I’ll never forget December 21. Two times in my life, it has proven to be a significant day.
On December 21, thirty years ago, I sat glued to the television news. The revolution in Romania was under way. First Poland, then Hungary, then East Germany, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia had shaken free of their Communist oppressors. But could it happen in Romania, where people were so beaten down it didn’t seem possible they could find the strength to stand up?
The revolution began on December 15 in Timisoara, a border city, when people protested the forced exile of a Hungarian pastor. The action moved to Bucharest on December 21, and by the next day, it was finished. Of one accord, the army tanks turned and began firing on the Securitate.
Chants of Down with Communism spontaneously changed to God exists! For 45 years, the Romanian people had been brainwashed that there was no God, and they’d had enough. The dictator Ceausescu fled and the unarmed people were victorious.
The impossible had happened!
This revolution affected not only Romania, but my life personally. A matter of months later, I had moved to Romania to reach college students with the gospel. The adventure of my life had begun. It was to last for the next decade.
Another life-changing event happened to me on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year but one of the brightest of my life. Nineteen years ago, on December 21, Steve Hutchison got down on one knee and read a speech he’d hoped to memorize. His words were beautiful, but I only remember the last phrase: Will you marry me?
I said yes! Another adventure began, one I am still part of and hope will never end.