I met Richard Wurmbrand in the early 70's, when he spoke at the University of Missoula. His message and spirit was beyond description, and evidence of his authority was revealed as a large segment of the student body tried to shout him down. I understood that he was a real threat to the deceit and distortion that their philosophy was based on- his spirit prevailed and they gave up. Over the years Richard and his wife have written about 18 books. They are a true gold mine of historical events and illustrations of the persecuted church in our day. For those of you not familiar with Richard, he spent 16 years in prison for the crime of being a Christian in Romania under Communism, and 3 years was in solitary, as well as constant physical torture. The intensity and spiritual depth of his writings go beyond words and language, and how he achieved this is miraculous. Much of what he wrote, including entire sermons, was written mentally in his cell, and recorded on paper years later, just from memory! One example: can you imagine a pastor, who, when arrested with two young ladies of his congregation, was persuaded by his captors to execute the girls in exchange for his release? The reason it was told, was in the tender speech of forgiveness the girls made to their pastor before he shot them! From book to book is a depth of spirituality far beyond what we see in North America. To illustrate that this is seen as much in benign cases, and not exploiting the sensational, I give the illustration of 'the smile' in From Suffering to Triumph, page 120, by R. Wurmbrand.
(Richard writes about Milan Haimovici, a Hebrew Christian pastor who spent 7 years in jail.)
Once I was in a large cell holding perhaps a hundred prisoners. We were over come with the dirt and the stench...In these close quarters were Christians of many denominations, Jews, atheists, men of all political parties and social categories. Among them was Milan, who witnessed for Jesus. He had no Bible and had seen no book for many years. He could advance no intellectual arguments. He could only say repeatedly, "I know Jesus. Walk and talk with Him."
A professor, member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, scoffed: "Jesus has been dead for two thousand years. How can you talk with Him? Even admitting that He was resurrected, as you Christians believe, and went to heaven, this heaven is millions of miles away. Don't tell us any more lies. No one can walk and talk with Him."
Milan simply repeated, "I wonder myself how it can happen and have no real explanation, but it is a fact. He walks and talks with me." A great circle of prisoners listened to the discussion. Continuing, Milan asserted, "I even see Him sometimes."
This was too much for a man of science. "What you say is the greatest lie I have heard in all my life. Since you claim you see Him, can you please tell us how He looks at you: angry, wrathful, bored, indifferent, polite, interested, loving? Does He perhaps also smile at you?" Milan replied, "How did you guess that? Really, He sometimes smiles at me."
"Well, well," said the professor...Perhaps you can show us how Jesus smiles."
"I will gladly try," said Milan.
The scene that followed was the most beautiful in the eighty-one years of my life. Like all the rest of us, Milan resembled a scarecrow. Shorn, dirty, with dark circles around his eyes; only skin and bones, with teeth missing, and in a zebra uniform, he was anything but attractive. But when he received this challenge, his face began to shine-the glory of God can shine through a thick crust of dirt-and a beautiful smile appeared on his lips...
There was a touch of sadness in the smile because of the lost condition of his questioner's soul. But one could read on his lips a passionate love, an unquenchable longing, a sure hope, and an ardent desire of a lover to receive the kiss of the beloved. All the splendor of heaven was in this magnificent smile...The atheist professor bowed his head and said, "Sir, you have seen Jesus."
Home | Sunchild MissionOutreach | News Updates | Devotions | Pictures of the week