live memorial service..

 

a live feed of the memorial service for the late President of SRF will be active on the 11th at 7:30pm PST time USA.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001HSCo-_AXNiYoOme8w1lBNzwD6j9VAvtDerl4nNJ4t9bafvvaPHNqrlKRf4aKGKQHXHyGaeUg5O6nXbkB658gYS3MDSKlu9I1hDNeo9Fg8gOMy4lZWu9tkY4PgvRCCvjJC_2Ow6snVkh-fLqAHc83vU2bmglijf3lPjs8gE_-7mnLf9pIGWgF8A==&c=vPZKKqWhdQH_gCzM3V0xi4EigiVpFbFPecSq8qDfAfwEheAEs3tyXg==&ch=YPXJGTaP0WQ2yaXsSd7T2cHfZSouDEGgxZEY6JOBERWlDz1Z6Sf3yA==

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Indian culture…..

Last year the Library of Congress posted a link which took one to “news” about Women’s Rights in the world; I was quite curious and read through reports about places like Iran, Saudi Arabia and even India. You have to question things when it comes down to nations which are seen as pivotal, and with whom your country is closely aligned.

One report said that Women’s rights had been increased slightly in Saudi Arabia as compared to Iran, which the report said had done considerable things to increase women’s rights.

I think everyone knows that in Saudi Arabia women have recently been granted the right to drive a car on the roads. I am not sure exactly how their rights were enhanced in Iran, but I’m sure the United States Library of Congress would not post an article about it unless it were accurate.

Which brings me to today’s point.

Women’s rights in India!

It seems that in 2016 the national Indian government, currently run by a Right-wing Nationalist Hindu party, was given the opportunity to pass a law to make it illegal to “kidnap and rape and “wed” 13 year olds”, which is purported to be some sort of ancient “tradition” or aspect of their religion/culture. The fact that the law didn’t get passed means that to this day the nation of India supports such atrocious actions! And sets an extremely bad example for other governments.

Yet, to my amazement, not one newspaper or TV or ON-line report even slightly broached this subject! How can it be? You can only imagine the huge leap forward which would occur if the practice of “kidnap, rape and “marrying” 13 year olds” was banned. As I understand it, however, that practice forms the very basis of “Hinduism” although the figures for how often it takes place were no where to be found. But “democracy”, as India claims to be the world’s largest, is not compatible with the “kidnap & rape” of 13 year old girls. So, someone is “having you all” on!

Strange Days

December arrived the other day, after the warmest November on record in these parts. I mean they claimed the average temperature over the month was the hottest it’s ever been, as far as records go. (The records only extend back to the 1800s though!)

It felt slightly warmer than usual to me, too. Winter had been so dry there had been weeks, literally piled on end, when it felt like Spring and not a drop of rain fell. There were no clouds either. Just endless blue skies. But, according to the Weather bureau, the average temperature didn’t create any sort of new record. It was just another effect of the overall changing weather patterns.

At the same time, nights didn’t get much warmer! Usually it would become chilly by around 10 pm and stay like that until 5 am when the temp would suddenly drop 3 or 4 degrees C (usually that is). Even today, for instance, a week into Summer, the day was quite warm, around 27 C, but right now at 11 pm, I’ve had to put on an extra shirt to keep from shivering.

They predict that this Summer will be very dry and warmer than average. But they also say that the overall weather patterns are changing and from now on things will remain hotter and that will get more pronounced as the years go by. They expect a 2 degree rise within 50 years, resulting in lakes drying up, seas shifting, crops failing, etc. Just one disaster after another.

I know I won’t be around to see any of it, however.

