I grew up in Romania during the totalitarian regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes of all time. One of Ceaușescu’s goals was to demolish all of the churches to make room for his palace—his earthly temple. Declaring himself a god, he decreed that he had brought about a “golden era,” and every citizen was required to agree with him.
I, however, did not.
As an attorney, my entire life was dedicated to finding and defending “the truth.” When I finally found it in the pages of the Bible—the most forbidden book in all of Romania—I had no choice but to accept God’s divine call and refocus my career on defending fellow Christians against Ceausescu’s unjust persecution.
For this act of treason, I was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and placed under house arrest for weeks at a time. Still, I did not waver. The greatest test of my faith, however, came when Ceausescu sent an assassin to my office to kill me.
It was late. Everyone else had left for the evening. I was sitting at my desk reviewing some documents for a case I was trying the next day when he arrived.
He was a massive creature—well over six feet tall— with dark, menacing eyes and a hateful scowl. He wasted no time. “Virginia Prodan,” he growled. “You have ignored all of our warnings, and now I am here to kill you.”
With that, he produced a gun from his coat. I panicked. Instinctively, I turned to God for help.
“Save me, O Lord,” I silently prayed. “And I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” (Jeremiah 12:14)
He slowly raised the gun and pointed it at my chest. My eyes shot to the photo of my two young daughters sitting on the corner of my desk. Oh God, I thought, I’m never going to see them again.
I had always known that my faith put them at risk. In fact, the last time the secret police interrogated me, they made a point of telling me that they knew my daughters’ schedules,that they had been following them. My stomach turned. These people will stop at nothing.
“Hear my cry for help, my King, and my God, for to you I pray.” (Psalm 5:2)
I closed my eyes and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I held my breath. The room was silent, save for the sickening “click” of the assassin’s trigger.
“My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me,” I prayed. (Psalm 31:15)
The silence continued. What is he waiting for? I wondered. Why doesn’t he get it over with already?
Then I heard someone speaking. To my surprise, it was me.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3).
I opened my eyes. My assassin was still standing there, still aiming the gun at my chest. His expression, however, had changed, softened. He mouthed something that I could not make out.
I met his gaze. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn he had tears in his eyes. What could possibly have brought this man to tears? That’s when it occurred to me. God wasn’t the only one who had been hearing my prayers. I had been praying aloud.
Emboldened, I leaned forward. He instinctively drew back. I paused. Is he afraid of me? The hand holding the gun had been lowered and was now resting on the desk in front of me. It was still cocked, however, and his finger was still poised upon the trigger.
I took a deep breath and steadied myself. I stole a final glance at my daughters’ sweet faces and then met the gaze of my assassin. “Help me, Lord,” I prayed to myself. “These may be the last words I ever say. Lord, let them be honoring to you.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
Virginia Prodan is the author of Saving My Assassin, the unforgettable account of her defiance in the face of evil, and a surprise encounter that proves nothing is impossible with God. Exiled from Romania since 1988, Virginia currently resides in Dallas, TX. She is an international human rights attorney, an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, and a sought-after speaker.