Rebecca Dan-Walsh, Founder
I was born in Hampstead, Maryland into a family of five brothers and three
sisters. My parents owned a large truck
farm where we all worked hard and learned to take on responsibility at an
I remember so well that
summertime was harvest time. At age six, I remember how we harvested grain
with an old threshing machine.
Harvest time was a big time since it took lots of people to do the work. I
liked it especially because while the men
worked threshing the wheat, the ladies prepared lots of good food for the
men and, of course, for us kids, too.
too young to work, so I was the water girl. I carried jars of ice water,
each wrapped in old newspapers to keep them
cold. When I saw how thirsty the men were, I thought I had a pretty
important job. Now 40 years later I still feel like
the water girl, bringing the water of life to the children of Romania.
The Birthing of My East European Vision
I became interested in politics and reading about fighting communism,
through a youth leader in my church. In 1974,
I went to the American Christian College in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time I
wanted to get involved in fighting against
As a young person I had great aspirations of getting into the FBI one day.
Unfortunately, I was a very bashful young lady (some people don't believe it).
I wanted to overcome this, so I got a job selling Bibles door-to-door. It
turned out that I became the number one salesman the first week.
That summer I met scores of people and
sold lots of Bibles to help pay for my college education.
thing that happened that summer was that at
an old country church in Rich Hill, Missouri, I had a real experience with
the Lord. I committed myself completely to
Him and He baptized me in the Holy Spirit. Then the Lord told me to forget
the politics and go to Bible school.
In January 1975, I enrolled in the Ozark Bible Institute in Neosho,
Missouri. There I studied for three years. I
appreciate that time of preparation and especially my dorm mom who taught
me the importance of prayer.
In September 1975, I was in a missions service where I remember God showing me a
vision. I had been praying much
for Eastern Europe. In this vision, I saw myself in a foreign country where
women wore headscarves. I knew these were women in Eastern Europe. I was
standing in the middle of a group of
women and giving each of them a Bible. They were all weeping and rejoicing,
and I was ready to pack my suitcase
right then and leave for Eastern Europe. I thought I was ready, but God had to first
make some changes in my life.
Good Bye, USA
God called me to take the Word of God behind the Iron Curtain. I wanted to
be obedient to Him. Some people told
me the work was too dangerous and tried to talk me out of going to Eastern
Europe. One man even came to my
house and talked to my dad. He was so persistent, trying to stop me from
the call of God. He said, "Mr. Walsh, we
must stop your daughter from going to Europe."
My dad, who knew me much
better than I thought, said, "Bro. H., I
want to tell you, I can't stop Becky and you can't stop her either. Becky
has her mind made up, and only God is able
to change it."
I made my first trip into Eastern Europe in 1980 with Open Doors, led by
Brother Andrew, a Dutch evangelist who
has labored many years in the mission fields of the world. It was my first
adventure of faith, and we have been living
by faith ever since.
In 1981, I joined Mission Possible from Denton, Texas,
and since they did not have a base in
Europe, I was working with a collaborating German organization, Action
Committee for Persecuted Christians.
this time in Eastern Europe, the Christians were being imprisoned for their
faith. Some pastors disappeared, and
people were not allowed to pray with their neighbors nor teach their
children about God.
From 1980-1989, we were
able to take over 40,000 Bibles, plus additional children's materials to
these hungry, needy souls all over Eastern
Europe. I could write a book just about all these experiences and how God
protected us so many times.
Romania, the Most Difficult Country
The border crossings into Romania were the most difficult in all
Eastern Europe. Sometimes we had to wait up
to 13 hours to enter Romania. Just the border guards coming and looking
at you was enough to make your
It was spring 1985, when one beautiful day after having
delivered our Bibles -- we were only 20 miles
from the Romanian border, and happy that in less than an hour the heavy
depressive spirit would be left behind us --
a drunk man suddenly darted out in the road in front of my car.