I’ve reached a place where I find it harder and harder to believe almost everything I’ve ever been taught was true or real. Most particularly, that “life” has some meaning. Lately, I’ve seen it as having no meaning at all… apart from what you attach to it. ART, is a way to give it some type of meaning, but there isn’t enough of it around to satisfy me. So, life has no intrinsic meaning, or for that matter, value. We’re not simply a randomly collected bunch of molecules spinning in a universe so vast it’s beyond our comprehension. We’re something even worse. We evolved through a process of trial and error, experiencing pleasure and pain and getting our cues from that. We’ve been around for a very very long time, not merely hundreds of thousands of years, but into the millions and only in the last few millennia have we actually done anything more than what most animals do. We actually have gained scientific knowledge of the world and of our own bodies, and as a result we’re been able to extend our life spans a lot.

But that can’t substitute for actual “meaning.”

As for the Religionists, I can’t see that they have any foot in the door so to speak, or that they hold a corner on truth. Buddhism is perhaps closest to a scientific outlook, but try telling that to a practicing Buddhist! Nope, religionists tend to all be irrational at some poit or other, even the Buddhists. Eventually almost all religions tell to accept some tenant of their creed on faith, and if you straight out reject that approach, you find yourself unable to see meaning in life itself. The religions also tend to dissolve into a morass of myth and fable, folk legend. As history, they show what humankind had to do to survive and even conquer. But when stacked up against Science, they fall over.

I have every right to be pessimistic, too!

Living In The Material World

It’s been quite a ride since Winter ended…..and now it’s a couple months later with the New Year about to come. Christmas was uneventful; just a procession of passing images with nothing in particular to grab onto, not even the presents.

I didn’t even take a drink!

But the strange weather didn’t let up at all.

I believe in Climate Change, being something that’s going to be no-good for everyone, eventually, when it takes hold. And to date, it’s manifested as unusually dry Winter, or unusually wet/cool Summer; hardly any storms to speak of, and clouds seem to be what’s missing the most. I really miss seeing cloud formations hovering low in the sky, like they used to do quite a lot back in the early 70s.

I’m going to have a few beers tonight, seeing as how it’s New Year Eve. I don’t think I’ll get plastered or anything even vaguely resembling such a condition. I’m not used to alcohol any more, whereas in the 90s I was a veritable raging alcoholic and loved to drink. I was also quite convinced as to the truth concerning the teachings of Maharishi and believed in the practice of the meditation his organization disseminated. Now, I’m so far from convinced you might as well call me a skeptic or even a non-believer.

I sort of gave up drink at around the same time I started to question whether or not there was anything of value in the teachings of the Maharishi. I went at it hammer and claw, and literally chopped down the tree of belief from the roots up. I started by examining, in a more or less objective fashion, the people I knew who did it, and they scored quite badly. Very few were what you’d call normal, while most had some major personality disorder.

I didn’t do very much as a result of my re-evaluation though. I simply gave up drink, with the proviso that I’d be amenable to smoking grass were I lucky enough to ever get any. I also stopped being impressed by famous cultural entities. That was easier said than done because for many many years, I’d been a follower rather than a leader or teacher, and I tended to take my cues from the so-called cultural heroes everyone has got to know through the media. In particular, I had a re-think about Bob Dylan and George Harrison. It might seem rather distant, but Dylan had had quite an effect on my life ever since I went to see him in a concert in this home town of mine, back in 1978. It was just before his religious conversion took place, and it kind of swept me along when it happened. I bought all the albums and listened to them thoroughly, usually with the aid of several bottles of beer! But with my re-think, I started out getting rid of a belief in Dylan simply because of his vast media persona. Then along came the Web and I was able to get a hold of every album he ever released and for free; and when it comes to you like that, the listening experience is slightly different to usual. You can be more objective and actually start to pigeon hole things according to your actual likes and dislikes. I liked music, itself. Dylan’s stuff was less than innovative overall. And I found myself disliking a lot of it just because it sounded boring.

Getting music for free kind of defeats the purpose of what the whole scene was about during these last 30 or 40 years; when the whole point seemed to be to sell lots of records and make lots of money. Paul McCartney is a very good example of it. I’ve been able to get a whole lot of his recent stuff and have noticed that it’s all inconsistent; there’s not one particular style of music he does. He indulges in everything from trad-jazz through to hi brow orchestral stuff and it’s all rather bland and unimaginative. It’s not the sort of music I’d go out to buy, at any price!

