Evangelist - Brasov, Romania
Alex is currently the Director of the Campus Crusade team in Brasov where he develops new ministries on the campuses of Sibiu, Bacau and Suceava. Alex is a gifted evangelist who carries a burden to see students come to Christ and often leads conferences and camps to train students for outreach. He and his wife, Simona, have four children.
Testimony of Conversion
God Almighty is the One who deserves all the glory for everything that is written here, as we are nothing without Him.
We are Alex and Simona Palade, and we have four children: Timotei (19), David (17), Estera (9) and Matias (4). We are working as missionaries among the students in several different cities in Romania: Sibiu, Targoviste, Bacau, Brashov etc.
Simona and I were married in 1990 while we were in college. After a year and a half we wanted to have a divorce. We were not Christians then and neither were our parents. That was a very difficult moment for us and the only hope that we had left was to seek God. I couldn’t understand why I was so violent to my wife. I wanted to treat her nicely, but I just couldn’t.
One day, my school mate gave us a Bible. I started reading it and God convinced me that I was a sinner. One Friday, back in 1991, my wife went to visit her parents, and I remained on campus. I went to my room after the courses and started reading the Bible. I felt so empty in my soul and cried out to God. I was holding the Bible in my hand and walking from the door to the window and back while I was asking God, “Who are You, Lord, and what is it that You want from me?” I asked this question several times. In the evening, I wanted to watch a TV show for students. I got into my pajamas, turned off the light, but continued to read from the Bible using only the TV as a light. I was waiting for God to answer my questions. I unplugged the TV and went to bed after about twenty minutes.
At 2 o’clock in the morning, while I was sleeping, the TV and the light in my room were turned on by an unseen hand. I was alone in my room and the door was locked. I got up suddenly and was very afraid because I realized that something strange was going on. As I was trying to turn off the light, I heard a voice in my mind, telling me, “You are doing this for the second time.” I got really scared when I saw that the TV was plugged in. I knew I had turned off the light and the TV before going to sleep. I suddenly had the feeling that I was going to hell and that those were the last moments of my life. I felt I was very sinful and I realized that I deserved to go to hell in spite of all my good deeds. I knelt by my bedside and started praying to God and begging for mercy and forgiveness. I prayed like this for about one or two hours. I tore off my pajamas, crying in agony. Later on, I read from the Bible a verse that was saying, “Come to me all you that are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” After one or two hours, God put these words into my mouth, “Please be the Master of my life. Come into my life!” I felt an amazing peace that very moment. I fell asleep on the floor because I was so exhausted.
I woke up at seven in the morning with a new understanding of God. I was standing in awe of Him. I was completely transformed. My heart was flooded by the desire to read the Bible and meet with other Christians and share about Christ. I didn’t eat or drink anything for two days, because I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. I could feel no longer the burden of my guilt. I had the feeling that I was totally forgiven. I was so amazed by Him. I was a new being. I’ve never sworn again or mistreated my wife since that day. When I saw the indecent posters on my walls, I felt such a bitter hatred against sin. I tore them to pieces and threw them away.
My wife came back on Sunday night. When she saw my pajamas and the missing posters, she thought I had had a fight with someone. I told her what happened, but she thought I was crazy. However, she was amazed to see that I was treating her nicely and asked for forgiveness whenever I made a mistake the following days.
About two months later, I was passing by a cinema in Bucharest and saw that they were showing movie about “The Life of Jesus,” I went in there and watched the movie and my soul was vibrating. Then I went to Simona and took her with me to see the movie. God searched her heart while she was watching and she was saved. God healed our marriage starting that very day. Then, we started praying and reading the Bible together, and as I was reading, God convinced me that I needed to be baptized.
I had a schoolmate from Togo, West Africa who was a Christian. I asked him to take me to church to be baptized since he was attending an evangelical church. My wife said that she wanted to be baptized too. We went to Golgota Baptist Church in Bucharest and that was the first time I had ever entered an evangelical church. We went directly to the pastor’s office and asked him to baptize us. We felt this urge to be baptized. The pastor sent us to take the lessons for people that wanted to be baptized. We went there every Sunday until we were finally baptized.
