Among the counselors at the Franklin Graham Festival in Timisoara, Romania, this past July was Monica Stuparu, a woman who risked her livelihood to follow Jesus Christ during the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.
In 1985, I heard that Billy Graham was coming to Timisoara to speak at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
I was separated from my husband, and I didn’t understand what was going on in my life. Looking for answers, I had started to go to church, but nothing had changed.
On the day Billy Graham was to speak, people started to gather at noon in the square outside the cathedral. When I got home from work, my cousin invited me to go with her to see Mr. Graham.
When we arrived, we found a large crowd and many police officers, but somehow we were able to get into the cathedral just before the doors were closed. The people outside pounded on the doors, but the guards would not let them in. Then the people outside started to sing Christian songs.
We could hear their singing during the whole program in the cathedral. I don’t remember the details of Billy Graham’s message, but when he gave the invitation, I raised my hand to accept Jesus.
From that day on, my life was different. I started to go to evangelical churches. I was hungry for God and wanted to know Him better.
My mother, however, didn’t understand my decision and was angry with me. And when my colleagues at work noticed the changes in my life, they asked me if I was attending an evangelical church. I said that I was. In 1988 my boss gave me an ultimatum: give up my faith or be transferred to a different job and eventually have no job at all.
I was transferred, and they continued to tell me I had to renounce my faith or I would lose my job. Thankfully, at Christmastime in 1989 the revolution occurred, and we were free from the control of communism.
Since that time, both my mother and my two daughters have committed their lives to God. Now I work as a computer operator and graphic designer for a Christian publisher in Romania, and I have told my neighbors and former colleagues about my relationship with God.
During the Franklin Graham Festival, I was able to counsel with people who did not yet know the joy, fellowship and blessing of being with Jesus. I pray that all Romanians will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior–I want them to have eternal life.
Read more about the history of Romania and the 2008 Franklin Graham Festival in Timisoara! billygraham.org/Romania »