Movies are slightly different.

50 years ago –1963—you’d be lucky to see a movie which was all in focus! 70 years ago almost every film was shot out of focus simply because of the limitations of the equipment used. But since the late 60s there’s been a virtual revolution in movie making that has enabled them to produce in-focus stuff along with animations that are so life-like you find it easy to believe. The Lord of the Rings business exemplifies this. The films have taken in huge sums of money, over a billion dollars! and 5 movies down the track, the latest release is a Hobbit movie and the business it’s done since Boxing day has been staggering. Just why anyone would go to the lengths they have to create these movies is anyone’s guess. It cost them over 500 million dollars to produce 3 movies, and although they did more than a billion in business, nothing in the world has changed! For that amount of cold, hard cash, you could have solved a major part of world poverty and hunger overnight. Maharishi has said that he could solve world poverty and hunger for less than 3 billion dollars, making his scheme much cheaper than most. But with the movies of The Lord of the Rings, no actual social issues have been confronted or solved and so it seems rather futile that they went to the extremes they did in making these films.

I’ve read Tolkien’s books, and although they were fascinating you couldn’t say they didn’t arise from somewhere. The author was, after all, a devoted Catholic who believed in the Bible. So, his stories can appear as if they were based upon New Testament prophecy. Because as stories, they are rather run of the mill anyway.

To posit the world as being black and white, with absolute good and evil, is to deny reality. But that’s one reason for the popularity of the stories; they bring you to a world that is completely unlike the real world, where everything appears relative. But I don’t hold much hope for the future anymore, because all our values appear to be based upon trial and error experimentation, to see what works and what doesn’t. Whereas in the long run, there is nothing to hold you to any specific path or creed. Society is what goes on after the individual’s demise, and it isn’t a construct but rather is an effect, and mostly arose out of trial and error experimentation.

The Red Book

In September 2010, the US Library of Congress, held a Video presentation regarding the release of the publication of Carl Jung’s “The Red Book”. (Library of Congress webpage.) This broadcast described events leading up to the publication of the book, as well as giving a historical oversight on the works of Jung.

The Red Book is a collection of writings and drawings done by Jung when he lived in Switzerland. It is based upon his “dream” work, and is very elaborately illustrated. The so-called drawings, are often very skillfully completed paintings, which were inspired by dream images Jung experienced. The book became available as a printed object in 2010 with the cheapest edition costing over $300.

It also became available as a PDF file over 150 Mb in size! This edition could be obtained for nothing via the Internet, and contained everything the original book did. I have included some images from it, for your viewing pleasure:

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Voice of Martyrs

[RICHARD WURMBRAND – FOUNDER OF THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRS – CHAPTER 2]

