Carl and Connie Giordano sent the following as part of their Victory in Jesus Newsletter. The story is by Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian Pastor who was imprisoned for his faith in Jesus. He was tortured and suffered greatly for 14 years in a Communist concentration camp.

Carl related: “Many years ago I had the great privilege to hear Brother Wurmbrand preach at a Church in Pennsylvania. I will never forget the experience. When he and the Pastor of the Church came to the platform and sat down, Brother Wurmbrand immediately tack off his shoes. When he was introduced, he came forward to the microphone with a chair, sat down on the chair, and began to speak. I’ll never forget the things he said that night, and it was over 20 years ago that I heard him preach. First of all, he said, ‘Please forgive me for taking my shoes off and sitting on a chair to preach to you tonight. You see, I cannot wear shoes for very long nor can I stand for very long. In prison for 14 years, the Communists often beat my feet with rubber hoses. Wearing shoes and standing causes me great pain, so please forgive me for making myself so comfortable here tonight.’”

“The second thing he said made me and everyone else in the Church want to crawl under the pew for shame. He said, ‘Every night for 14 years in prison, myself and all the other Christians prayed for the Christians in America. Did you pray for us?’

“I weep now as I tell you about the third thing I remember that Brother Richard Wurinbrand spoke of. He constantly told us of the great love that he had for the Communists that tortured him in prison. (Brother Wurmbrand is full to overflowing with the love of God.) I weep because I know that we “Christians” in America have a very difficult time loving one another, much less someone who has tortured us. But then we don’t have to worry about that because none of us has ever been tortured. And as long as we keep living the “LUKEWARM” life, we never will have to worry about it!

“That night, after Richard Wurmbrand preached, he had a time of questions and answers. Someone from the congregation asked, ‘Brother Wurmbrand, when you were in prison, did you have the joy of the Lord like Paul and Silas in Acts 16?’

“Brother Wurmbrand answered, ‘Now, I hope my answer doesn’t offend anybody, but I must tell you this. When I was in prison, they put all of us Christians in the same cell block. We were all bound with chains, but our chains were to us as musical instruments. Sometimes in the middle of the night, we would all awake and be so full of the joy of the Lord that we would dance around our prison cells and we would all clang our chains together for musical accompaniment.”


 Dear brothers and sisters,

“You must be born again” (John 3:7).

Let me tell you about a man who was in prison with me. Demitri was a pastor whose backbone had been beaten with a hammer. When a certain vertebrae was hit, he was paralysed so that he could move only his neck.

You can imagine what a tragedy this was. If he had been in a home or hospital, he would have had a wife, mother, or nurse to take care of him. How would we take care of him? There was no running water to wash him, no linen to change him. He lay there in his human waste. He could not stretch out his hands to drink a cup of water. The others who could walk and work were taken to slave labor during the day. When they came back in the evening, he had to wait for them to help him drink a cup of water. He lay like this in prison for a couple of years. It was hell an earth.

Then in December 1989 Romania had a revolution and the dictator Ceausescu was overturned. Freedom came and Demitri was released from prison to be with his family and friends. No doctor could help him, but now he had loving hands to help him. He still could not move hand or foot.

One day someone knocked at his door. It was the Communist who had crippled him. He said, “Sir, don’t believe that I have come to ask forgiveness from you. For what I have done, there is no forgiveness, not on earth or in heaven. You are not the only one I have tortured like this. You cannot forgive me; nobody can forgive me. Not even God! My crime is much too great. I have come only to tell you that I am sorry about what I have done. From you I go to hang myself. That is all.’ He turned to leave.

 The paralysed Brother Demitri said to him, “Sir, in all these years I have not been so sorry as I am now, that I cannot move my arms. I would like to stretch them cut to you and embrace you. For years I have prayed for you every day. I love you with all of my heart. You are forgiven.”

Demitri had learned love from Jesus, who called Judas “friend”, who prayed for those who crucified Him, and who accepted Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, and made him an apostle.

Our faith in Jesus means imitating Him. Jesus, as often as He met a sinner, did not reproach him. He took that man’s sin upon Himself and suffered on the cross for the sin. I could tell you many stories of others like Demitri.

At one point in prison, I felt very sick. I had tuberculosis, diabetes, heart problems, jaundice, and I don’t know how many other kinds of sicknesses. I was near death. There was in that prison a cell reserved only for the dying. I am the only one who has survived that cell. I was in that room for over three years and came out on my feet to tell the story. It is a story not only of suffering, but also of so much beauty.

To my right side was a pastor by the name of Iscu. He had been so badly beaten and tortured that he lay dying. He was so quiet. He knew where he was going. Whenever he opened his mouth, he gave gems. In Hebrew the word TO TELL or TO SAY does not exist. The Hebrew word for SAY or TELL means SAPPHIRE, A GEM. TO SAY in Jewish means TO GIVE A GEM. If you open your mouth, give a gem. There may be times when you are sad or angry. Keep silent and wait for the moment when you can give a gem. Iseu gave gems when he spoke. He spoke about the beauties of heaven and the love of Jesus. His body was still an earth, at my right side, but mentally he was already in heaven.

On my left side was the Communist who had tortured him to the brink of death. The government had arrested their own comrade and tortured him. Now he too was near death. During the night, he would awaken, “Please, pastor, say a prayer for me. I have committed such crimes. I cannot die.”

What I witnessed next was a scene from heaven (you need not be in heaven to see heaven). The agonizing pastor called two other prisoners to help him and, leaning an them, he very slowly passed my bed and sat down an the bedside of his torturer. Iscu caressed his torturer on his head. I will never forget the scene.

This was the man who had so beaten Iseu that now he waited for death, and Iseu caressed him. He said, “I have forgiven you with all of my heart and I love you. If I who am only a sinner can love and forgive you, more so can Jesus who is the Son of God and who is love incarnate. Return to Him. He longs for you much more than you long for Him. He wishes to forgive you much more than you wish to be forgiven. You just repent.” In that prison setting where there was no place for intimacy, I overheard this torturer confess all of his murders to the tortured one. Then they prayed together and embraced each other.

 Slowly, slowly, the pastor was helped to his deathbed. They both died the same night.  It was Christmas Eve, but not a Christmas Eve at which you celebrate one who was born 2,000 years ago, far away in Bethlehem.  Jesus had been born that very evening in the heart of a criminal.

This is what Jesus can do for you. I hope that I do not speak in vain. When I have a gem, I speak. This is the gem I have for you today. Jesus loves you and waits to be born in your heart.

God bless you,

Richard Wurmbrand


If you would like to read the full account of Richard Wurmbrand’s life and testimony, you will find it in his book, entitled – TORTURED FOR CHRIST. For the book and/or his monthly Newsletter, write to –

THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRS

P.O. BOX 443

BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA 74005

Tel. 918-337-8015; Fax 9IB-338-0189

e-mail: thevoice@vom-usa.org

web site: www.persecution.com