by Dani and Doina Vasilca
Dani and Doina are national workers (GLO), reaching people in Romania through various ministries.
Sometime after the Second World War, Doina’s grandfather met a group of Seventh-day Adventists who came to his village with their teaching. The following weekend, he went to a different house to hear a Brethren preacher. Doina’s grandfather preferred the Brethren teacher’s message, telling his wife and daughters, ‘This is the place that we will go to from now on!’ We will always be grateful to God for that Brethren worker and for Doina’s grandfather’s decision! What if that Brethren preacher had never visited that village? Later on, Doina’s grandfather became the leading elder in his village assembly. This is how Doina’s mother was introduced to God’s Word. Dani’s family has a similar story.
We both grew up in a Brethren church in the Romanian city of Sibiu and attended Sunday school classes, even though this was not officially allowed by the government. Dani’s father was the choir conductor and Doina’s mother a Sunday school teacher. At school we were taught the theory of evolution and the doctrines of Marxism and communism, which deny the existence of God. However, we heard God’s Word at home and at church, and came to faith when we were children, being baptised at the age of 14.
God’s Word Confirms the Calling
During our high school years, we met mission workers from the UK and USA, who risked their lives smuggling Bibles into Romania, and assisted in teaching at churches and youth camps. Because Doina, aged 16 at the time, had learned English at school, she was asked to translate for some of these workers in secret house meetings. An elderly worker from the USA trained us to lead a children’s Bible lesson on Genesis chapter one. From that point, Doina knew God was calling her to work with children. She started to help with the Sunday school and has not stopped since.
Doina studied dentistry and worked as a dental technician for two years. Following the Romanian revolution in December 1989, when the communist regime was overthrown, she received a scholarship to attend the Belfast Bible College and theLeadership Training Institute in Switzerland. Through God’s guidance, Doina quit her secure job and grasped this opportunity for ministry training, uncertain of what the future would hold. On returning to Romania, she worked at Golgotha Bible School for many years and later joined GLO Romania.
After high school, Dani worked for a telecommunications company. Following the revolution, he studied engineering and completed his military service. We married in 1995 and Dani worked at the first local Christian radio station as a sound engineer. It was a fantastic ministry, which he loved, but it meant we were rarely together because of his odd working hours. Meanwhile, GLO Romania had started a printing ministry, and were looking for someone to help with desktop publishing and the printing of Christian literature. This was God’s provision for Dani. He joined GLO where he learned new skills, which are being used in the production of millions of tracts and hundreds of Christian books.
At present, we both share God’s Word through children’s clubs and summer events, online Bible lessons, radio ministry, home Bible studies, family camps and events, and the translation and design of books and Bible studies.
God’s Word Touches Lives
We praise God for the Vacation Bible Club in Sibiu, held in June 2017 at our home church: 400 invitations were distributed, 182 children enrolled, and dozens of parents and grandparents attended. In all, 140 children came for all five days, and 25 teachers and volunteers supported the work.
Those enrolled included the children of our Orthodox neighbours, the colleagues of church members and our Sunday school children’s friends. They knew little about the God of the Bible and the true faith. Each day we had Bible lessons, a time of worship, learned memory verses, held a Bible quiz and did craft and sports activities. Every day, God’s Word touched their lives. One child said, ‘Thank you for teaching me the verse from God!’ Others asked, ‘Tell us more about Heaven!’ and ‘Is Revelation a real book?’
…children learn more about God and His love, and have fun at the same time
God’s Word Changes Hearts
In July 2017, we ran a seven-day camp for children in the Carpathian Mountains. Forty-six children were challenged through God’s Word and many lives were changed. Almost half of the children were unchurched children from Orthodox families. Every day was packed with activities: morning exercises, Bible studies, crafts, devotional times, hikes, mission stories, sports and, of course, good food! Many were from underprivileged backgrounds, who ordinarily could not afford to come to camp; however, we trusted God to provide for them. An eight-year-old boy from an atheistic background prayed: ‘Dear God, thank you so much that you left your Son on the Cross to be punished in my place.’ One Orthodox mother phoned one of the leaders to say, ‘Thank you so much for everything. My daughter is changed after the camp.’
God’s Word is for Everyone
In summer 2017, we travelled over 850 miles to five different locations, where we met 327 gypsy children and over 100 adults. We shared the Word and love of God throughout nine different programmes with the GLO summer team. Every year, we pray for the right team members and God always answers that prayer! 2017 was no exception: Ruth and Steven came from Scotland, and a Romanian family, Daniel, Roxana and their daughters, Ana-Maria and Sylvia, from Northern Ireland. Daniel was nearly aborted and does not know his biological father; he had a very difficult childhood with an alcoholic stepfather and he even lived on the streets. Daniel lost his mother when he was very young and worked as a rubbish collector. He heard God’s Word on Christmas day at a house meeting, to which he was invited by his wife’s brother in Romania. Daniel was saved and, though he struggled with alcohol for a few more years, he has successfully stayed sober for the last six years. He returned to Romania to share his testimony in three different gypsy churches. At the end of the GLO summer team, Daniel and his family said that they wished this team would go on forever! They are based in Northern Ireland, and have a burden to reach the Romanian community through their witness. Pray for gospel opportunities for this family.
God’s Word is the Same
Many years ago, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) created a website for children called Wondersurf. It is a virtual world where children learn more about God and His love, and have fun at the same time. They can explore Bible adventures and real-life mission expeditions, read Bible devotionals, play games and write messages to their Trail Guide, who checks their lessons, awards them points, answers their questions and prays for them. We were asked to help with the Romanian version of Wondersurf, amecpenet.com. After a short time, we knew we would like to be involved in this ministry and that we could not do it without specific prayer for the children. The users love the Bible lessons and games and they seek God with all their hearts. Children and teenagers are very open, and ask many important questions about life and death.They struggle with complex issues and need prayer support. In order to protect their privacy and to maintain the official policy of the site, the children’s names must remain anonymous and they cannot be contacted except via the website. This is an amazing work that needs faithful prayer.
God’s Word Runs Swiftly
Nearly four years ago, CEF Romania started an online radio ministry, radiovesteabuna.ro, to reach Romanian children and parents all over the world. It has been accessed from 112 countries: from India, where God’s Word cannot be shared freely, to the USA. We are involved in recording and editing radio programmes and audio productions, writing scripts for Bible lessons and children’s stories, broadcasting live shows and keeping in touch with the listeners. A lot of work is involved for five minutes on air! But God’s Word is at work through this medium. We receive messages through email, Facebook and WhatsApp. One mother said: ‘Thank you for the story of the unforgiving servant! My son struggles a lot in this area with his friends at school.’ A woman from Austria wrote to thank us after a programme about grace: ‘Today’s show was God’s answer for me. I know His grace is enough.’ A teenager, aged 15, asked many questions including: ‘What happens to my soul when I die? If I ask God to forgive me and I still sin, will He forgive me again?’ One family from Spain wrote: ‘We listen to your show on the way to school. We really pray for you. God is using you as an instrument to encourage us and to help us to keep going for Him. Please continue what you do!’
We want to keep sharing God’s Word. We can only do it as you pray for us and for the people who hear the Word.