Pastor Vasile Filat | Authobiography
My name is Vasile Filat and I serve as a pastor of Good News Church in Chisinau, Moldova, the coordinator of the association „Precept Ministries Moldova” and administrative director of Inductive Bible study Institutes for Eurasia. I also serve as a trainer of the mentioned institute. God gave us three wonderful children and my wife Anastasia is also a professor at the institute, serving together with me. Our daughter, Nastica, is studying History at Moldova State University, David, our oldest son, is graduating the middle school and Daniel, our youngest, is studying in the 7th grade. I am a holder of 5th degree Black-belt in Taekwon-Do, and an international Taekwon-Do instructor.
I was born on the 28th of September, 1971 in the village of Lăpuşna, in the Hânceşti region and my parents were Orthodox Christians. My mother attended Church regularly because she wanted to have a good relationship with the Lord. Unfortunately, she was never taught the Holy Scriptures and so she never obtained what she was seeking for. My father rarely went to Church, maybe once a year; at least that is how I remember it. He was a very abusive man, and with much sadness I hate to have to tell you the fact that my childhood dream was to kill my father. Back then I believed that the happiest day of my life would be the day when my father would be gone forever and we would live with our mother only. She was our joy but because of our abusive father, she was forced to suffer greatly. As a child I remember the walls of our house being splattered with blood, not because my mother was not a good housekeeper, but because of so much abuse. We all knew how to distinguish if our father were drunk or sober when he came home by the way that the gate leading to our house opened. After hearing him arrive, we would often run for cover waiting for him to find us and then the beatings would begin.
My parents taught me to say memorized prayers, such as the „Lord’s Prayer” and every evening I would pray to an icon before going to bed. One night my father came home late and woke me up. He made me get on my knees in the middle of the bed and bow down before an icon and recite the Lord’s Prayer. As it was late and I was very sleepy and terribly afraid, I made a few mistakes while praying. My father hit me so hard that I flew through the air, landing hard on the floor, where my father began kicking me over and over again. I was so afraid, and like a wild animal I grabbed for anything that I could find, latching on to my father’s leg, begging him to stop beating or to kill me because I could not take anymore of the beating. This “lesson on religion” was a huge contributing factor in convincing me to believe in the atheistic lies that I received a few years later in school. I also remember the time when I found a plastic cross in our house with the Lord Jesus Christ being crucified. I went to each member of my family, asking them who the man on the cross was, why was he beaten, and why all of this happened. Everyone was able to tell me that the man was Jesus Christ but after that no one knew any of the rest of the details, why he died, and so forth because none of them had been taught the Scriptures.
As I mentioned earlier, all of us, we children, wanted that our father will die, and when I was 9 years old the most dramatic thing happened in our lives. Our mother, who was just 39 years old at the time, after being severely abused by our father for many years, fell terribly ill and died in a short time. I wrote and articole about that. After my mother was buried, the very same day, our father told my 17 year old sister that she could not marry until after he did and that he would be getting remarried soon. A few days later my siblings and I found ourselves on the streets, the beginning of an extremely difficult period in our lives. Our oldest sister, who was only 17 years old, had to assume the role of father and mother for the rest of us, which forced her to fight for our future. I was confused, being a child with neither father nor mother, so I was easily deceived into believing in atheism when it was taught to us in school. My thinking was „if there is a God and He really does exist then why did He allow my mother to die instead of killing my father”. I realized the difficult situation that our family was in and the fact that I was the only male child, so I decided to place all of my efforts into studying and doing well in school. I was successful in school and even received awards for my academic achievements.
The day that my mother died, an indescribable hatred began to brew in my heart toward my father and I felt a responsibility to my mother and sisters to punish the man who caused our mother’s death, by putting him to death with my own hands. All throughout my childhood I contemplated on different ways of killing my father. This contemplation lasted all through my adolescent years until I was old enough to carry out my plan. At that time several things kept me from acting on my evil plan and I got to the point where I gave up on actually killing him. The plan that I had is another story that I would like to write about at another time. I was not a Christian at the time and I am so thankful to the Lord that He did not allow me to carry out my diabolic plan.