I worked in both an official and underground manner until February 29, 1948. On that beautiful Sunday, on my way to church, I was kidnapped from the street by the secret police.
I had often wondered what was meant by “man-stealing,” which is  mentioned several times in the Bible. Communism has taught us.
Many at that time were kidnapped like this. A van of the secret police stopped in front of me, four men jumped out and pushed me into the vehicle. I was taken to a prison where I was kept secretly for over eight years. During that time, no one knew whether I was alive or dead. My wife was visited by the secret police who posed as released fellow-prisoners. They told her that they had attended my burial. She was heartbroken.
Thousands of believers from churches of all denominations were sent to prison at that time. Not only were clergymen put in jail,  but also simple peasants, young boys and girls who witnessed for their faith. The prisons were full, and in Romania,as in all Communist countries, to be in prison means to be tortured.
The tortures were sometimes horrible. I prefer not to speak too much about those through which I have passed; it is too painful. When I do, I cannot sleep at night. In the book In God’s Underground, I recount many details of our experiences with God in jail.
A pastor by the name of Florescu was tortured with red-hot iron pokers and with knives. He was beaten very badly. Then starving rats were driven into his cell through a large pipe. He could not sleep because he had to defend himself all the time. If he rested a moment, the rats would attack him. He was forced to stand for two weeks, day and night. The Communists wished to compel him to betray his brethren, but he resisted steadfastly. Eventually, they brought his fourteen-year-old son to the prison and began to whip the boy in front of his father, saying that they would continue to beat him until the pastor said what they wished him to say. The poor man was half mad. He bore it as long as he could, then he cried to his son, “Alexander, I must say what they want! I can’t bear your beating anymore!” The son answered, “Father, don’t do me the injustice of having a traitor as a parent. Withstand! If they kill me, I will die with the words, “Jesus and my fatherland.”  The Communists, enraged, fell upon the child and beat him to death, with blood spattered over the walls of the cell. He died praising God. Our dear brother Florescu was never the same after seeing this.
Handcuffs with sharp nails on the insides were placed on our wrists. If we were totally still, they didn’t cut us. But in the bitterly cold cells, when we shook with cold, our wrists would be tom by the nails.
Christians were hung upside-down on ropes and beaten so severely that their bodies swung back and forth under the blows. Christians were also placed in ice-box “refrigerator cells,” which were so cold that frost and ice covered the inside. I was thrown into one while I had very little clothing on. Prison doctors would watch through an opening until they saw symptoms of freezing to death, then they would give a signal and guards would rush in to take us out and make us warm. When we were finally warmed, we would immediately be put back into the ice-box cells to freeze. Thawing out, then freezing to within minutes of death, then being thawed out-over and over again! Even today there are times when I can’t bear to open a refrigerator.
We Christians were sometimes forced to stand in wooden boxes only slightly larger than we were. This left no room to move. Dozens of sharp nails were driven into every side of the box, with their razor-sharp points sticking through the wood.
While we stood perfectly still, it was all right. But we were forced to stand in these boxes for endless hours; when we became fatigued and swayed with tiredness, the nails would pierce our bodies. If we moved or twitched a muscle-there were the horrible nails.
What the Communists have done to Christians surpasses any possibility of human understanding. I have seen Communists whose faces while torturing believers shone with rapturous joy. They cried out while torturing the Christians, “We are the devil!”
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of evil. We saw that communism is not from men but from the devil. It is a spiritual force – a force of evil — and can only be countered by a greater spiritual force, the Spirit of God.
I often asked the torturers, “Don’t you have pity in your hearts?” They usually answered with quotations from Lenin: “You cannot make omelettes without breaking the shells of eggs,” and “You cannot cut wood without making chips fly.” I said again, “I know these quotations from Lenin. But there is a difference. When you cut a piece of wood it feels nothing. But here you are dealing with human beings. Every beating produces pain and there are mothers who weep.” It was in vain. They are materialists. For them nothing besides matter exists and to them a man is like wood, like an eggshell. With this belief they sink to unthinkable depths of cruelty
The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe. When a man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil, there is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil that is in man. The Communist torturers often said, “There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.” I heard one torturer say, “I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.” He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.
I am very sorry if a crocodile eats a man, but I can’t reproach the crocodile. He is not a moral being. So no reproaches can be made to the Communists. Communism has destroyed any moral sense in them. They boasted that they had no pity in their hearts.
I learned from them. As they allowed no place for Jesus in their hearts, I decided I would leave not the smallest place for Satan in mine.
I have testified before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate. There I described awful things, such as Christians tied to crosses for four days and nights. The crosses were placed on the floor and hundreds of prisoners had to fulfil their bodily necessities over the faces and bodies of the crucified ones. Then the crosses were erected again and the Communists jeered and mocked: “Look at your Christ! How beautiful he is! What fragrance he brings from heaven!” I described how, after being driven nearly insane with tortures, a priest was forced to consecrate human excrement and urine and give Holy Communion to Christians in this form. This happened in the Romanian prison of Pitesti. I asked the priest afterward why he did not prefer to die rather than participate in this mockery. He answered, “Don’t judge me, please! I have suffered more than Christ!” All the biblical descriptions of hell and the pains of Dante’s Inferno are nothing in comparison with the tortures in Communist prisons.
This is only a very small part of what happened on one Sunday and on many other Sundays in the prison of Pitesti. Other things simply cannot be told. My heart would fail if I should tell them again and again. They are too terrible and obscene to put in writing. That is what your brothers in Christ went through and go through now!
If I were to continue to tell all the horrors of Communist tortures and all the self-sacrifices of Christians, I would never finish. Not only were the tortures known, but the heroic deeds were known also. The heroic examples of those in prison greatly inspired the brethren who were still free.
One of the really great heroes of the faith was Pastor Milan Haimovici.
The prisons were overcrowded and the guards did not know us by name. They called out for those who had been sentenced to get twenty-five lashes with a whip for having broken some prison rule. Innumerable times, Pastor Haimovici went to get the beating in the place of someone else. By this he won the respect of other prisoners not only for himself, but also for Christ whom he represented.
One of our workers in the Underground Church was a young girl. The Communist police discovered that she secretly spread Gospels and taught children about Christ. They decided to arrest her. But to make the arrest as agonizing and painful as they could, they decided to delay her arrest a few weeks, until the day she was to be married. On her wedding day, the girl was dressed as a bride-the most wonderful, joyous day in a girl’s life! Suddenly, the door burst open and the secret police rushed in.
When the bride saw the secret police, she held out her arms toward them to be handcuffed. They roughly put the manacles on her wrists. She looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, “I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.” She was dragged off with weeping Christians and a weeping bridegroom left behind. They knew what happens to young Christian girls in the hands of Communist guards. Her bridegroom faithfully waited for her. After five years she was released-a destroyed, broken woman, looking thirty years older. She said it was the least she could do for her Christ. Such beautiful Christians are in the Underground Church.

