Missy Robertson and Larry West
Larry West with his daughter, Missy Robertson. West has served as Director of We Care Ministries since its birth in 1975.
No one asked them to. It was spontaneous, the thing to do. Everybody knew. There they had stood. For hours. Two hundred thousand of them. They listened to one speaker after another and heard words of freedom.
It was Christmas Eve, 1989, on the city square in Timisoara, Romania. They had just stormed the Central Committee building, causing their Communist tyrant Ceausescu to flee. Now, they listened under the very balcony from which Ceausescu had addressed them during his yearly visits.
Now it was words of liberty they heard. The people wanted a pastor to speak to them, so a committee of sorts solicited Peter Dugulescu.
“I’m Pastor Peter Dugulescu,” he began, “and I have come to speak to you in the name of God, as you wanted. For almost 45 years – my age, unfortunately – we have been told there is no God. The Communists wanted to take God away from our hearts, from our minds, from our families, from our schools. I want to speak to you in the name of this God.”
Their tearful faces were upturned, looking toward the balcony, their eyes bright with hope. They shouted with voices hoarse from hours of clamor. “God exists! There is a God. God is with us!”
Dugulescu went on, “The Communists tried to kill me a few times. I am still alive because God protected me. We must have real religious freedom in Romania! This is a historic moment. Let us turn our hearts to God. Please follow me in the Lord’s prayer.”
Then they did something he didn’t ask them to do. It was on this square, where these people had been forced time and again to sing praises they hated to the evil Communist oppressor, where their lives had been threatened if they did not bow to the altar of Communism. Now their shackles were being broken. As Dugulescu put it, it was in those same hearts, in those same minds, families, and schools. Chains were falling and free people began their liberty bowing to another King. Voluntarily.
It was a tidal wave of people getting down on their knees. Reverently, expressing free choice. There was no noise, just the rustling of people making room for one another. They began, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. …”*
America, it’s time we again get on our knees. Reverently. Voluntarily. Expressing free choice. Hushed and poised. God wants people on their knees. Only then is a nation blessed. Shackled to the Lamb, only then is it released.
As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
- Romans 14:11
*Charles Colson, “The Body,” Word Publishing, pp. 222-223.
Larry West has served as Director of We Care Ministries since its birth in 1975.