Evangelist - Brasov, Romania
Adrian, who is called Adi by his friends and colleagues, lives in the city of Brasov, Romania. He and his wife Paula have three daughters. Adi serves the Providence Church in Brasov as an evangelist. His bold preaching and powerful presentation of the gospel has given him a unique ministry in the community.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born in an Orthodox family, and although we did not lack anything financially, we lacked God, and that brought a strong affect upon my life.
Since I was a little boy, my father was always away from home working abroad, and my stepbrother and I were left in the care of my stepmother. As I grew older, I came to understand that my stepmother was very unfaithful to my father, and my elder brother would often steal money from our home. I was a six-year-old boy who almost never saw his father, but only talked to him on the phone. I had a great void in my heart and I tried to fill it up with video games (which were a luxury in 1988).
In 1990, my father bought a house and we had to move. I had to leave behind all my friends. Just when I thought that we had finally settled and my father would not leave again, he started a new business and ruined my hopes of having a happy family. My father left in 1991. My stepmother was supposed to take care of the new business, while my father went to work in order to sustain the capital of the new company. Four years passed quickly, but these years affected me deeply because of the lack of my father. My mother tried to replace him, but did not have much success.
My childhood passed quickly. My stepbrother wanted nothing to do with me, and my stepmother continued to be unfaithful to my father. Our neighbors told me what was going on, and they gossiped about it continually. I was stunned and refused to believe the truth. I found my joy and comfort in sports. When I was twelve years old, I started practicing handball. First, I played for our school team, and then for the National junior team. All the love I should have offered to my father, I offered to handball. I also wasted much time playing video games and thinking about the best clothes.
Finally, in 1995 my father came back home. I was very happy with all the family reunited. But soon my father found out about my stepmother’s unfaithfulness. At first, he forgave her, but my mother continued to be unfaithful. I did not understand their quarrels or why they slept in separate rooms. In a short time, I found myself being summoned to the Court and asked to choose between my mother and my father. The judge was a lady with warm eyes. She asked me to approach the bar, and in that glacial atmosphere, she asked me with the kindest voice I had ever heard: “Do you want to remain with your mom or your dad?” It was like somebody would have asked me: “Do you prefer to have your hands or your legs cut off?” I chose my father, who was less guilty in my eyes for what had happened. It was a hard moment in my life. They gave me a schedule about when I was allowed to meet my mother. I loved her and I overlooked what she had done.
As I was growing up, my father supported me body and soul in handball, but my stepmother started visiting me less often. Meanwhile my father “rebuilt his life” and started living with another woman. The relationship between my stepmother and me grew worse and worse. She had found another man. What a pity that she did not find the Lord Jesus!
My career in handball had started well. I had two junior champion titles, and a few selections for the National junior team. Everything was perfect, but I had a void in my soul. No matter how many points I scored, no matter how many inappropriate relationships I started, I still could not fill the void. I had a God-shaped hole that was empty. I knew there was a God, I began to attend the Orthodox Church more often, and I was even praying to be better.
When I was eighteen, I graduated from the junior team, and I was on the acquisitions list of a professional team. Their offer to me was the best in the realm of sports, and yet there was something that made me refuse them. Maybe, if I had gone there, I would not have come to know my Lord Jesus. I then applied to the Physical Education and Sports College, and there, I met the Lord. I had a college classmate who was a Christian and who became an example for me. He was so filled with the Holy Spirit. I remember that I admired him because he would never swear, he would never get annoyed, he was joyful almost all the time, and treated me so well. During my collage years, I was living in the world. I moved in with a girl, and we lived from my handball and from the money she made working abroad. I was filthy, deceived by the devil, and enslaved to sin. Finally, I broke the relationship with my girlfriend after four years and came back home to my father. I was in a miserable and wretched condition. But praise God He found me and saved me!
Stelica, my Christian college classmate, invited me to church one day. I do not know how I got there, but I think that it was the most beautiful service I had ever attended. I started attending the meetings of the Church in Codlea. I even started to read the Bible. One evening, I became very burdened about the life that I was living. I saw myself without escape. I was lost, and I told myself: “That’s it! I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to repent and everything will be solved!” I did not even realize what I was saying, and I fell asleep with this thought. During the night I dreamed how all my life was passing before my eyes: all my sins, all the women, and all the lie that I had lived. I was desperate and I knew that I was lost. I knew that I deserved hell, and I cried out to God for His mercy. At that point I woke up; I was weeping continually and was calling on the Name of the Lord. I fell asleep crying and praying. I do not know if that night was the point of my conversion, but as time passed I noticed that I had started feeling grieved when I sinned. This was the first sign that I had become sensitive to sin. I also had an insatiable thirst for reading the Bible. Sure enough, I drew closer and closer to God, and I was delivered from pornography, fornication, and filthy language.
