(Feature photo by Selma Komisky and photos of Silvana and family courtesy of Silvana Hagiu)
Silvana Hagiu: Missionary in Romania
More than Coffee,Tea and Cookies
By Selma Komisky
“Who has despised the day of small things?”
– Zechariah 4:10 (NASB)
Silvana Hagiu is a missionary, mom, and pastor’s wife who moved with her family to Brasov, Romania to serve Christ. This is her story.
Hagiu and her husband Nicolae, who is the senior pastor, at Calvary Chapel Brasov Casa de pe Stanca. Hagiu states, “Being a pastor’s wife is beautiful and hard at the same time. This is not something that we do eight hours a day or only on busy Sunday mornings. We open the church and we are the one who locks it. Our life is constantly in touch with others.”
The missionary reflects back how God guided them by their obedience to start their church. She was 16 when she met a group of American missionaries who came to her town and started a fellowship. She shares, “I was amazed of their free worship style and love for the Lord. Immediately I knew in my heart that is where the Lord wanted me to be, my faith started to fire up and after three days I went and asked to be baptized there. I dedicated my life to the Lord during that time, and after seven months, the Lord opened the doors for me to attend Calvary Chapel Bible School in Austria. My life was completely changed as I studied God’s Word and learned about His grace and love.”
Fast forward, Hagiu married Nicolae and lived comfortably in Italy when they received a call if they wanted to go back to Romania to Bistrita to work with the orphans. After praying and fasting, they had the confidence that it was the Lord calling them. Soon after, they gave up everything there and moved back to Romania where they worked with orphans, having seven other children in their home. They also helped with the church planting there.
Presently, they are involved in the church they’ve started to plant in Brasov, Romania. Hagiu along with her two children, Naomi and Leon, moved to this city. Hagiu shares, “We started to feel that the Lord wanted us to start something, we opened our house, invited friends for a coffee, tea and cookies and we started our home fellowship. One year ago, we moved forward and rented a public place to have it for our small church and since then we had to move two times for bigger locations.”
Brasov is one of the most beautiful cities of Romania with its Gothic inspired medieval watchtowers, cobblestone, baroque architecture and beautiful churches. There you can find a mixed community of Romanians, Hungarians and many foreigners. The people of Brasov are not very open nowadays to the gospel. She explains, “We believe that love can break walls and we can choose to love those around us and show them the love of God.”
After a few months visiting local churches trying to fit in one of them, their family started to meet up Sunday morning for worship and studied from the Word. A few weeks later she told a friend who had been praying for them and she joined their church body. It was the birth of their congregation and after a couple of months they had other people who joined them.
“We once again served tea, coffee and cookies and had worship time, teaching the Word and prayer,” Hagiu notes. “Many times we ate together, spent Christmas Eves and holy days together. It was sometimes tiring because we had to make sure all the house was in order, but after a time, I worried more about the people than about the house.”
Since she was a teenager, Hagiu liked to share with her girl friends what she read in her Bible and what she felt the Lord taught her. After they got married, she started to invite ladies from the church to her house who had babies and couldn’t come to church on Monday mornings. The ladies would come and they would have coffee, tea and cookies. They would pray together and hear some short messages.
“I started with one lady and after three months we were about fifteen. The ladies started to invite their friends and soon enough the group grew in number,” she reflects. “When we moved to Brasov, Romania after a short time I started to have friends that wanted to visit me to chat and they needed to talk with someone. To manage my time better I started to invite them together and soon we had another Bible study group, with lots of coffee, tea and cookies.”
Together, they studied for one year the Bible where Hagiu encouraged everyone to read the passage at home as they discussed it together and that’s how women’s ministry began.
Hagiu’s story is a good reminder for us today. Let’s remember in the Bible that Jesus used a little boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish to feed a multitude of five thousand (John 6:9). There was also a baby in a manger who grew to become our Savior for all mankind. (Luke 2:12). A cup of water offered to someone in His name that is rewarded (Matthew 10:42). A couple of coins in the offering from a widow that was honored by Jesus because she gave her all (Mark 12:42; Luke 21:1-4). Also, a mustard seed was used by Jesus as an analogy regarding increasing faith. It is this faith that He said can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). In turn, God used Hagiu’s hospitality, willingness and faith. Her story is an example of how Jesus delights in simple things like coffee, tea and cookies.
If you would like to learn more about Silvana, go to Calvary Chapel Brasov Casa de pe Stanca