Our new Resource Centre Support Worker, Daniel Popa, has started work at the Mission in these strangest of times. He was born in a small city in Romania called Vaslui and says Psalm 139: 1-18 describes his life. This is his testimony.
I was born into a poor Christian family. My father worked for just 100 euros per month. He only came home at weekends and because his work was near his church, he would stay there to save money. My lovely mother could never work because of illness, and I had a sister 3 years older than me.
I was born into this family but I didn’t understand what God wanted from me. I went to church all my life but thought God only receives people who preach and sing.
At 12, working with my father in the summer, I cut my palm so deep one day that I couldn’t move 3 fingers for many years; it still hurts sometimes.
When 13 I listened to the message at a huge Christian concert and ‘gave my life to Jesus’ but I didn’t know what it meant.
Fast-forward to 16. Father and I had an accident. We skidded into a ditch, half a metre short of a tree, and somehow the car flew back on to the road! But that didn’t change me.
At 18, my second car accident. I was driving and hit a lamppost so badly that the engine shot inside the car! Everyone said I was lucky to get out without even a scratch. Yet again I didn’t believe that Jesus had saved me.
At 17 I had my first Bell’s palsy episode. I went to school looking like that, everyone laughing at me, calling me names.
At 20-21, working in a chicken factory, a trolley with almost 400kg loaded on hit my leg and put me on bed rest for 3-4 months. Not a single person visited me. I couldn’t move; and we didn’t have a shower or toilet like here inside the house. It was a hard time but it allowed me to pray and read the Bible. My prayer was: I want to leave this country; I want more brothers and sisters; and I want one friend who can listen and talk to me.
I left Romania and came to the UK. I was working in a warehouse. I visited a small church called ‘Emmaus’. So shy, thinking no-one would talk to me… just like back home. But I made one friend! Daniel Puiar, who met with me for almost a year, speaking with me, encouraging me, having meals together and ‘fights’ over Bible subjects, but he never gave up on me. I made a second friend, Dragos Dumitascuta, one of my best friends. I started working in a church for the first time.
I had to move house and somehow my prayer from before was being answered: I rented a house and God gave me 10 ‘brothers’ to live with; a lovely house, bbq every day, shouting, screaming, fights, haircuts.
One last thing: 2 FRIENDS showed me what the love of Jesus means. I don’t have much, but I know Jesus loves me. Car accidents, people laughing at me, and the church where I am now – all for a reason: to help me grow and show me how Jesus can change 100 euros into a month’s food supply, all bills paid and 2 children kept in school.
I give every Sunday to the Lord, helping in the church. During the week I study the Bible and read Christian books for almost 4 hours every day. But nothing could happen without Jesus. And I can say: “Nothing surprises God.” He knows everything!
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139: 7-12