Ruxi Vandici has battled some very difficult health issues in recent years. Although her ministry has been limited at times from extreme chronic fatigue, she continues to persevere in being a spiritual mother to many youny women and a model of godly character before many students in Bucharest. In her recent report she shares:
"I am very thankful for this year, I saw the Lord’s help in many circumstances, even though it has been a difficult year. I am also very thankful for HeartCry, for the monthly support as well as for the help with my medical expenses. I am thankful that my mom is still feeling well in spite of the tumor’s growth. It has been another year of grace for me and my family, and I am deeply grateful to the Lord for His mercies that are new every morning.
This past month I had a great joy during the weekly evangelistic Bible studies from Romans with my friend who is deeply concerned for her soul and who is seeking salvation. We discussed the gospel many, many times, and she could not believe that salvation was a gift from God, only through faith in Jesus, apart from works. Recently, while I was sharing the verses that proved that, she exclaimed: ”Wow, those verses are so clear. I did not believe it when you were telling me that the Bible said salvation was not through works!” She was so burdened by this question and also by the interdiction to worship icons that she saw in the Bible that she went to the priest to ask him these questions. She showed him the verses we had studied together and to my great surprise, he told her: “Of course we are not to worship icons, and of course salvation is through faith, not works.” I was extremely relieved and overjoyed by these answers which I did not expect, and so was she. At that particular meeting she was so open to understand the passage, it was like a huge hindrance was removed from her way. We were studying about man’s sinfulness and she was amazed to see what the Bible really teaches about man, and how the description of mankind perfectly fits our present generation. This was a huge answer to prayers! Right before that I felt such an intense battle for her soul, and I asked other people to pray for her. I am so thankful to see the Lord working in her heart! I wish the process were more rapid, but I need to remember that my calling is just to sow the seed and water, and the growing is entirely in God’s hands, in His time. And actually this is what gives me hope, that He is working. Seeing more clearly than ever people’s hardness of heart, rebellion against God and blindness to spiritual reality and my own inadequacy I have no other hope but in God’s work alone. Please join me in praying for her salvation!
As I mentioned before, this fall I started a new discipleship group with two freshmen. I am very excited that we can study together and started by studying the gospel using the book Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter. I am encouraged by their willingness to learn, but I was very surprised that neither of them could explain to me how a person be forgiven of their sins. In our next meeting I explained the gospel to them, and one of them told me that she had never heard these explanations before. They even started to take notes. It is sad to see how things change. Young people from evangelical churches used to have an understanding of the gospel, even though it was probably not very deep. I knew that not all professing believers were truly born again, but now for the first time I realize that people in the evangelical churches can be utterly gospel ignorant. We need to first evangelize the youth in our churches, and then go to the world. Please pray that the Lord would raise teachers and preachers in Romania who are faithfully teaching the gospel and the whole Word of God.
We are thankful for the evangelistic Christmas celebration we had this month and for all the non-Christian students who attended. I was especially thankful for three non-Christian friends who came. The question in the message was why we need Jesus, and I hope and pray they went away thinking of that question. One girl who became a Christian this past year shared her testimony and it was so encouraging to hear how the Lord had changed her life since she was saved. She did not use to have a good relationship with her parents and they barely talked to each other. The Lord gave her the grace to forgive them and seek to restore their relationship, which is much better now. She also had trials since she became a Christian, as one of her sisters stopped talking to her because she became a “repenter”. Her testimony was very encouraging for me, and it is so refreshing to see that the Lord still saves people, even though the soil seems to get harder and harder.
This month I also met with the teenage girls and we started studying the Beatitudes. We started by comparing how the world defines happiness and how the beatitudes describe it. It is so wonderful to see their desire to study the Word of God and to grow. I also met with one of them who went through a hard trial lately. I was concerned that she would draw back, but as I talked to her I saw her desire to follow the Lord and grow in her faith. That was very, very encouraging for me and gives me hope that she has a genuine saving faith. I notice many young people who draw back after a trial or a disappointment. I pray that these Bible studies will prove useful for these teenagers’ souls.