I hit him. He was thrown up on the hood
and hit the windshield. When I stopped, he
rolled off the front like a sack of potatoes. The devil spoke to me at that
moment, "Now you have fallen into my
hands and I can do with you what I want." But right after that, the voice
of God in my spirit said, "Your times are in
My hands and the enemy cannot touch you." What a battle!
I jumped out of
the car, and the man I hit was
unconscious. My co-worker and I prayed for him. I prayed, "Lord let him
live." I had a co-worker who had just been
released from a one-year prison term after having a similar accident and
I was detained several days and had an attorney to plead my
case. Everyday I had to report to the police
station, where I was continually threatened with a prison sentence. Finally
I went before the judge and he, with a big
smile on his face, returned my passport because he found me not guilty, and
I was free.
(Praise God, the man lived!)
In December 1987, I was caught by the secret police in Brasov, Romania. At
the time, I was training some new co-workers. I had left them at the contacts' house
while I went to get my visa renewed.
The police caught me at the
hotel. They asked where my friends were. I told them they were sightseeing.
Immediately I had to find them and tell
them we were expelled from Romania for no reason at all. The police saw I
had a video camera and were afraid I was
a journalist, writing a story about an uprising that took place a few weeks
before in this city.
When the six policeman
came to interrogate us, we knew they were serious about us leaving,
immediately. I'll never forget that night they
expelled us from Brasov. It was dark, the roads were covered with sleet,
and the fog had just settled in.
I drove three
hours to the next city, Sibiu. I knew what would be waiting for us eight
hours later - interrogations, and we needed to
be ready spiritually and emotionally. That meant we would have to stop and
rest for the night.
In Sibiu, we stopped at
the hotel. That night our car was broken into, and the police were there to
greet me at 5 A.M. A friendly man fixed
the window, and we were on our way to the border.
We noticed a car
following us. Since we hadn't arrived at the
border as expected, the police were looking for us. For the next six hours,
we had a police escort.
As we traveled, we
prayed that God would prepare us for the border. We rehearsed our story of
how we knew each other and what we
were doing in the country. It was a long tiring trip to the border, but we
The border guards separated us,
interrogating us for five hours. All the while God gave us His special
grace for this time. They confiscated most of our
films, but we were then permitted to leave.
We were so thrilled to be in
Hungary. We went directly to a hotel to rest,
as we were all exhausted. The next day we visited some friends and gave
them all the food we were not able to leave
in Romania. This was a tremendous blessing for them.
There was such a feeling of freedom in my spirit. We got in the car and
said, "We're going home." We would spend
the night in Budapest, Hungary and the next day be in Germany. I was
thinking how nice it was going to be to be back at my
apartment and enjoy the beautiful mountains. How little did I know we would
be detained once again.
That evening as
we drove down a small country road, I had not noticed that is was muddy and
that the ground was freezing. I saw the
curve sign too late and collided with another car. The front of our car had
excessive damage and couldn't be driven.
The other vehicle had only slight damage. Once again, we experienced more
man came and helped us park the car in
his courtyard. Then he invited us into his house and took all our filthy,
muddy boots, and washed them. He was so
much like Jesus. He fed us and then helped us find a hotel.
It took me
several days to arrange to have my car
picked up and taken back to Germany. Finally six days later, we arrived by
train back in Germany. I had to brush
aside the tears and thank God we were finally home. It was the hardest
mission experience in my seven years of
ministry. But was our trouble over? No!
A few weeks later, I found out that my
back and neck had been injured in the
accident. Suddenly I was not able to use my hand or to walk. I had to crawl
around the apartment. Then, as if this
wasn't enough, I had also picked up Hepatitis while in Romania.
Each day I
grew weaker and weaker until it was
almost impossible for me to open a can of food for myself. I was depressed
and alone. My friends weren't there to
help when I needed them. The enemy mocked me. Satan said, "You will never
walk again; your ministry is over, and
you will spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair." That was more than
I could bear alone.
