16 June 2014
A Life Changed
"Am I good enough?"
That question haunted Adela Waldie throughout her childhood. While she went to church, her understanding of God's love was that it was conditional, based on good performance and good works. She worked tirelessly to be the best, yet even her strongest efforts fell short of impossible expectations.
Growing up in turbulent Romania during the decade before the Timisoara Uprising in 1989, Adela experienced the effects of a country steeped in Communism. Free speech was restricted, and religion was tolerated only so far as it allowed the government to extend its grip of control even further. Centuries-old cathedrals, monasteries, and other religious symbols were destroyed in the name of urban modernization.
The Timisoara Uprising in 1989 marked the fall of Communism in Romania. One week later, Luis Palau was invited to proclaim the Gospel publicly- an act of religious declaration that hadn't been permitted for more than 50 years.
It was at the Luis Palau Campaign in Timisoara, Romania in 1990 that Adela heard a life-changing Gospel message: God loved her as she was, her constant striving for perfection didn't have to continue, and she was worthy of salvation regardless of what she did to earn it.
"I have never experienced anything like that, our country had been under Communism all my life," she said, reflecting back on that day. "The security that comes that I am in God's hand and that I don't have to perform... A huge weight was lifted off my shoulder when I learned that."
Hungry to learn more, Adela befriended a missionary couple and eventually moved to the United States, where she studied pharmacy at a University. "God provided miraculously," she said.
Adela met and befriended Jeremy Waldie after they went on a medical mission trip together to Panama, where they realized their hearts and passion for evangelism were aligned. They got married and moved to Yakima, Washington, where Jeremy had accepted a position as a youth pastor.
20 years later, Adela would cross paths with Luis again at Yakima CityFest with Luis Palau. Adela and Jeremy were quick to get their church involved in the festival, challenging the students in the youth group to invite five friends who did not know the Lord. They also organized projects for the Season of Service component for the festival.
At the festival, Adela was able to serve as a counselor and prayed with young people to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts, sharing her own story of coming to faith at a Luis Palau event.
For Adela, the festival was a reminder of the day so many years ago in Timisoara, where a young girl was freed from the prison of striving and perfectionism into a life that embodies the true freedom and unrelenting love of the Gospel.
"I knew what shoes they were in, because I was there," she said. "It was such a joy to see them come to know Jesus."