By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS — June 11, 2015) — She grew up in communist Romania at a time when no one was allowed to go to church, have Bibles in their possession, or openly talk about God.
“When I was seven and my brother was 10, we found a Bible hidden in the floor of our house. We didn’t know what it was,” says Izabella, in a report by Samaritan’s Purse.
This unusual book captivated their interest. “We started reading it like they taught us in school—start at the beginning, go to the end. We’d never heard these stories before.”
In fifth grade, Izabella was invited to a small underground church by one of her classmates. “I asked my Dad if I could go. I begged him and begged him.”
Finally her father relented, “If your brother goes with you, you can go,” he said.
The two youngsters walked to the meeting place of the church after dark, careful to avoid being seen. When Izabella sat down, she was surprised as the pastor read from a large book.
I’ve heard this story somewhere before, she thought. “I put together that the book he was reading was the same book we had at home. I got really excited!
When Izabella was 13, the month of September that year was unusually cold. “We didn’t have electricity most nights so when it got dark it was bedtime for us kids. The only way Mom and Dad would allow us to go out and play was if it snowed. Then it was not as pitch dark and there was something to do outside,” she recounts.
Izabella knew about prayer, but had never actually heard someone pray. Even at the underground church meeting, the pastor could not actually pray or share the Gospel openly.
“Under communism, he never knew who was a spy. He had to be very careful,” she recalls.
One evening, Izabella approached the pastor and said, “I want to learn how to pray so I can start praying for snow.”
Photo caption: Izabella today, holding snow globe
About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
** You may use this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)