Resisting Brainwashing
Westerners  have  probably  heard  about  brainwashing in  the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  I  have passed through brainwashing myself. It is the most horrible torture.
We had to sit for seventeen hours a day-for weeks, months, and years-hearing:
Communism is good!
Communism is good!
Communism is good!
Christianity is stupid!
Christianity is stupid’
Christianity is stupid’
Give up!
Give up!
Give up!
Several Christians have asked me how we could resist brainwashing. There is only one method of resistance to brainwashing: it is “heart washing.” If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, one can resist all tortures. What  would  a loving  bride  not  do for  a loving  bridegroom? What would a loving mother not do for her child? If you love Christ as Mary did, who had Christ as a baby in her arms, if  you love Jesus Several Christians have asked me how we could resist brainwashing. There is only one as a  bride loves  her  bridegroom,  then you can resist such tortures.
God will judge us not according to how much we endured, but how much we could love. The Christians who suffered for their faith in prisons could love. I am a witness that they could love God and men.
The tortures and brutality continued without interruption.
When I lost consciousness or became too dazed to give the torturers any further hopes of confession, I would be returned to my cell. There I would lie, untended and half dead, to regain a little strength so they could work on me again. Many died at this stage, but somehow my strength always managed to return. In the ensuing years, in several different prisons, they broke four vertebrae in my back, and many other bones. They carved me in a dozen places. They burned and cut eighteen holes in my body.
When my family and I were ransomed out of Romania and brought to Norway, doctors in Oslo, seeing all this and the scars in my lungs from tuberculosis, declared that my being alive today is a pure miracle! According to their medical books, I should have been dead for years. I know myself that it is a miracle. God is a God of miracles.
I believe God performed this wonder so that you could hear my voice crying out on behalf of the Underground Church in persecuted countries. He allowed one to come out alive and cry aloud the message of your suffering, faithful brethren.

