ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
Articles > Christmas: > The Light of Christmas

The Light of Christmas


t was a cold December night in Timisoara, Romania. In his book, The Body, Charles Colson tells the story about Laszlo Tokes who, two years earlier, became the minister of Timisoara's small Reformed Church. He preached the Christian gospel message clearly and boldly. Within two years his church's membership had grown to 5,000.

His success was not well received by the Communist authorities who stationed policemen, armed with machine guns, around his church on Sundays. They engaged thugs to harm him and took away his ration book so he couldn't buy food or fuel. In December of 1989 they came to arrest him and send him into exile.

But when the police arrived they were stopped by a wall of people blocking the entrance to the church. Members from various other churches joined in protest. Police tried to disperse the crowd but the people stood firm all day and into the night. In the crowd was a 19-year-old Baptist student, Daniel Gavra, who had a supply of candles. Shortly after midnight, he lit one and handed it to the person next to him. Then he lit another and another and another. Soon the darkness of that fearful night was shattered by the light of hundreds of candles. Imagine the feeling Pastor Tokes must have experienced when he looked through the window to see the warm glow on the faces of hundreds of friends surrounding him.

The people stayed all through the next day and the next night. Finally the police forced their way through the crowd and, breaking down the church door, bloodied Tokes's face and took him and his wife out into the night.

Hundreds were shot and
wounded including Daniel
whose leg was blown off.

However, the people refused to be silent. What started as a religious protest became a political protest. They came en masse to the city square to demonstrate against the Communist government. Again Daniel Gavra passed out his candles.

The authorities, however, were infuriated. They brought in troops who were ordered to open fire on the demonstrators. Hundreds were shot and wounded including Daniel whose leg was blown off. But the people of Timisoara stood firm in their beliefs against the brutal onslaught seeking to break them down.

"By their example," Colson writes, "they inspired the entire population of Romania. Within days the nation had risen up and, Ceausescu, the bloody dictator was gone. For the first time in half a century, Romanians celebrated Christmas in freedom."

Daniel celebrated his Christmas in the hospital but to his pastor he said, "I don't mind so much the loss of a leg. After all, it was I who lit the first candle."1

And that one candle began a rebellion against a godless, dictatorial and bloody political system—a rebellion that changed an entire nation.

What a powerful reminder this Christmas of the Light that came into the world on another dark night in human history. It was this Light that inspired Pastor Tokes, David Gavra and their fellow Christian believers whose stand led to the freeing of Romania.

Continued on Page Two

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
Site Map   Top
Find Peace With God footer
About God
About Faith
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

Spanish Espanol
French Francois

Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners

Special Needs

Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test


ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report


Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

People Power Invite
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

Online Bookstore

Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2019 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God