Day Five: I Saw God Today!

George Strait sang the song. 

I experienced it.

I saw God today. And not just once.

Day Five on the ground in Romania. Sunday. Three church services in one day. We began in Simpetru which is ChaCha’s home church. And it wasn’t just any ordinary church service. Two young men were being baptized: Gabi, Rodica and Florine’s son, and Vaseli, son of Margarita and Daniel. And, oh sweet mercy! There is nothing like a baptism to bring people to church. In the tiny… and I mean tiny… church sanctuary, it was standing room only. Over 100 people in the sanctuary, and many many more standing in the vestibule and outside. It was an exciting! ChaCha shared that he had instructed the church members to give up their seats to anyone who is a non-Christian (as they refer to it here in Romania). He knew there would be a large number of folks who were just plain curious, and there were. He said over 50 in the sanctuary were non-Christians. You cannot imagine how warm it was with all those people packed into such a tiny space! Oh, and did I mention the church service lasted three… YES, THREE!… hours. This is where all my pastor friends who read my blog are getting excited, and they’re going to be sure to tell their congregations just how good they have it. Grin! We heard three sermons, including one by our own Pastor Jeff. Jeff was also able to baptize Vaseli. Wow. 

Yes, this is the baptistry. The water is brown because they had to heat it over a fire in 50 gallon metal drums… which just happened to be rusty.

Vaseli and Gabi


Pastor Jeff baptizing Vaseli.

Praying over Gabi and Vaseli



To see how this church family worked together to build a baptistry, heat water, bring in chairs, more the sanctuary stove, welcome guests, organize a service, and more and more, in order to be prepared for these baptisms was amazing. To see these two young men give their lives to Christ was beautiful. 

I saw God today.

But, that’s not all to this story. The story actually began in September 2012 when I made my first trip to Romania. When I met Lili. It is Lili’s home where I have stayed on both of these trips. Lili is not a Christian, but God opened the door for me to share Christ with her on September 29, 2012. You can read that story at Unfortunately a phone call from Lili’s husband interrupted our conversation that night, and since then my heart has been heavily burdened for her. I’ve prayed for her countless times over the past 17 months. And I fully trusted God would allow our paths to reconnect and would again give me an opportunity to share Christ with her. Last night, Laura and I asked Lili to go to church with us in Simpetru. We told her about the baptisms. She was non-committal at best, but I sensed she really wanted to go. I prayed and prayed last night. Interceding for Lili. Trusting God to do what I could not do. Believing God for divine intervention. Claiming the miracle I knew only He could do. 

And, at 6:30am Lili came to my room. She wanted to go to church with me. And she did. 

I saw God today.

Lili…answered prayer

We finished our time in Simpetru with yet another fabulous meal at Florine and Rodica’s. And let me just say that she fed over 50 of us, with a meal prepared from a kitchen that is a fourth of the size of a small American kitchen and a wood-burning stove with only two places for pans. I cannot imagine the hours that went into the preparation and then the clean-up. God bless these two with such big servant hearts. I will miss them both so much!

I saw God today.

Rodica and Florine

From Simpetru, we traveled to Jac which is ChaCha’s birthplace. It is an absolutely beautiful little village, and it was truly like stepping back in time. The church is very conservative, and Marvin almost lost his man card as he forgot and started to sit on the women’s side of the church. It was quite funny! He quickly reclaimed all respect when he shared his powerful testimony of how he came to know Christ. There were tears on many faces. 

In the service, we had an opportunity to see a young Romanian boy sing his praises to God. It was priceless!

I saw God today.

From Jac, we traveled to Simleu to Bethany Baptist Church. We have spent a great deal of time in Simleu this week as Kelly, Katie, and KeLe led women’s ministry there two nights, and we also did food distribution. Pastor Don and his wife, Claudia, are an absolutely amazing team, and their servant hearts increase our faith. Their tireless efforts are such an encouragement to us. Those of us who were in Romania in 2012 had also worked with them, so they are more than co-laborers for the Kingdom, they are friends. 

I saw God today.

Here we are with Pastor Don and Claudia looking quite silly in our Romanian hats which were gifts from them.

As we entered the sanctuary in Simleu, I immediately spotted a face I knew and had fallen in love with in 2012. Rosalia. Here we are in 2012:

Rosalia, 2012

She immediately recognized me, and I’ll admit I was surprised. I know blondes aren’t all that common in Romania, but still, that was 17 months ago, and she is an elderly woman. Through the interpreter, she told me that she remembered me. I asked her how, and she said she had my picture in her home, and she prayed for me every single day. Sweet mercy. Once again, I had no words. I was completely awed by a mighty God who moves and works in ways I don’t understand. And, I was humbled and inspired by a precious woman whose faith is unshakable. A woman whose life is beyond difficult. A woman who doesn’t allow her circumstances to define her God. A woman who prayed for me. 

I saw God today.


She made me promise I would be back. I told her we have a date in summer 2015. Until then, she will be continually in my prayers, and she assured me I would be in hers. 

If you don’t remember the story about Rosalia, read it here to get a glimpse of just how very special she is: She had the picture of me because when I returned home, I developed all my pictures and sent them to ChaCha. I asked him to distribute them to the various pastors in the villages we visited. Precious Claudia made sure that Rosalia received the picture of us.

When we arrived back home, God gave me the opportunity to have another conversation with Lili. Her heart is so tender. God is at work. He’s pursuing her relentlessly, and she’s trying to make sense of how God can love her amidst all the difficulty in her life. She so desperately needs hope and peace. Please join me in praying for her surrender and salvation. I am trusting God for another miracle. And I can.

I can trust Him for a miracle because I saw God today.

1 thought on “Day Five: I Saw God Today!”

  1. Hi Trae,
    The pastor at Biserica Betania (Bethany church) in Simleu is Dan, not Don. Dan is a great friend of mine – I generally stay in Dan and Claudia’s house when I go there in November on a mission trip with Jesse Powers ministries. Betania has held a special place in my heart since I first went to Romania in 1999, and I try to go there every year for at least a few days during my missions trip to spend time with them. I know many of the church members and every year, there is simply not enough time to “catch up” with all of them that I know during the few days that I am there. I also know pastor Mircea Pestean (ChaCha) well and have met some of the people in your pics. If you see Chacha or Dan again before you leave please send greetings from Richard in Houston.

    Praying Thess 3:1 for you and the team while in Romania.

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