Pastor / Church Planter - Pucioasa, Romania
Nicolae Vulpe is a faithful minister of the gospel who pastors the Pucioasa Church in Pucioasa, Romania. He and his wife Daniella have three daughters. Nicolae possesses a shepherd’s heart as he cares for the spiritual needs of the people in the Church in Pucioasa. His ministry includes evangelism, discipleship and music. He is a very gifted musician.
Testimony of Conversion
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” - I Timothy 1:15
My name is Nicolae Vulpe. I was born and raised in a Baptist family in the country of Moldova. I was the youngest of four children. I was introduced to the Gospel from the beginning through the testimony of my parents and my older brothers. My parents also gave each of us a certain responsibility in church, so that we could grow in the knowledge of the truth. I participated at the worship services every week. The fact that our house and the church were in the same courtyard (the church building was on my grandfather’s property) put me in constant contact with the Christian faith.
I was considered a Repenter even from the first grade and I tried to cultivate Biblical virtues in my life. I thought that I was on the good path. I cherished the Biblical principles and identified myself with them just as a Christian does, but all these things stopped when I was in the third grade and I had a terrible accident. It was a miracle that I survived. Since that moment, I started seeing everything having in the context of certain death. I had frequent nightmares, and every evening before falling asleep, I had in my mind the same question, “Where am I going if I die?” A few years later, a friend of mine had an accident and died. When I attended his funeral, I realized how short life was. I wished with all my heart to be sure when facing death.
The fear of death was my first motivation for my systematic reading of the Bible. I received my first New Testament at the age of twelve. It was during the time of communism, and it was very difficult to have a Bible. My father managed to find a Romanian New Testament owned by a Bulgarian family. It was just for me. Praise the Lord! I read it with great determination, trying to find out how to be sure when facing death. I was especially touched by II Peter 3:9 – “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment.”
I began to understand why God had kept me alive – He did not want me to die, because He wanted me to repent. But how could I do that? I became very “spiritual” and “moral.” My parents were happy about it, but my friends did not like it. I thought I could save my life by doing the good deeds that a Christian was supposed to do. I was exhausted. I cried a lot and continued to read the Bible. I could see something was missing. My family was satisfied with my new spirituality. Between the years of twelve and fifteen, I struggled to repent, but I could not find grace.
I remember getting beaten by a shepherd one time when I was watching my family’s cows. I was not guilty of anything. When the police came, they saw my wounds, but I did not want this man to go through a trial, so I forgave him, just as Jesus did. People in the village found out what happened and my parents took great pride in this. I thought this event proved my Christianity, but then I found myself struggling again with fear and uncertainty. I used to read Christian biographies and I found one with which I could identify myself. An English preacher was coming back from a mission field in America. While he was sailing, he prayed, “I went to convert the Indians in America, but who is going to convert me?” This was exactly my situation, which I became aware of when I served as a spiritual counselor at an evangelistic event. In that particular instance, God gave me a strong conviction of sin. I could not continue any longer, so I surrendered entirely to the Lord. I turned to God and was accepted by Him through His GRACE. I needed to be saved, and God heard my cry. He gave me His Holy Spirit and a new life. I found forgiveness and my inner struggle came to an end. I had a new life that was filled with peace.
The next day, I was working with my older brother in the courtyard and he asked me if something had happened in my life. This was the first confirmation. He was the first to see the change in me. He went to tell our family what happened and my parents praised the Lord that their youngest child was truly saved (though they had thought this had happened before). I was baptized after two months and I had a different testimony at school. The Lord started using me there. One of my teachers accepted my invitation to an evangelistic event at church and she was saved. She spoke many times about the fact that I was a good testimony in my classroom. My joy and my desire was to see my classmates saved and God gave me many opportunities to see this desire fulfilled. All my classmates came to church on different occasions. The school principle allowed us to organize Christian meetings at school and the group of students that was coming to church kept growing. We used to meet before the class started to pray and read the Bible together. The Lord gave us so much grace and many of our generation were saved. Many of them are now involved in the ministry.
In the summer of 1992, I had my first experience of doing personal evangelism on the street. I was walking back home with my friend Anatol. We were coming back from a church in another village. We were carrying our accordion and a group of young people stopped us and asked us to play something for them. We sang a song, and then a very good discussion about faith started. In the end, one of the girls asked us if we could come again the next Sunday and we did. A believer from that village offered us a room for the meetings. We kept meeting in that room and many people came to God in the village of Valeni. I was in the tenth grade then, and I was feeling great joy in serving the Lord and preaching the Gospel to others. I told the Lord that if He would let me serve Him, I would do it gladly and sacrifice my entire life. God proved Himself merciful again. He guided me to college in a wonderful way. In 1994, I passed the entrance exam and was accepted as a student at the Baptist College in Bucharest where I majored in Theology and the Romanian Language.
While I was a student, I became involved in a mission in Dambovita County. I graduated in 1998, and together with my colleague Sorin Podran, we started a church-planting ministry in Pucioasa. It was a village with no Christians. We met a group of children and teenagers in the park and God made them to be interested in His Kingdom. Their families and friends were the first people we worked with in Pucioasa. People turned to God genuinely and this confirmed our calling and His will for the area.
I was ordained 2001, and the church in Pucioasa was established in 2003. We gathered in three different places until the Lord gave us our own place in 2004. We renovated the building and began having our meetings. This lasted until 2013, when, by God’s grace, we inaugurated a new church building.
Praise the Lord! He has been using us in Pucioasa for the last fifteen years, and our work has spread out to six other villages where we have mission points. One of the villages is called Fieni. They now have their own ministry there.
The Pucioasa area is still in great need of the Gospel. There are over twenty villages where there are no evangelical churches. We want to be useful for the enlargement of God’s Kingdom.