Sunday, August 7, 2011

He asked me to tell you, "America, THIS was Petru." ~Rosiori de Vede

He asked me to tell you

"America, THIS was Petru."
Elderly man in Roserii de Vede

We recently returned from evangelistic trips to several villages. We will never forget this man from the village of Rosiori de Vede.

He was gathering fruit when Brenda and Anna, her eighteen year old translator, walked past him on their way to the evening service at the village church. Even though we were running late, Anna was convinced that we needed to stop.

He quickly agreed to let us share with him about Jesus Christ. We expected he would just talk to us on the sidewalk but he picked up his bucket and started back into his yard.  
His clothes had patches on the patches. His little home was no more than a shack. Yet, he openly welcomed us. There was not enough room for all of us to get in the little wooden dwelling, much less sit. So we helped him move two little stools outside. Brother Gigi, the elder with us, just sat on the ground.

He couldn't remember his exact age but we determined he was in his 80's or 90's.  He listened intently as we shared a simple gospel, with his eyes never veering from our faces.  When he heard, "there is a God who created you.... and He LOVES YOU".. he began to openly and unashamedly weep.

We were briefly interrupted by the man's relative who showed up and asked us to leave.  The nephew let us know that he was very educated and had no use for this "gospel." But, he shrugged that for this old man, it would be okay.  After receiving permission to stay five more minutes, we read more from the scriptures and prayed for him. "For it is by grace you are saved, through faith.  And that, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.."  Afterwards, the elderly man followed us to his gate and told us, "take my picture to America, and tell them, "THIS was Petru (Peter)!" 

We left not knowing whether he truly understood the gospel or not.  Anna indicated that she would find a way to keep checking on him.  Little did we know the impact this man would have on us and what would happen in the following days. 

The next day, we met Anna again for our last day of evangelism in the village.  She shared with us that she had a dream about the old man.  She said she dreamed that we went back to his place and we found him lying on the floor, dead.  She continued that in her dream, we began to share the gospel with him, and he came back to life.  Anna was convinced that God was letting her know that He had saved him.  

In the next weeks, the whole scenario continually came to my mind.  The compassion that our 18 year old translator displayed made me ashamed of my own complacency.  I prayed often for both of them, and for forgiveness for myself.  

We returned home from a few weeks in the countryside and received an email from Anna.  She had found out that the old man died within two weeks of our meeting him.  Anna expressed again, "I know God has him with Him.  This is our merciful God!"  

God has given us peace that He called the man to Himself and allowed him to understand!

What an awesome God!

Many times our actions are deliberate and planned.  Often, our meetings are scheduled and covered in prayer.  But sometimes, God takes control and says, "This one is Mine."  May we be more attentive to listen and obey in every moment of every day!  

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! Your letter about this man just blew me away. How awesome God is... How convicting for me personally to keep praying for others and to be obedient where he leads me. Thanks you for sharing! Amazing!