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Personal Testimony of Michael Palmer

How my life was changed, and Romania became my “Second Home”

I was born into a secular American home. My parents were not too concerned with spiritual things. I was fortunate to have a teenage friend that invited me to attend a church with him. Through the influence of those friends (I saw their lives changed as they trusted Christ), I sensed a weight from my own rejection of Jesus. I believed what the bible said about Jesus and that He died on the cross and rose from the dead; but I just did not want anyone to talk to me about it. I wanted to be left alone! But the Lord God saw to it that others around me kept being changed by Him! After a while I finally surrendered to Jesus Christ. I turned away from my selfish will and yielded to Him. There is so much I could share about my teen years. I hope maybe I can tell more to you when I am there in Craiova with you.

I will summarize by saying that the Lord protected me from doing too much stupid stuff. I disobeyed Him periodically and there were consequences for that. But for the most part I had a great life as a teenager and college student. I was invited to play softball (like American baseball) for a church team. As a result of that invitation, my life was RADICALLY changed. I began to attend worship at that church regularly. I met the girl I would later marry. I worked my way through the college and university. It took me seven years to complete my degree in business. But all the time I was doing that the Lord was doing something DEEP in my heart. He was in the process of CALLING me to be a pastor. Again, I was hesitant about that. I wanted to be a businessman and make a lot of money….HA! But God had other plans. So, I went to receive special training to be a pastor; I received a masters degree in divinity and later received a doctor of ministry degree.


I began pastoring way back in 1978! I pastored near the city of Chicago for three years and later at a semi-rural church in VA for seven years. Then I went to pastor Green Ridge Baptist Church where my life would be changed even more by Jesus Christ. It was there that a pastor named Johnny Hunt invited me to go to Romania with him to partner with churches and pastors there. I must be honest with you; I really did not want to go! But I sensed that the Lord wanted me to go. So, I went and saw the country that had just come out of communism. I was in Craiova in 1995! As I was leaving on the last night of that trip, a missionary and also a Romanian pastor was sharing about the desperate need in Romania. Part of me just wanted to be left alone. I had enough to do back in America without thinking about Romania. But as he talked, the Lord Jesus got hold of my heart. He “broke me” right there. I KNEW that the Lord wanted me to invest in the people of Romania. I was broken for the people and the spiritual emptiness present. I was also taken by the Romanian Culture and the history and the resiliency of the people. I began to weep uncontrollably. I wept for fort- five minutes while that man was speaking. Since that time, I have been back to Romania at least fifteen times. I have finished being the pastor at Green Ridge. After that, I was also the pastor of a smaller church in need for nearly three years. But now I have formed a small non-profit ministry named after myself (easy to remember): Mike Palmer Ministries. And I now plan trips and different types of ministry to the people of Craiova. In particular, the Lord has given us a sports (basketball) ministry to the area schools. And we have been on the campus of the University of Craiova as well.


Over the last several trips to Craiova it has become apparent to me and others that those that are graduating from High School and the University are struggling with direction in their life. Jobs are not plentiful. The economy is not good for them. And their priorities seem to be more “western” in the sense that material things and a “socially cool” scene are important to them. The values of the west have come to Romania. Now that brings me to WHY I am here now and whey I will keep coming back. Someone has to help these fantastic young adults of Romania to understand that there is something worth knowing about spiritual things. Most of the young adults I speak to are not interested at all in anything spiritual. A lot of that attitude comes from the culture itself. Many have seen nothing but “deadness” in the church that they know. And they have been told all their lives that the idea of “repentance” or “Baptist” or anything like that is just “taboo”. Stay away from it. And I see the wonderful young adults at the University and the High Schools and my heart breaks for them. They have no clue about the reality of a personal relationship with God through Christ. And they really do not care. Well the reason why I am here in Romania is that God does care about you and He has given me, and those with me, a heart to care for you also. I am not asking you (or anyone) to do anything you do not want to do. But I am asking you to at least give us (and the good reliable pastors in your city) a chance to help you “see” that this Jesus stuff is not some “little story” for kids; but that He is in the life changing business. He IS concerned about every detail of your life. He wants to work within you to actually convict you of sin, help you see your need for repentance, and then yield your heart and life to Him. And when you do you will receive PEACE in your heart, PARDON or forgiveness for your sins, a new PURPOSE for living and His guidance about all of life; and a new POWER for living. He will give you a new heart and new way of “seeing” everything. You see no one can make you do anything you do not want to do. But if you will at least give those who love you and can tell you the truth a chance to do that, then you can make an informed decision. That is WHY we are here in Craiova this week. …it is FOR YOU! What a trajedy it would be if there was something wonderful for each of you, but you rejected it without even giving others a chance to help you understand it and receive it.



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Leon Caldwell Personal Testimony

I was born in the coal mining region of the mountains of Southern West Virginia in America. Growing up in an area known as “the Bible Belt” I was exposed to the truth of God’s Word from childhood.

My pastor was a strong evangelistic preacher of Bible truth who clearly presented the consequences of an unforgiven life without Jesus Christ. As a nine year old child, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and follow Him.

Attending church regularly through my teen years and early adult life, I heard the Word of God on a regular basis and applied many of it’s teachings to my life. In spite of all that God had shown me in many different ways, I drifted away from Him in young adulthood.

When the Vietnam War required I join the military, I was assigned to Ft Riley Kansas in preparation to deploy to Southeast Asia. It was there that God got my attention again at a small Baptist Church in the town just outside our military installation. A man of God much like the pastor who I had preach God’s Word as a child was used by Holy Spirit to rekindle a desire to know my Savior better. God matured me a bit more then but I still had more growing to do!

When I returned home from the military, my wife and I attended a church that was close to where we lived. But God had placed us in the perfect spot, for the new pastor was and still today remains one of the greatest Bible teachers in my life. The Lord showed me so many things through this Pastor’s ministry.

What He did not show me then or under the ministry of two other pastors through the years was the games I was playing with myself and, more seriously, with my God and Savior. I knew all the things to say and do to present the picture of a godly man to everyone I met. But I was a double minded man, dancing on the edges of the Christian life and sin, thinking I was fine.

Finally, God got my attention through two major events in my life that made me stop and take a good, hard look at the person I was compared to the person I thought I was. God showed me that I wanted to serve Him on my terms, not His! As a result, my life was a series of commitments to “do better” instead of full surrender and service to Lord Jesus.

I finally understood that Jesus wanted all of my heart and life. I repented of my sin and yielded to Jesus. Since clearing my name completely before my Heavenly Father, He has unbelievably blessed my family’s life. I continue to coach basketball at the age of 76. My wife and I have 3 grown sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 6 grandchildren. God presented a new challenge to Rosie (my wife) and myself 5 months ago when we were granted custody of our great-grandson (Hunter) to care for. We are trusting God to allow us to raise him to love and serve Him.

I am blessed beyond measure that my Lord allows me the privilege of serving with and sharing the love of Jesus Christ in and with the precious people of Romania. I consider this my second home on this earth and love every moment God allows me to be here. You are most special to me but are even more special to our great God! You are loved!


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