Romania witnessed a historic event on 21st november 2006 when Romanian National Television Station announced the 10 most prominent personalities of Romania. The process to elect these 10 figures of national importance, the Station took a poll and first elected 100 persons who had shaped Romanian history. In this first list Richard Wurmbrand’s name was prominently placed. From this list, 10 people were short listed. Among these 10 people, Rev. Richard Wurmbrand was in the 5th place. The first four positions went to Stefan cel Mare, King of Moldavia, 16th century, Carol I, King of Romania, 20th century, Mihai Eminescu, a poet, 19th century and King Mihai Viteazu, 17th century. Rev. Richard Wurmbrand (1909 – 2002) was the first in the list of 10 eminent persons who belonged to the 21st century.
It was a moment to great pride and happiness for me, that my leader, master and spiritual father was acknowledged by his own countrymen as one of the leaders who had shaped their country. What made it even more momentous for me was that I was in Romania and was witness to this great event. My meeting in Romania had been fixed for the third week of november nearly a year in advance. It was indeed God’s work, that I, who had represented Wurmbrand all over the world during his lifetime, was present on this stupendous occasion in his own country. The event drew a huge response from the citizens of Romania. For the duration of one whole month, Richard Wurmbrand’s name was revived and splashed all over national television. Scholars debated his work, his ministry, his contributions to Romania and his achievements. During these days, the whole nation came to know about this great man. And, during the last minute of voting, even the Internet got jammed due to the tremendous participation.
Since I was known as Rev. Wurmbrand’s representative during his harvesting days, I was interviewed by several journalists and the Gospel Radio Station. One of the questions asked to me by a non-Christian journalist was, “What did Wurmbrand do for Romania? Did he not escape from Romania leaving Romanians alone?” A second journalist asked me, “Why do you think that the Romanians voted for a Pastor when 80% of Romanians belong to the orthodox sect?”
Richard Wurmbrand was a man of great faith and of great courage. He did not deny his faith despite great torture by the Communists and he escaped from Romania in order to tell the world about the conditions of the Romanians under the hands of the Communists. He was living proof of the torture that was meted out to Romanians and he exposed the true color of the Communists to the West. He was therefore, the central point against the evil of Communism. In 1982, I was invited by President Reagen to Capitol Hill. This was not because of my achievements but because of Richard Wurmbrand’s mission which I represented in the world. During this meeting I realized that there was a triangular politico-religious nexus building up between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain, President Reagen of America and Pope John Paul of Rome to stand up shoulder to shoulder, to pull down the power of the evil of Communism. This united force was depending on the living testimony of a man who had suffered for 14 years in the prisons of Communist Romania. The tale of this one man proved to be great pivot in pulling down Communism, not only from Romania but from the entire world.
Another atheist journalist wanted to know, “Why has a pastor been honored with kings and political figures? To this I answered, Kings were born in palaces and belonged to the lineage of kings but Wurmbrand was born in one of the poorest homes. He rose to become an international figure with his own self-achievements. He spoke and preached several languages, traveled almost all over the world and wrote hundreds of books.
On a visit to Romanian library once, I came across more than 40 commentaries written by Richard Wurmbrand, which I had not even read. I have translated Wurmbrand’s books into 37 languages and distributed millions of these copies in Asia and Africa. Till today, the whole world knew about Wurmbrand and his ministry more than the Romanians did. In India, the name of Richard Wurmbrand is known to the entire population of one billion people. When he died, Richard Wurmbrand did not get a prominent obituary in his adopted country America, whereas, in India, details of his life and work were splashed across the front page of all leading newspapers and aired on all prominent television channels. Today, I am happy to say that Rev. Wurmbrand who was forgotten by many of his own countrymen is now alive among all Romanians.
And when I preached in churches in Oradia and Arat on 22nd november my sermons drew the largest crowds. This again was due to my association with Richard Wurmbrand. People welcomed me with open arms and I felt that the love they wanted to shower on Richard Wurmbrand, they were showering on me.