Brief Freedom–Then Re-Arrest
The year 1956 arrived. I had been in prison eight-and-a-half years. I had lost much weight, gained ugly scars, been brutally beaten and kicked, derided, starved, pressured, questioned ad nauseum, threatened, and neglected. None of this had produced the results my captors were seeking. So, in discouragement -and amid protests over my imprisonment-they turned me loose.
I was allowed to return to my old position as pastor for just one week. I preached two sermons. Then they called me in and told me that I could not preach anymore, nor engage in any further religious activity What had I said? I had counselled my parishioners to have “patience, patience, and more patience.” “This means you are telling them to be patient and the Americans will come and deliver them,” the police shouted at me. I had also said that the wheel turns and times change. “You are telling them the Communists will not continue to rule! These are counterrevolutionary lies!” they screamed. So that was the end of my public ministry.
Probably the authorities believed that I would be afraid to defy them and continue with underground witnessing. That was where they were wrong. Secretly, and with my family’s support, I returned to the work I had been doing before.
Again I witnessed to hidden groups of the faithful, coming and going like a ghost under the protection of those who could be trusted. This time I had scars to corroborate my message about the evil of the atheist viewpoint and to encourage faltering souls to trust God and be brave. I directed a secret network of evangelists who helped each other spread the gospel under providentially blinded Communist eyes. After all, if a man can be so blind as to not see the hand of God at work, perhaps he will not see that of an evangelist either.
Eventually, the ceaseless interest of the police in my activities and whereabouts paid off for them. Again I was discovered and imprisoned. For some reason they did not imprison my family this time, perhaps because of all the publicity I had received. I had had eight-and-a-half years of prison and then a couple years of relative freedom. Now I was to be imprisoned for five-and-a-half years more.
My second imprisonment was in many ways worse than the first. I knew well what to expect. My physical condition became very bad almost immediately. But we continued the work of the Underground Church where we could-in Communist prisons.

