More from Cristian Istrate

by Upper Room Editorial on Tuesday, February 07, 2017

My name is Cristian Istrate, and I was born in Romania in 1984. This year was the beginning of a dark era in our country. The communism system became even more oppressive, leaving people hungry and feeling hopeless. Many Christian leaders were sent to prison and endured torture for their faith. In 1989 Romania won international attention with the start of the revolution. Our country was tired and we became determined to drive out fear.

People began to protest in the streets. But more than this they started to pray the Lord's Prayer publicly. The night the revolution began I was only five years old, but I still remember the gunshots, the fear, the voices of Romanian people crying for liberty. We didn't know what was really happening, and my father was about to go to his job. I remember that I was afraid that I would not see him again. Thanks be to God he arrived safe home after work. Eventually more than 45 years of communism ended. The year after the fall of communism was a year of expectation and hope. The border of our country was opened and many missionaries came to preach the Gospel. There was a real hunger for God.

As a child I felt God had a special call for me. Every time I went to church I felt a fire of love that burned in me. Later on I dedicated my life to Jesus and served as a missionary in Egypt. I also preached the Gospel on the streets of Romania and in other European countries. The testimonies and the miracles I experienced are so many. In the year 2011 I was happy to be part of a committee that founded the first United Methodist church in Romania. Two years later I moved to a Transylvanian city called Sibiu and planted a Methodist church. The name of the church is Light from Light, and we have many mission projects. We are helping poor children, discipling youth, and sharing the Gospel through art and music. You can find more about me and my work here: https://www.facebook.com/lightfromlightumc. I would love to be in touch with you.

Please pray that I will be able to publish a book about my testimony. The book name will probably be The Boy Behind the Iron Curtin. It will be a story about how I was impacted by communism and how I became God's servant. Many blessings.

- Cristian Istrate

Pictured above: Cristian with his wife and their little girl, Cristian preaching at a local cafe

23 Comments

Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

Cristian, how encouraging your testimony is, and the reality of the power of prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit to inspire and lead you in your ministry. Praying for you and your work to continue to be blessed as you continue to respond to His call on your life.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 03:54AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Thank you Tom. Pray for me, family and ministry.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 04:17AM CST
Comment by Judy of Yalaha, FL

Cristian, how wonderful to hear you testimony. God gives us such power. Praying for your ministry.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 04:59AM CST
Comment by Susan of Plymouth, MN

Dear Christian, I am so glad that I was able to read your story here. My own son was born in 1985, so I remember the time that you spoke of, but we weren't fully aware of all that was happening. I have never read the perspective of a Romanian before. Thank you. I hope that I'll be able to read "The Boy Behind the Iron Curtain." I hope that it will be published in English, too.
Love, peace, and blessings to you and your family.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 05:07AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Thank you Susan. If God will help will be in English. May the Lord bless you.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 05:14AM CST
Comment by Mia of Baton rouge, LA

Dear Lord, bless and enable our brother Cristian by Your Holy Spirit to continue to spread Your great Good News- whether it be through the church or through a book. Guide him and provide all he needs to continue to glorify You and set Your children free. In the glorious name of Jesus I ask this. So be it.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:07AM CST
Comment by merry of Poteau, OK

Cristian...thank your for sharing your Testimony. PTL for you and your family!

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:25AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Dear Mia and Merry,

Thank you so much. I am very encouraged by your prayers. God is faithful.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:37AM CST
Comment by Paulette of Miami, OK

Cristian, thank you for sharing this really 'good news' story. Please God, bless Cristian, his wife and daughter. May the love of Jesus spread abundantly through their ministry.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:47AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Paulette,

Amen. Thank you so much.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:52AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

https://www.facebook.com/lightfromlightumc/videos/433794166780832/

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:55AM CST
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

God bless you in all your endeavors. God is Love for all!!!