I had called for prayer in
Germany, but there was no response. Later I decided to call the End-time
Handmaidens (a world missionary
organization) in Arkansas, as they had been praying for me on a regular
basis. The President of the organization,
Gwen Shaw, was there when I called and wanted to know what happened.
told her, she said, "You are like
the man on the Jericho road, beaten up and robbed by the enemy." She prayed
for me, and it was like a gentle
healing oil being poured over me. She told me I needed to come home.
days later I was on a plane headed for St.
Louis, Missoui (USA). I ended up staying with a friend, Elaine Cox, a registered nurse,
who took care of me for several months.
During this time, I had treatment for my back and neck.
What the enemy meant
for evil, God then turned around for
good as He raised up new supporters for our work. In July, I returned to
Germany, strong and healthy once again. It
was 1988 and God was preparing me for even more changes.
Berlin Wall Falls
On November 11, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. The world was shocked. It was
something we had prayed about for
years, and it happened so suddenly. The borders were starting to open up.
It went like a stack of dominos, i.e. first
Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, and we were
waiting for the same thing to
happen in Romania. But the Romanian borders didn't fall so easily. The
former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu didn't
want to give up so easily.
The Revolution started in Timisoara in December
16, 1989. God used a Hungarian
Reformed Pastor Laslo Tokes as a catalyst to start the Revolution. Nicolae
Ceausescu and his wife were arrested
and executed on December 26th. Before the Revolution ended, hundreds of
people lost their lives. But Romania was
A New Day for Romania
I was in Romania on January 1, 1990. There was a different spirit on the
border. There was no more waiting for hours
to cross the border and the guards were happy and smiling. When they saw I
had Bibles and Christian books in my
van, they were still smiling.
No longer did we need secret compartments in
vehicles for Bibles. It was an exciting
day! I was able to cross the border in ten minutes. That in itself was a
The greatest thing was that now we
could visit the churches. Before the Revolution, I was not allowed to visit
the believers in the churches that I had
longed to see face-to-face and encourage.
In 1990, we started our outreaches
to the women. It was a wonderful
ministry. We saw God touch and heal many of them.
Later God put it on my
heart to start a prison ministry. It took
nine months until we could enter the prisons, but we did.
Then we started
ministering with the Jesus Film in the
public schools. This was also a memorable time for me, sharing about the
Lord in the schools, when I knew this
would be impossible in America.
Then we had large children's meetings. God
continued to lead us on to new things.
Soon even the brothers accepted me, and we started having outreach meetings
where everyone was invited.
time, God began to impress upon me to pray for southern Romania. There were
so few churches and Christians
there. The Orthodox Church was very strong. We began to pray more and more
for the southern area of Romania.
"Lord, send some missionaries there."
Shortly thereafter, I found God
calling me to be one of His missionaries to
Bucharest - Romania's largest city and capital. Now I have to tell you I just hated Bucharest.
In 1990, there was nothing but chaos in the
city. It was a nightmare driving on the streets, and when you arrived at
your hotel without having an accident or being
robbed or cheated, it was a real miracle. Even though I said, "I'm not
coming back here any more", something would
keep drawing me back.
In 1992, I rented a little apartment in the city and
then Bucharest became a little more like
home. At least I had a little place of peace and refuge when I needed it.
We started having outreach meetings in the
various culture centers in 1992 and 1993.
In 1994, I was asked by the
President of the Romanian Bible Institute to
come and help at the Bible school. I started out as a dorm mom and then
later on was the Director of Evangelism. I
was able to set up outreach meetings in the villages and also in the parks.
Then one day later in 1994, God spoke to
me and said, "This Bible school is too small. You will have a house, and it
will be called Casa Shalom." A little over
one year later, we were asked to manage a house for children and named it
Casa Shalom. That same year we set up
our own non-profit organization.
Becky Gets Married
On October 26, 1996, I married Joseph Dan. This was another
tremendous change for me. Joseph is very
gifted in music and is teaching the children how to play the mandolin. He
is also their teacher here at the house. I
take care of the official business and do the fund raising.
We are so amazed as we look back on our life and see how God has led us
step by step.
"Please tell me more."