Romania became a free country, and the Gospel was being preached daily in evangelistic meetings in stadiums, cultural houses, public halls and churches. My husband made a profession of faith and was baptized almost immediately, but I was not prepared for such a decision. Then between 1991-1992, several earthquakes struck Romania. They were small in intensity, but God used them to make me think about the serious questions of life. While laying in my bed, I thought about what would happen to me if I died or the ceiling came down and crushed me and my family. I realized that I had no power to protect my own life. One night I could not resist any longer and I asked my husband to pray with me because I wanted to give my life to Jesus. I placed my life in God’s hands that night and asked Him to forgive my sins and my soul was saved. Since his conversion, my husband has been involved in many different kinds of works and ministries for the cause of Christ in Romania. I have dedicated myself to care for my child and support Valentin in all that he does in the Name of the Lord as he labors in the Great Commission. I thank God for our life in Christ and for His care.
Suplimenta Marin I was born in a very poor family with 10 children. My father was sick almost all his life and my mother was the only member of our family who worked very hard to sustain us all. We had a very hard life growing up, my mother suffered a great deal trying to care for us. One day we went to visit my motherâ€™s sister, who was a Christian. God used her to speak to us and my parents made a profession of faith. Although I was only 13 years old, my heart was also touched by the Holy Spirit and I was convicted of my sins. I immediately repented and believed in Christ.
After a short time, my parents stopped attending church, but I continued because my heart had been changed by Jesus. He lived in my heart and I could not continue to live without Him. One year later, I met my husband. This may seem shocking to you since I was only 14, but it is the custom of the Gypsy people to marry at that age. My parents were against our marriage, because my husband was a Christian and they wanted me to marry with an unbeliever that had money. Finally, the Lord worked out everything and we were married with my parentâ€™s consent. We have now been married for 20 years and have 10 children. During this time we have had many problems and many joyful moments. God has blessed us with the privilege of knowing His Son and I praise Him because he gives us power to serve Him and to raise our children in the fear of God. My husband has been serving God since he was 18 years old. He preaches the Word of God with great faithfulness and dedication. I am very happy and proud that God has called him to be a missionary and to lead the church in Cornetu. I am his helpmate in the home and in the ministry. I will continue to be by his side and to support him in everything as God gives me strength. When time allows and I am able to take time off from the needs of our large family, I go out with my husband to make pastoral and evangelistic visits. I always pray for him to have open doors when he witnesses, preaches the Word and organizes evangelistic meetings. I pray for my country to be filled with many people who know Jesus and follow Him with a whole heart. God bless you for your prayers and support that helps us to continue to work among the Gypsies. We are grateful for your love and desire to see our people come to know Christ. Please pray specially for the new believers among our people as they experience much persecution from their relatives and friends. There is much corruption and sin among the unbelieving, but God continues to move and save the souls of men for His glory.
Suplimenta (far right) with some of the Gypsy women
What part of “Go” do you not understand? Matthew 28:18-20
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