After graduating high school, I decided to go to the State University in Moldova, majoring in History. While at the University I began to train Taekwon-Do, which was actually illegal at the time under the former USSR. In my major, History, while we were studying Eastern Civilization, my professor, Vladimir Potlog, whom I consider the best specialist in our country, ask us the following question, „How many of you have ever read the Bible?”. We students began to laugh at his question because we thought that the Bible was only for old people and those who were ignorant. This was what we had been taught all of our lives. Our professor’s response was that the Bible is the most important historical document for ancient history. He also said that the Bible has greatly influenced human history and one cannot be a good specialist in history unless he knows the Bible. I was very curious after hearing that so immediately after class I went to the University library to find a Bible. I was told that there were only a few copies of It and that it is not checked out to just anyone. I went to the National library and received the same answer. My next stop was the church. I visited several different churches but I still could not find a Bible for sale. Finally I ended up buying a Bible off the „black market” through some friends that I had. I paid the same amount for the Bible that I needed for a month at the University. I began reading the Bible immediately; still believing that everything in It was just a bunch of fairy tales. Little by little I began to realize that the Bible is very different from other books, and I even got to the point where I no longer doubted the existence of God, even though He never tries to convince us of His existence in the Bible.
While all of this was going on in my life, the former USSR was falling apart, causing chaos to prevail. The sportsmen of the time began to get involved in illegal things, and I am sorry to say that our Taekwon-Do group, lead by Ion Cheptene, also got involved as well. As I was doing these questionable things, I was also reading the Bible. For instance we were called upon to „resolve” some conflicts between rivals for some money. Of course, we were to resolve the problem with our Taekwon-Do skills. My teacher, Ion Cheptene, went to Moscow to a one year training seminar and left me in charge of the „special” team (special operations). One day I received a phone call from Ion saying that he needed me to come urgently and bring one of our „special” team members. He even offered to pay our way. Once we arrived we were surprised to see the transformation that had taken place in the heart of our instructor. He had repented of his sins and received the Lord Jesus Christ into his life as Lord and Savior, and it was evident in every aspect of his life. I had read much more of the Bible and I had tried to live according to the Bible but I could not do it. Ion began to explain to me the importance of being born again and since I saw the living, breathing results of being born again, after three days I decided to pray to the Lord, asking for forgiveness of my sins, to be born again, and the Holy Spirit to dwell within me. This is how I entered into covenant with the Lord, through faith in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, and the result was a transformed life. To this very day, my wife, Nastica, says that she has never seen a person’s life so dramatically transformed as mine was. This change was because of the Lord and the work of His Holy Spirit in me. Immediately after I repented, while in Moscow, I bought an encyclopedia from a Christian store and then went home and read the Bible from cover to cover in a two or three week time span. I was so hungry for the Word and I wanted to know more and more about the Lord. I began to search for a Church where the Word of God was taught because I wanted to learn more and more from the Scriptures. Since I had already read the entire Bible, many people (Christians) recommended that I begin to read books about the Bible, especially commentaries. Although I followed their advice, I did not find the satisfaction that I was looking for. I felt as if the Bible were full of hidden treasures but I could not find them because I did not know how to study the Bible and dig them out.
