Florin helps to coordinate for the work in Romania. Presently, he develops mission projects in five areas where HeartCry is planting churches. He also leads a church planting team in Fieni, Romania. www.evotional.com Florin and his wife, Mariana, have one daughter, Damaris.
Testimony of Conversion
My name is Florin Stan. I am married and have an eight-year-old daughter. I work as a HeartCry missionary in Fieni, Dambovita County, where I am planting a church.
I became a Christian in 1995, when I was seventeen years old. I was born in an Orthodox family and I had no attraction towards God or religion until the year I was converted. I thought I was a good person and that I was OK in the sight of God because I hadn’t killed anybody; I hadn’t stolen anything or committed adultery. This is how I used to justify myself before God. When I was twelve years old, I dreamed one night that the devil came to take me with him because I used to swear, but he left my sister alone, because she didn’t swear. I understood that God was warning me that if I keep on swearing, the devil would take me with him. I was so scared and tried not to swear again, but I forgot about that dream after a while.
When I was a teenager, I almost drowned twice, but the Lord had mercy on me and I was saved. A friend of mine died while he was sleeping because of a gas leak. I was very affected by these events, and now, looking behind, I realize that God, who had chosen me for salvation, had already started working in my heart.
When I was seventeen years old, on Palm Sunday, my friends and I gathered in a friend’s house. We were drinking there and watching movies. After watching two movies, the host put on another one about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In the first half an hour, my friends left. I was surprised that they left because on Sundays we always drank and watched movies the entire day. Even though they left, I stayed and watched the movie to the end. I had a strange feeling about God that I had never had before. I could feel God’s sadness because my friends did not want to watch the movie about the life of Jesus. I was sure that they would have stayed to watch another movie. I told God in my soul that I wanted to be faithful to Him.
I started reading the Bible that year and I found out the truth. First, I became aware of my sinfulness and I felt convicted. The Sermon on the Mount accused me strongly and I realized I was such a sinner. Then, I realized that the Orthodox Church did not preach the truth, but only human traditions that are not pleasing to God. The Lord was working in my heart and I looked for a church that believed what I had begun to believe. I began going to the evangelical church in Bela, and there I turned to God. My life was completely changed. I gave up a life of sin, cigarettes, alcohol, dirty words, disco, and the company of my sinful friends. People that used to know me said that I was not the same Florin they knew. My life was completely changed. I had been born again, and I was a new creation in Christ. I really loved the Lord Jesus; and my greatest pleasure was to tell everybody about Him, His sacrifice, and His plan.
I had to suffer persecution because of Christ from my family, relatives, friends, colleagues, and later in the army. But the Lord strengthened me in all these. In the evangelical church where I was baptized I learned a lot about the Christian faith. I was also involved in the ministry, and this responsibility helped me grow up spiritually. Eventually, I began to sense the calling to a more profound ministry. I was working in the industrial field and I did not have too much time left for preaching the Gospel. I prayed about what I should do, and the Lord showed me that I should plant a Baptist Church in Pucioasa. In 2001, I was accepted as a HeartCry missionary. In 2009, I moved to Fieni in order to begin a new church there.
At the beginning, I tried to meet new people and share the Gospel with them. Several persons turned to God and were baptized this way. The church in Fieni gathered at the beginning in our apartment. New people were added to our group. Some of them moved away and some gave up the faith. It was difficult for us as a church every time someone left, but I am thankful to God for supporting the ministry.
We also started a children’s ministry. We had many trials because of that, and the Orthodox priests and teachers fought against us. One time, they came and tried to stop the children from coming to our program by threatening them and writing down their names. They also warned the children’s parents about what was going on. For this reason, we had to restart the children’s ministry several times. In spite of this, we keep going on and hope to be able to take care of these children to the end.
We moved a step forward when, through God’s grace, we managed to have our own church building. This way, we were able to organize all kinds of events in order to share the Gospel with other people. We are still a small church, but it keeps growing. When I felt I couldn’t take care anymore of the church and the children’s ministry, the Lord prepared a helper for me. He sent brother Marian Bicajan, who moved to Fieni and took over the children’s ministry. He was married a little later and his wife Simona is also involved in the ministry.
We have two purposes for our ministry
- evangelization and the maturing of believers. We have two days a week when we go on the street and give out Bibles and brochures. We meet new people this way and some of them turn to God. We also give out Christian materials in Fieni and twelve other villages in the surrounding area. We also give out fliers with our church name and address so that people will know how to get in touch with us. We are also working on the website of the church so that people can get in touch with us even through the Internet.
- Another evangelistic method we have is organizing special events in the church and inviting new people to our fellowship. When someone is converted we seek to help them grow spiritually through personal discussions with other believers and Bible studies. My desire is that the entire church will be involved in the ministry according to the spiritual gifts that the people have received from the Lord. The Bible says that the body of Christ grows through the work of each member.
I am thankful to God for the grace that He has given us. My desire is to take every opportunity to work together with the Lord. One day, I do not want to be sorry that I did not do as much as I could have. Praise to the Lord!