Alex Palade is both a student missionary and an evangelist. He takes being intentional in reaching men for Christ to a whole different level as he faithfully engages them with the good news. Alex is never easily satisfied in his appeals with the unsaved to repent and believe the gospel. This month he reports how doing the work of an evangelist requires endurance:
After the Bible study meeting that we had in Zizin, we went out for street evangelism where we met to men outside a bar. They were drinking. I asked them if they had ever wondered what God’s opinion about them was and they felt offended. One of them tried to convince me that the Orthodox faith was better than ours. He said that the politicians went to the Orthodox church and not to an evangelical church. I read to them Bible verses that speak about sin and they tried to say that they were not guilty and deserved to go to heaven. They weren’t drunk, as they were speaking coherently. But the Holy Spirit was stronger and, in the end, he admitted that he was a sinner. He said he hated his brother who had threatened to kill him. The other man admitted that he almost committed adultery with a prostitute several days before. He had never read the Bible, but said he understood he was going to hell. They wanted to hear how they could be saved through faith in Christ. In the beginning, they refused the Gospel tracts, but in the end, they took them. We invited them to attend our Bible study meetings in Tuesday.
After the Bible study meeting, we went out to do street evangelism. We met a seventy five year old woman, who believed that God loved her. I asked her why God loved her and she said because she was a good person. The woman just couldn’t admit she was a sinner as she is Orthodox and wouldn’t accept that Christ was the only intercessor for us. She believed that Mary also made intercession for us because this is what the priest had told her. While she had never read the Bible, she wanted to prove to me that she knew things better than me. She said she didn’t need our prayers, because Christ was making intercession for her and God loved her. When she heard what God said about sin, she admitted she was going to hell because she had committed adultery and had also done other bad things in her youth. I urged her to take her spiritual life seriously according to the Scripture, to repent and believe in Christ. She just trusted her righteousness so much.
Then her daughter-in-law came. This girl had been raised in a Pentecostal family. She is 36 years old and her husband is an alcoholic. She used to attend the Pentecostal church in Zizin until recently. It was a shock for her to understand that she was separated from God, even though she had been attending the church since childhood. She believed she was a good person because she hadn’t had an abortion. She had never read the Bible, but she had prayed and ask the Lord to wipe away her sins. She believed she would go to heaven because she was a good person. After she heard what God said about sin, she admitted she was a sinner and she needed Christ’s forgiveness. She said that I had helped her understand the real condition of her soul and that she would like to attend our Bible study meetings in order to learn from the Word. Sister Eva told me that the woman used to curse her children.
Then I met another man who is in his forties and has been living on the street for four months. He lived in Ireland for a while and had a wife and a child. While in Ireland, he started drinking and his wife left him. Still, he believed that God had a good opinion about him!! He didn’t know he had committed murder and adultery in his mind. He understood he was going to hell and wanted to hear how to be saved through Christ. Another friend of this man has been living on the streets for many years. He said he used to be a very bad man because he and his wife were addicted to alcohol, but his wife managed to quit. Fights, alcohol, and immorality characterized his life. His wife asked him to attend an evangelical church. Hearing what we told the first man enabled the friend of his to understand that he was going to hell and wanted to repent.
We also met Ilie, Camelia and Ana in Zizin. They are Rroma people. Camelia and Ana are married and have children. They are very poor and were open to listen to the Word. They are Orthodox and believed that they were okay before God. I opened the Bible and I started reading to them what God said about sin and judgment. They realized for the first time that they were going to hell and they wanted to hear how they could be saved. I shared with them about Christ and His sacrifice and they wanted to put their trust in Him. I invited them to attend our Bible study meetings. As we were talking to them, their neighbors turned the music so loud, in order to prevent us from speaking about the Lord Jesus. Still, they stayed to listen, as they were so eager to hear God’s Word. Praise God!
I met an eighty year old woman. She married a colonel during communism. Her husband was an important person as a colonel in the militia, but he still used to help people. Although an educated man, he allowed his wife to attend the Orthodox church. During communism, the police officers and their families were not allowed to have anything to do with religion. The lady grew up in a very poor family, but she was very smart and she was able to go to college. She has been seeking God and went to different priests who told her she was okay because she was a special person. She used to believe that God saved only the good people. I read to her that salvation came only through Christ and this shocked her. She prayed to Mary her entire life, thinking that she was greater than Jesus, who was only a child, as she could see in the icon she had on her wall. I gave her a Bible and urged her to read it starting with Matthew. Her husband had died a year ago. She told us she had never had the chance to talk to anyone about religion. I prayed for her and she told my wife and I that we were a blessing for her and that God had sent us to her. The Orthodox Church gave her a wrong understanding about salvation and made her believe all kind of superstitions. She cried many times as I was sharing the Word with her.
Another man I met is in his thirties. I met him on the street in Zizin. He was drunk and never went to church. He admitted that he was in a desperate condition. Hearing what God said about sin, he realized he was going to hell, so he said he would like the Lord to save him. I prayed for him and, while I prayed, he started crying and asking the Lord to have mercy on him. The gentleman is married and has children, but struggles with alcohol addiction.
A man was sitting on a bench and begging. I asked him what was wrong with him. He told me he was in a desperate condition because of his sins. Hearing what God said about sin and judgment, he could hardly admit that he was going to hell. He still believed he was a good person and just couldn’t accept that he needed Christ. He was miserable as his heart was hardened.
Through God’s grace, I carried on the Bible study with Naoki from Japan, who has arrived in Bucharest. He also attends the church and I’m glad to see his God-seeking heart. I carried on the Bible study on 1 John with sister Eva and Loti. I passed out Gospel tracts and New Testaments. We kept having meetings for families. Praise God