Immediately, we started sharing the Gospel with other students, but we felt we needed help about this. So, we started praying that God would send us people to teach us how to share the Gospel with others, and He sent us people from a group called “Alege Viata” [Choose Life]. We preached the Gospel as students for two and a half years, and we attended the church that was helping us grow spiritually. When my parents heard that my wife and I were baptized, they started treating us very badly and they did that for several years. Whenever I visited my family, my father would say, “Satan has come home,” and many other bad words. I used to tell them that I loved them, but they would only reply, “You are mocking us.” My father threatened me that he would divorce my mother, and she said she would kill herself. There was a great pressure on my parents because my grandfather was a teacher in the Orthodox Church and worked together with the priest.
While I was in college, I had a colleague that had gotten married. One day He gave a party in his room, and the people became drunk and destroyed everything. It was before the Revolution in 1989 and the communists were still ruling. The dean came to me because he thought that I was involved in that party. He said, “Comrade student, you are no longer a student.”
The thing that happened really affected me and I began to hate this colleague. After the Lord saved me, my wife and I shared the Gospel to this student and his wife and they were saved. They are Ani and Ion Tomeci. We are now working together as missionaries. We were enemies, but God made us friends and brothers in Christ. We also worked together in sharing the Gospel with other students while we were still in college.
Just before my graduation, we were invited to work as full-time missionaries among the students. There was a terrible struggle inside of me. After God had saved me, I could hear Him calling me to ministry, but it was such a difficult thing to tell my parents that I wanted to become a missionary. They had started to accept my faith, but I thought that this would be too much for them. I told my father first and he didn’t say anything. My mother, instead, was very angry and told me, “Yeah, you want to convince people to go to your sect.” I replied, “No, I want to help them come out of the power of Satan and bring them to God.” In the morning, as I prepared myself to leave, my mother told me, “Alex, it is a wonderful thing that the Lord called you to do.” I was astonished.
So, God spoke to me through my mother who was against it. God answered my question, “Who are You, Lord, and what do You want from me?” by showing me He is mighty, great, and merciful. And what He wanted from me was to work for Him and tell others about Him.
After we graduated from college, God showed us that He wanted us to dedicate our lives to sharing the Gospel among the students through the “Alege Viata” Mission. There are about 800,000 students in Romania nowadays. We need to share the Gospel with these future leaders of the society so that they will know Christ as their Lord and Savior. As the Bible says: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? ...CONSEQUENTLY, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:14, 17).
We worked as missionaries among the students in Bucharest between 1993-1996, and the Lord used us to turn people to Him.
Nicu received Lord Jesus into his heart and His life was totally changed. He used to despise his parents and live an immoral life. He used to be involved in human trafficking, but stopped doing that after he received the Lord. Even more, he shared the Gospel to his friends who were also involved in human trafficking and told them to stop doing that. Then, God called him to be a missionary and he has been working in a country in Asia for several years.
Dan – while he was a student, I shared the Gospel with him. He believed in Lord Jesus and started sharing the Good News to other students. He had been an atheist before, and today he is a medical doctor and a light for the people around him.
Natalia heard the Gospel from my wife, Simona. She used to have a promiscuous life, but she received the Lord Jesus into her heart and her life was completely changed. And not only her life, but also her sister’s and her mother’s lives were changed. Natalia and her sister are working now as missionaries together with us. Natalia and her mother are very thankful to my wife for coming to share with them about Lord Jesus.
Beginning in 1996, God called us to minister among students in Brasov together with another missionary family. In Brasov there are over 30,000 students. By God’s grace we went and are still going to the student dorms in order to share the Good News with them. We have always worked towards this end together with the students that we have trained. Tens of thousands of students in Romania have heard the Gospel due to this ministry.
After three years in Brasov, we began to also minister to the students in Sibiu, then to those in Targoviste. Together with other missionaries and volunteers, the ministry of sharing Christ has expanded to over twenty university cities.
The majority of students live life without God and in promiscuity. Immorality, alcohol, pornography, drugs, and sexual perversions – these are just a few of the sins by which these souls are enslaved. The concept of God is vanishing from the minds of many students who will hold leadership positions in this nation. The universities are creating a people without God and without any fear of God. What kind of laws are they going to make? What kind of nation are they going to shape?
We confess that it is hard to work among students. They are arrogant, rebellious, despising, and do not accept what they are told. They are experts of theories and philosophies that are extravagant and useless. They want to do whatever it is acceptable to their feelings. They love to live the moment. We are grateful to God that He has granted us the grace and honor to be co-workers with Him in this chaos.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” - Matthew 24:14 (NASB)