A Monk’s Journey

On a recent trip to Romania, an SGA staff member met Daniel Purece for the first time. He is Pastor of a small church in southern Romania facing considerable challenges and yet knowing God’s blessing. His account of his conversion to Christ reminds us once again that the deepest longings of the human heart cannot be found in religion or pleasures, but in a true encounter with the living God. We asked him to share his testimony for your encouragement. “I was born in a small village in the county of Constanta. I’ve always loved reading books and while in high school I borrowed many books from the school library. Some of these books were written from an atheist perspective, and their teaching influenced me.

Daneil Purece and his family a
I realized I must change something in my life in order to make it worth living

In 1994 a Christian organization came to my village to show the Jesus Film. Almost everyone in the village attended, as did I out of curiosity. However, at the end of the movie, when the missionary extended the invitation to submit to God’s authority, I declined the invitation, for two main reasons: (1) I don’t believe in God, and (2) I am neither old nor need to seek God.

When I was 29 yrs. old after a wild party, I woke up with a sense of emptiness and need. I realized I must change something in my life in order to make it worth living. About that time I remembered the words of my priest in the village: “The real saints are at the monastery, because there people are actually seeking God and try to live according to His will.” Therefore, I said my goodbyes to my friends and girlfriend and started wandering through the country looking for a monastery to stay in. I eventually found one and started to seek God.

While in the monastery I read the book of Psalms and realized how seriously God took sin. I understood my life was not right and I had to live according to the counsel of God. But as I looked around at the older monks I was disappointed to see that they lived a very superficial life and had no desire to know God better.

Open Bible

I left that monastery in search of another one where my soul’s thirst would be satisfied. But everywhere I went I found the same sins and the same superficial living. I started to record my thoughts in a journal, but my journal was found and the other monks were very angry. They told me to leave because I was not one of them. I was angry with them, and with God for not honouring my desire to serve him and so I decided to kill myself. But I was determined to do it in the monastery as a way to get back at those who “abandoned” me.

I seek to live for His glory and for His Kingdom.

As I was preparing to take my life, I found a book called “From Prison into the Kingdom of God”. The book was written by a person who spent 16 years in prison, but while there, found Christ. As I read the book, one question kept coming to me: “If this person who spent so many years in a cell was able to have Christ’s joy and blessing, could I, who have tried so hard to please God, not also enjoy the same thing.” So I left the monastery and went to where I knew the author lived. After many hours of talking with him, he asked me: “Now, that you have learnt everything about me, and you know me so well, would you like to know the One who made all these changes in me?” It was on that day and in that place that my life was radically changed forever. I am married now, and with my family I am serving Christ. I seek to live for His glory and for His Kingdom.”