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Rebecca Dan-Walsh
Rebecca Dan-Walsh, Founder
Bucharest, Romania

My Background
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 early age.

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.

I was 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 communism.

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.

The greatest 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

Becky 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.

During 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

Becky 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 knees knock.

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 killing a pedestrian.

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 were ready.

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 delays.

A kind 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.

When I 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.

A few 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 free!

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 miracle.

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.

At this 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."

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