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Barely able to contain my excitement, I accepted the pastor’s invitation to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. From that moment on, I would dedicate my life to pursuing and speaking the truth, no matter the cost.

My Greatest Test

Shortly after I was baptized, I began defending fellow Christians facing imprisonment for transporting Bibles across the Romanian border, sharing their faith, or worshiping privately in their own homes.

This quickly made me a target. Many days I awoke to find my tires slashed. Clients and friends—even my children—were threatened. My daughters and I were held under house arrest for almost a month. I was kidnapped, bullied, pushed into moving traffic, and beaten by the secret police. For their own protection, friends and coworkers began keeping their distance. My faith was tested daily. My greatest test, however, was yet to come.

Late at night, after a long day in court, Miruna, my legal assistant, peeked into my doorway: “A big man in the waiting room says he wants to discuss a case.” She shrugged. “That’s all he will tell me.”

I was taken aback at how enormous he was. As he sat down in front of my desk, his eyes seemed to bore a hole straight through me, and a sneer formed at the corner of his mouth. Slowly, he pulled back his coat and reached into a shoulder holster, withdrawing a gun.

“You have failed to heed the warnings you’ve been given,” he said, aiming at me. “I’ve come here to finish the matter once and for all.” He flexed his fingers, and I heard a distinctive click.

“I am here to kill you.”

My hands shook. Fight-or-flight instincts pinged in my brain. My chin trembled. An image flashed through my mind: my assistant arriving in the morning and finding my lifeless body on the office floor.

I was alone with my killer. And yet, I was not. I began silent, fervent prayers, recalling God’s promises. His Spirit breathed peace into my panicked heart. Then I sensed his message: Share the gospel.

I considered the man before me. Behind those hate-filled eyes was a creation of God. He had an immortal soul, and he needed to know about the love God has shown in Jesus Christ. At once emboldened, I met my killer’s eyes. “Have you ever asked yourself: ‘Why do I exist?’ or ‘Why am I here?’ or ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ I once asked myself those questions.” My voice stayed calm and did not waver.

He slid his gun back into the holster. I leaned forward. “You are here because God put you here, and he has put you to a test. Will you abide in God or in the will of a man—your boss, President Ceausescu, who requires you to worship him? God has given you free will to choose.”

His eyes softened. My heart thumped even faster, and my confidence rose.

“The truth is that we have all been corrupted and gone away from God.” He nodded. “We all are sinners, and our sin has determined our future. Hebrews 9:27 says, ‘People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.’ ”

His mouth fell slightly open, and his hands relaxed.

“But the good news is that God has prepared a way out for every one of us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ ”

October
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Saving My Assassin
Saving My Assassin
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
2016-06-07
304 pp., $10.19
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Christianity Today
I Found the Gospel in Communist Romania