Sometime ago, before the revolution that brought about religious liberty for the Adventist church in Romania, our family (my husband, our 9 year-old daughter, our 5-year-old son and myself) made up a good pastoral team. We volunteered to accomplish several tasks as services to our members. One of the greakst wants was religious literature, especially Sabbath school questionnaires. Seven or eight copies for about one hundred members were not enough. So they had to be photocopied and duplicated. However, that was forbidden because all copy machines belonged exclusively to the government. Nevertheless, some people of good will wanted to help us. Of course, they ran great risks because the secret police were ubiquitous.
This is how a kind of network came about. There were people Who worked for the government but who wanted to help us; church members would dispatch the photocopies to them. At one time a man who went by the name "Uncle Mike" was doing a marvelous job. (We knew nothing more about him, neither his real name nor address.) We would meet him at some prearranged location, give him the original material, and arrange to meet him at another time. Later he would bring us "the merchandise" —thousands of pages ready to be bound and distributed.
Winter 1988 was cold. My husband was driving home after meeting "Uncle Mike." He was 13 miles from home when all of the sudden he was stopped by policemen. The policeman asked my husband to open the trunk—it was full of the "dangerous" materials. My husband was then escorted to the police station, questioned and threatened.
While at the police station my husband remembered an earlier situation that had taken place a few months before. He was carrying the precious treasure in his car. Because of the presidential parade downtown, policemen were clearing the streets and preparing for the arrival of president N. Ceausescu. Every vehicle had to withdraw to secondary streets and wait until the presidential convoy was passed. Unfortunately, my husband's car broke down before he could leave the main thoroughfare. Policemen then rushed to push the car out of the way of the presidential parade. Did they know they were pushing a chariot of the Gospel?
That story bolstered my husband when he was at the police station for he knew God had been looking after him. As he was thinking of God's care, another miracle took place, the policemen released him temporarily.
Immediately, he rid our home of some books that could have given us away and he instructed the children on how to answer questions they were probably going to be asked. The pursuit was not over.
In May, as I was at work in the office of a stomatologist, the door was suddenly thrown open and a few policemen came in and told my boss they were taking me home. My husband and my son were waiting for us there.
The policemen produced a search warrant and started searching the house, claiming they were after weapons, drugs and foreign currencies!
The three rooms of our apartment were scoured for seven to eight hours. They particularly focused on the bookcase. They removed some typewritten and some photocopied books, letters from abroad, audio tapes and personal or worship service notes. They also searched our car.
All the while, I, my husband, my son, and later my daughter, who had arrived in the meantime, remained in the kitchen, quietly minding our instructions given by those particularly intrusive policemen.
In the evening of the same day, my husband and i were taken to the police station where the questioning continued in separate rooms. We were tired and famished. We were asked questions over and over. The policemen wanted to know the origin of our multiplied books.
The questioning ended around midnight thanks to an officer who decided to let us go. We were weary and exhausted, but happy to be back home with our frightened and anxious kids.
Normally such an investigation entailed a lot of trouble: a permanent pursuit, jail, a never-ending surveillance...
For us, however, it did not happen. Though all this happened in the past, there is one moment I will never forget. I remember the tears running down my children's faces from their frightened eyes, looking at me anxiously yet full of wisdom. The look in their eyes will remain with me forever.
May God be blessed for all these extraordinary experiences. May He be praised for his intervention full of kindness and love.