We Made a Deal: We Preached and They Beat
It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners, as it is in captive nations today. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal: we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching; they were happy beating us-so everyone was happy.
The following scene happened more times than I can remember. A brother was preaching to the other prisoners when the guards suddenly burst in, surprising him halfway through a phrase. They hauled him down the corridor to their “beating room.” After what seemed an endless beating, they brought him back and threw him -bloody and bruised– on the prison floor. Slowly, he picked up his battered body, painfully straightened his clothing and said, “Now, brethren, where did I leave off when I was interrupted.?” He continued his gospel message!
I have seen beautiful things!
Sometimes the preachers were laymen, simple men inspired by the Holy Spirit who often preached beautifully. All of their heart was in their words, for to preach under such punitive circumstances was no trifling matter. Then the guards would come and take the preacher out and beat him half to death.
In the prison of Gherla, a Christian named Grecu was sentenced to be beaten to death. The process lasted a few weeks, during which he was beaten very slowly. He would be hit once at the bottom of the feet with a rubber club, and then left. After some minutes he would again be hit, after another few minutes again. He was beaten on the testicles. Then a doctor gave him an injection. He recovered and was given very good food to restore his strength, and then he was beaten again, until he eventually died under this slow, repeated beating. One who led this torture was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, whose name was Reek.
During the beatings, Reck said something to Grecu that the Communists often said to Christians, “You know, I am God. I have power of life and death over you. The one who is in heaven cannot decide to keep you in life. Everything depends upon me. If I wish, you live. If I wish, you are killed. I am God!” So he mocked the Christian.
Brother Grecu, in this horrible situation, gave Reck a very interesting answer, which I heard afterward from Reck himself. He said, “You don’t know what a deep thing you have said. Every caterpillar is in reality a butterfly, if it develops rightly. You have not been created to be a torturer, a man who kills. You have been created to become like God, with the life of the Godhead in your heart. Many who have been persecutors like you, have come to realize -like the apostle Paul- that it is shameful for a man to commit atrocities, that they can do much better things. So they have become partakers of the divine nature. Jesus said to the Jews of His time, `Ye are gods.’ Believe me, Mr. Reck, your real calling is to be Godlike -to have the character of God, not a torturer.”
At that moment Reck did not pay much attention to the words of his victim, as Saul of Tarsus did not pay attention to the beautiful witness of Stephen being killed in his presence. But those words worked in his heart. And Reck later understood that this was his real calling.
One great lesson arose from all the beatings, tortures, and butchery of the Communists: that the spirit is master of the body. We felt the torture, but it often seemed as something distant and fat removed from the spirit which was lost in the glory of Christ and His presence with us.
When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soup every day, we decided we would faithfully “tithe” even then. Every tenth week week we took the slice of bread and gave it to weaker brethren as our “tithe” to the Master.
When one Christian was sentenced to death, he was allowed to see his wife before being executed. His last words to his wife were, “You must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don’t know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don’t have bitterness in your heart because they killed your beloved one. We will meet in heaven.”
These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. He lacer told me the story in prison where he had been sent for becoming a Christian.
In the Tirgu-Ocna prison was a very young prisoner named Matchevici. He had been put in prison at the age of eighteen. Because of the tortures, he was very sick with tuberculosis. His family found out somehow chat he was in this grave state of health and sent him one hundred bottles of streptomycin, which could make the difference between life and death. The political officer of the prison called Matchevici and showed him the parcel and said, “Here is the medicine that can save your life. But you are not allowed to receive parcels from your family. Personally, I would like to help you. You are young. I would not like you to die in prison. Help me to be able co help you! Give me information against your fellow prisoners and this will enable me co justify before my superiors why I gave you the parcel.”
Matchevici answered, “I don’t wish to remain alive and be ashamed to look in a mirror, because I will see the face of a traitor. I cannot accept such a condition. I prefer to die.” The officer of the secret police shook Matchevici’s hand and said, “I congratulate you. I didn’t expect any other answer from you. But I would like to make another proposal. Some of the prisoners have become our informers. They claim to be Communist and they are denouncing you. They play a double role. We have no confidence in them. We would like to know in what measure they are sincere. Toward you they are traitors who are doing you much harm, informing us about your words and deeds. I understand that you don’t want to betray your comrades. But give us information about those who oppose you so you will save your life!” Matchevici answered, as promptly as the first time, “I am a disciple of Christ and He has taught us to love even our enemies. The men who betray us do us much harm but I cannot reward evil with evil. I cannot give information even against them. I pity them. I pray for them. I don’t wish to have any connection with the Communists.” Matchevici came back from the discussion with the political officer and died in the same cell I was in. I saw him die -he was praising God. Love conquered even the natural thirst for life.
If a poor man is a great lover of music, he gives his last dollar to listen to a concert. He is then without money, but he does not feel frustrated. He has heard beautiful things. I don’t feel frustrated to have lost many years in prison. I have seen beautiful things. I myself have been among the weak and insignificant ones in prison, but have had the privilege to be in the same jail with great saints, heroes of faith who equalled the Christians of the first centuries. They went gladly to die for Christ. The spiritual beauty of such saints and heroes of faith can never be described.
The things that I say here are not exceptional. The super-natural things have become natural to Christians in the Underground Church who have returned to their first love.
Before entering prison, I loved Christ very much. Now, after having seen the Bride of Christ (His spiritual Body) in prison, I would say that I love the Underground Church almost as much as I love Christ Himself. I have seen her beauty, her spirit of sacrifice.