Posted February 07, 2017 at 06:58AM CST
Comment by Sue of Washington, WV

Cristian, thank you for your Upper Room post. God has definitely placed you where you can be a witness for him. Your story is a wonderful one and should be in print. I have liked your Facebook site and hope to hear more from you.
My good friend and I published a book last year entitled ONE GOD, Two Voices. Please check out our website: www.onegodtwovoices.com.
May God continue to bless your a ministry and keep you and your family under His protection and care.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 07:34AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Dear Sue,

Thank you so much. You will hear more for sure and I am so glad you took time to write.

In Christ.

Cristian.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 07:42AM CST
Comment by Matt

- Cristian Istrate, we will be praying for you & your endeavors for the Lord. God Bless

Posted February 07, 2017 at 09:22AM CST
Comment by Matt

- Cristian Istrate, wonderful terstimony. Absolutely praying for those contemplating giving up the greatest gift ever bestowed, Life. Please don't give up, reach up, believe in Him ... PTL
*
Dear UR Family, just heard a news report stating that Cristian Istrate's homeland of Romania has been declared in crisis by it's president. Please join me prayer for Romania's people & the people of the world (please send us harvesters & laborers), thank you UR Family ....... Thank You Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus & Holy Spirit

Posted February 07, 2017 at 09:32AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Thank you Matt. What a joy to know you are praying.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 09:33AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Our country is in a political crises but the people spirit is up.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 09:35AM CST
Comment by Donnie of Royston, GA

Christian, yours is such an inspiring story! What an exciting time of change that must have been to live through! Thank you for all you are doing, and my prayers are with the people of Romania, and with you for the successful publication of your book.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 10:07AM CST
Comment by Donnie of Royston, GA

* Sorry, I see I misspelled your name, Cristian.

Posted February 07, 2017 at 10:08AM CST
Comment by Cristian of Sibiu, AL

Thank you. The Lord is at work. It doesn't matter if is Cristian or Christian... Important is that we are Christians :)

Posted February 07, 2017 at 10:44AM CST
Comment by Elaine of Chesapeake, OH

Christian, I was so blessed by your devotional! Way back in 1982, our church helped sponsor a Romanian refugee family. They had a four-year-old daughter and we had a four-year-old son and we quickly became good friends with them. Michai (not sure of the spelling) had, on his second attempt, swam the Danube River in March to escape. The plastic bag with his extra clothes didn't work and they got wet. He walked through Yugoslavia until he was so cold, tired, and hungry, he finally took a chance and stopped at a farm house. He explained through gestures what he was doing and the family gave him a meal and a dry outfit of clothes and sent him on his way. He took a bus to about ten miles from the Austrian border. Then, so as not to arouse suspicion, he got off and continued walking on the back roads. He finally came to a house with a car parked in the drive, a care with Austrian license plates! He spent nine months living in a refugee camp while working through the World Council of Churches to get his wife and daughter out as religious dissenters. When they came to our community, they were provided a small mobile home to live in. Michai, who had been a tailor in Romania, did odd jobs before and after one of our church members helped him get a job doing alterations in a men's clothing shop. He was one of the hardest workers I have ever met. It didn't take him long to get a full time job at a local clothing factory. They moved into a house which they were able to rent themselves. I remember how excited Maria was in showing me the house. It was a modest but well kept house, clean and neat and well decorated. She eagerly pointed out the lamp in front of the living room window, explaining that in Romania, they were not allowed to put a lamp in front of a window, because that would make it difficult for the police to shine a light into the window to see what was going on. But the thing she was most excited to show me was the table with two Bibles on it, one English and one Romanian, right out in the open! She explained through gestures and limited English that in Romania the Bible was kept hidden under the couch. I still cry when I think about it. The Vieru family was only here about a year when Michai got a job in New York as a designer for a company that makes very expensive men's suits. What a success story! We have lost contact with them but often think about them and cherish the time we were able to spend with them and the way they enriched our lives. They helped us to really appreciate our freedom and we were so glad when the people of Romania obtained their freedom, too. Now, I am thrilled to hear of missionaries in a free Romania going to other parts of the world to share the gospel. I'm praying for you, your family, and your ministry, and, of course, I'm crying again. God bless you!

Posted February 08, 2017 at 08:45AM CST