The day that I was baptized, one of the deacons of the church, Pavel Gheorghieş, invited me, Nastica and our child to come to his house and celebrate the wonderful occasion. While we were at his house, he opened one of his cabinets to get something and a book caught my eye, „How to study the Bible” by Kay Arthur. I leaped out of my chair, grabbed the book, and began to ask questions like how much the book cost, where I could buy it, etc. Pavel gave the book to me as a gift as well as the Bible study book „Lord I want to know You”. The above mentioned Bible study was to be studied in forty-two days but I finished it in two days and nights. I was greatly moved by what I learned from the study because the book is not a commentary but it is a guide that teaches you how to study the Word for yourself so that you can understand It. I learned so many important things that I needed for that moment in my life which really strengthened my faith in the Lord. After I finished the study I immediately called Pavel and thanked him once again, then I asked him if he had other studies similar to the one that I had studied. He gave the Gospel of John to me and then invited me to go to Romania to a conference that was to take place in the summer. While at the conference I met Mia and Costel Oglice, exceptional teachers of the Bible, who soon became my teachers and mentors as well as spiritual parents. All the years that I have known the Oglice family have been a blessing because they have taught me so much and they continue to teach me through their example, but not me only but they are an example for all of their disciples from 58 different countries in Eurasia. After finishing the conference, where we studied the book of Malachi, Mia and Costel asked me to stay for another conference. I accepted and stayed for several conferences held in different cities in Romania. I came home and began to study on my own and by the next summer I had done an overview of every New Testament book. I did this in order to learn how to observe a text better and I wanted to practice my newly learned skills. This work caused a great spiritual growth to take place in my life over that period of time.
Being a Taekwon-Do instructor at the time, teaching a group of students from the Medical University, I decided to incorporate Bible study into our training sessions. At the beginning I would ask them to remain for about 15 minutes after our session so that I could explain some things from the Scriptures to them. Only a few stayed and they were girls who felt sorry for me because I was putting forth so much effort to convince them. One time I decided to bring the Bible study book “Lord I want to know You” and fill it out with those girls who stayed. They accepted and we spent two hours working in the book. We were so wrapped up in the study that the night watchman had to come and send us home so he could lock up the gym. The girls asked that we would meet two hours before our training session next time and continue filling out the books in the dorm room. The girls came and they brought friends and the rest of our Taekwon-Do group as well. They were all very interested in studying the Word. The room was absolutely full, everyone standing, and even spilling out into the hallway. During our fifth study session 3 of the students accepted Christ, entering into covenant with God. This was a direct result of the power of the Word of God.
Once I finished at the University I went to teach the Word of God applying the method that I used with Taekwon-Do and Bible study. I was able to form seventeen different groups in ten different schools. I really enjoy seeing my students, as they have grown in their faith, who have become active Christinas in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and some of them pastors and missionaries.
In 1997 I was able to take part in founding the Inductive Bible study Institute in Moldova, where up to now over 1400 students studiued and go on to teach to over 50,000 people the Word of God. They also organize camps, teach in public schools, teach in orphanages, penitentiaries, dorm rooms, etc.
Also in 1997 I was able to found the Christian Taekwon-Do club “Stolas Leukas”, a club where the first hour of every training is dedicated to inductive Bible study and from the foundation to now, over 21.000 students studied at least one bible course. It has helped many youth come to Christ through studying the Word of God. Fifty-four of those youth got to the black belt level, becoming country, international and world champions and some of them have gone on to become missionaries, ministers of the Gospel through sports all over Moldova and other countries of the world.
In 2000, together with a group of students and teachers who knew English very well, we founded An English as a Second language school, „English For a New Life”. We wrote our own manual, consisting of grammar and conversation based on the Gospel of John. Our school has also grown and we have schools in Ukraine, Romania, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Italy, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.
In 2004, under Precept Ministries Moldova, we founded a computer school, „ScripTehInfo” in order to teach people how to efficiently use computers. All of the courses in this school are based on text from the Holy Scriptures.
In January, 2009 God led us to plant the Good News Church in Chișinu in the area where most of the hospitals of the country are concentrated. We print a newspaper and go every week to bring the message of the Gospel to the pacients through this newspaper. Also, with the church, we are working on planting churches in 26 localities of Ialoveni county through sports ministry, teaching in public schools, camps, English clases, computer clases and other methods of evangelism.
My heart’s desire is that Moldova will become a country where the Word of God will be deeply rooted in the hearts of its inhabitants, bringing happiness, good relationships, strong families, prosperity, and the most important thing, salvation for each person.