After I was born again of God everything was changed in my life. I started going back to the pubs I had attended before my conversion, but now it was to proclaim the Lord. My friends talked to my family and told them that I had gone insane; that I spoke about nothing else but Jesus. In that period of time I was still playing handball at Dinamo Brasov Sports Club. At one point, I remember I was called into the director’s office and warned to stop speaking about Christ. They said that the club was for playing handball, and the name of God should not be mentioned. Of course, I kept on talking to my mates about Christ, and this led to my exclusion from the team.
My father did not agree with my attitude. He even told me that I had gone insane. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when a college classmate became very sick and I wanted to sell a piece of land that I had received from my father in order to pay for her treatment abroad. It was then that my father paid a psychologist to test me. I did not oppose them, but I told them very clearly that I would demonstrate to them that I was not an insane person. I also told them that if loving God and sharing that love with others meant that I was insane, then I was insane. They promised me that they only wanted to pass me through some tests, and that after three days of staying in the Neuropsychiatric Hospital they would let me go. I am not sure how I entered that hospital. I suspect that they put something in my food.
After staying three days for the “so-called” tests, I took my baggage and wanted to leave. I had proved enough in three days that I was a Christian and presented no danger. It was at that moment that the nightmare started. I was knocked down by two bodyguards and dragged to another room, while my father stood there weeping! After having my hands and feet bound, and after they drugged me again, the last image I remember was my father weeping and my words imploring him to let me go home. I was very scared, but God was present with me there and He strengthened me. The prayers of my Christian brothers and the power of the Holy Spirit were a tremendous help for me. That horrible nightmare lasted for four days. I was drugged most of the time, and I spent my days drawing and doing puzzles. They had brought me to the point that I had the mind of a six-year-old child.
After I left the hospital, the doctors insisted that I had suffered a shock, and for this reason, I had adopted an extreme religion. They told my father that I was not yet recovered, and that I must follow the prescribed treatment all the rest of my life. The treatment was composed from the same drugs that are used for schizophrenics and epileptics. For many days, I was still under the affect of those drugs and was not reasoning very well. It was only after the drug dose was reduced, that I began to think a bit more coherently. Later, I discovered the patient information leaflets for the medicines, and I noticed that I had all the adverse reactions of which they warned. It proved to me that I was clinically normal and that those drugs had been wrongly administered to me. Because I had repented, Satan tried to use even my family to kill me, or to leave me in a vegetated state.
I refused to follow the treatment, so my father threatened me that he would call the authorities from the hospital to come and take me back. That was it! In twenty minutes my wardrobe was empty, my bags were packed, and I ran away from home. Two brothers from the church helped me and gave me a place to stay. Finally I visited my real mother in Italy, and she seemed to comprehend my problem. I praise God that He protected me for three months in Italy. There, He rehabilitated, fed, and comforted me. I returned to Romania after three months because my father recognized that he was wrong and pleaded with me to return. From that moment on, he never considered me to be an insane man, even though he may have thought that I was a fool for Christ!
I grew spiritually in the same church in which I had heard the Gospel for the first time, and after a year and a half the Lord gave me a wife. Her name is Paula. Shortly after our marriage, we became involved in church planting work in the town of Bod (about 20 km away from Brasov). Later, our elders counted me trustworthy, and asked me to prepare a message for the church during the European week of prayer. Since that time, I have been one of the preachers in our church.
As a family, we were blessed with three daughters. In the future, we hope to home school our children, even though this concept is looked down upon in our culture and even by some Christians.
I am aware that my number one priority is my relationship with God, and then the second one is the spiritual growth of my wife and children. After these, come my preaching and evangelizing ministries. I have had many failures during my ministry and moments of despair in my life, but I am glad of the fact that I saw the love of God and His grace manifested. I know that the goal of our Father is for us to be transformed more and more to the image of our Lord Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. I know that sometimes this will involve pain and suffering. Yet it is worth it to be like Him! Even if this meant that I had to be left alone, and broken and forsaken by others. I can say that no matter what, the Lord has been with me, and I am confident that the work He began, He will complete until the day of Jesus Christ.