The Price Of Freedom by Simon Ivascu and Wesley Pop is the captivating account of two young men’s escape from Communism. Simon and Wesley escaped their homeland of Romania for a chance at freedom…freedom to believe in Jesus Christ. These young men chose a very tough road to travel, one that could have very well ended in death, but they did it anyway, and in the end saw the hand of God work miracle’s that not only strengthened their faith…but is bound to strengthen your faith as well. Simon and Wesley give a moment by moment retelling of each of their escapes from Romania into Italy, and how from there, they were forced to seek refuge in Canada.
Simon’s journey officially began when he slipped out of his parents house in the middle of the night and had his cousin drive him to the border. Yet, the reason for this drastic action began years ago when Simon’s older brother, Steven, fled the country during his required time of Army service…where he was beaten so badly for his faith in Christ that it almost killed him. Simon knew he couldn’t endure the same thing. That’s why he was running. As his cousin left him off at the side of the road and he moved toward his first obstacle – the border crossing from Romania to Hungary – life and death hung in the balance of the destiny of this young man. As you will learn, God guided and helped Simon every step of the way. Traveling on foot, Simon spent hours hiding in trees and bushes at borders in freezing temperatures, timing the guards and their routines, and so much more! Each time that there seemed to be no way out of being caught by the authorities, immediately, the Lord would set another miracle in motion to assure deliverance. Yet, some of those miracles came in some mighty strange ways. In Italy, where Simon was going to meet his brother Steven, he was caught by the police. When they demanded to see his ID, his hand went to his left shirt pocket where he always securely buttoned in his papers – but they were not there. So he was imprisoned, interrogated and beaten. Just as it seemed that God had forsaken him, another miracle happened. Without his ID and papers, the Italians couldn’t send him back to Romania, so they gave him a paper that said he had fifteen days to leave the country, and they let him go! The reunion with his brother was sweet, but cut short with the understanding that he was still a fugitive, and therefore, destined to live life in fear.
In the meantime, Wesley couldn’t sleep the night that he received military orders. He contemplated his options…he could trek the same path Simon did and go over the mountains, go to jail, serve in the Army, or get a travel visa. (Which was impossible to obtain for young man at the age of military duty, unless on the black market, and even then, very expensive). After the third letter of notice from the military, Wesley decided to go in for his medical examination. On the way home, he silently prayed to the Lord what he should do…certainly the army was not the Lord’s will. In answer to that prayer, everything began falling into place for Wesley a few days later. There is quite a story behind Wesley’s obtaining a visa. Thus it was settled – leaving Romania was indeed the Lord’s will. Tension was tight at the borders for Wesley, even with his travel visa, the fear of being found out bothered him greatly. But soon it was all over, and Wesley was safely inside the Italian border and aboard a train heading for Torino. Suddenly, the reality of being in a foreign land where your language is not spoken and no where to go, doubt began to settle in. How was Wesley to survive? Everyday he called his sister, her familiar voice became a lifeline of sorts while pondering what to do next, when once again, God laid the way out before him. You’ll find that Wesley too, was introduced to living life in the realm of fear.
Simon and Wesley came to the conclusion that they needed to seek refuge in yet another country. Italy was no longer issuing the amnesty that Simon’s older brother Steven received when he came to the country years earlier, and when the police orders that said they had fifteen days to leave the country ran out, they knew that getting caught one more time would lead to more serious repercussions. They truly had to leave. Talk of escaping the country through boxcar containers was the word circulating, and as crazy as it sounded, they took it into consideration. Not long afterwards, Simon and Wesley gathered the money, food, water and tools that they would need, and met the man who would seal them in a “container” which would get them out of Italy. When they were closed in that boxcar, these two young men began a journey that would test their faith in the Lord to the limit. In that container, they were almost baked alive (from the boxcar sitting in the shipyard exposed to the sun), they ran out of food, water, and even oxygen. At sea, they survived a storm that could have very well sent them all to the bottom of the ocean. Miracle upon miracle occurred to Simon and Wesley, strengthening their faith – you‘ll revel in the Lord’s provisions throughout their amazing journey. Through it all, Simon and Wesley prayed, sang their way through the night and trusted in the Lord ~ Who delivered them through it all!
Simon and Wesley almost died in that container…but the Lord had bigger plans for them. He led Simon through border crossings and over mountains. He arranged everything that Wesley needed to get out of Romania, and together, riding out the seas, the Lord sustained these two young men so that they could live in a country with the freedom to worship Him. The price of freedom almost cost them their lives, but they did it anyway because they knew the only other option was to compromise their faith…and that wasn’t even a consideration! These men honored God, and He provided for them every step of the way. Now they live in Canada where they continue to serve the Lord, encouraging Believers not to be afraid to ask God for big miracles. You can purchase this book through their website, www.freedomsingers.com or better yet, check out their concert schedule and see if they are going to be in a town near you, and go pick up a copy in person! This is a story that will captivate everyone who hears or reads it. Once you start reading, you’ll have a hard time putting it down!!! This is a story that needs to be heard around the world.