What Happened to My Wife and Son?
I was taken away from my wife and I did not know what had happened to her. Only after many years I learned that she had been put in prison, too. Christian women suffer much more than men in prison. Girls have been raped by brutal guards. The mockery, the obscenity, is horrible. The women were forced to work at hard labour building a canal, fulfilling the same work-load as men. They shovelled earth in winter. Prostitutes were made overseers and competed in torturing the faithful. My wife has eaten grass like cattle to stay alive. Hungry prisoners ate rats and snakes at this canal. One of the joys of the guards on Sundays was to throw women into the Danube and then fish them out, to laugh about them, to mock them about their wet bodies, to throw them back and fish them out again. My wife was thrown in the Danube in this manner.
My son was left to wander on the street when his mother and father were taken away. Mihai had been very religious from childhood and very interested in matters of faith. At the age of nine, when his parents were taken away from him, he passed through a crisis in his Christian life. He became bitter and questioned all of his religion. He had problems that children usually don’t have at this age. He had to think about earning his living. It was a crime to help families of Christian martyrs. Two ladies who helped him were arrested and beaten so badly that they were permanently crippled. A lady who risked her life and took Mihai into her house was sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of having helped families of prisoners. All of her teeth were kicked out and her bones were broken. She will never be able to work again. She, too, will be a cripple for life.

Mihai, Believe in ]esus!”
At the age of eleven, Mihai began to earn his living as a regular worker. Suffering had produced a wavering in his faith. But after two years of Sabina’s imprisonment he was allowed to see her. He went to the Communist prison and saw his mother behind iron bars. She was dirty, thin, with calloused hands, wearing the shabby uniform of a prisoner. He scarcely recognized her. Her first words were, “Mihai, believe in Jesus!” The guards, in a savage rage, pulled her away from Mihai and took her out. Mihai wept seeing his mother dragged away. This minute was the minute of his conversion. He knew that if Christ can be loved under such circumstances, He surely is the true Saviour. He said afterward, “If Christianity had no other arguments in its favour than the fact that my mother believes in it, this is enough for me.” That was the day he fully accepted Christ.
In school, he had a continuous battle for existence. He was a good pupil and as a reward he was given a red necktie -a sign of membership in the Young Communist Pioneers. My son said, “I will never wear the necktie of those who put my father and mother in prison.” He was expelled from school for this. After having lost a year, he entered school again, hiding the fact that he was the son of Christian prisoners.
Later, he had to write a thesis against the Bible. In this thesis he wrote: “The arguments against the Bible are weak and the quotations against the Bible are untrue. Surely the professor has not read the Bible. The Bible is in harmony with science.” Again he was expelled. This time he had to lose two school years.
In the end he was allowed to study in the seminary. Here he was taught “Marxist theology ” Everything was explained according to the pattern of Karl Marx. Mihai protested publicly in class, and other students joined him. The result was that he was expelled and could not finish his theological studies.
Once in school, when a professor delivered an atheistic speech, my son rose and contradicted the professor, telling him what responsibility he took upon himself by leading so many young men astray. The entire class took his side. It was necessary that one should have the courage to speak out first, then all the others were on his side. To get an education he constantly tried to hide the fact that he was the son of Wurmbrand, a Christian prisoner. But often it was discovered and again there was the familiar scene of being called to the school director’s office and being expelled.
Mihai also suffered much from hunger. Many families of jailed Christians in Communist countries nearly starve to death. It is a great crime to help them.
I will tell you just one case of suffering of a family that I know personally. A brother entered prison on account of his work in the Underground Church. He left behind a wife with six children. His older daughters of seventeen and nineteen could not get a job. The only one that gives jobs in a Communist country is the state, and it does not give jobs to children of “criminal” Christians. Please don’t judge this story according to moral standards; just receive the facts. The two daughters of a Christian martyr -Christians themselves- became prostitutes to support their younger brothers and sick mother. Their younger brother of fourteen became insane when he saw it and had to be put in an asylum. When years later the imprisoned father returned, his only prayer was, “God, take me to prison again. I cannot bear to see this.” His prayer was answered and he was jailed again for the crime of having witnessed for Christ to children. His daughters were no longer prostitutes, as they received jobs by complying with the demands of the secret police -they became informers. As daughters of a Christian martyr, they are received with honor in every house. They listen and then they report everything they hear to the secret police. Don’t just say that this is ugly and immoral –of course
it is- but ask yourself if it is not also your sin that such tragedies occur, that such Christian families are left alone, and are not helped by you who are free.