Bucharest’s Lost Children

Patrick Dow and Alicia Dow

Romania’s capital has an enormous orphan population desperately seeking their true Father.

Nicky Cruz recently joined with Gary Wilkerson and the World Challenge team for a pastors’ conference as well as several city-wide crusades in Romania.

While Nicky became very well known for his role in David Wilkerson’s life and later book and movie, The Cross and the Switchblade, he has spent decades since ministering to thousands of young people, addicts and broken families. 

With his personal experience and compassion for those who have become lost on the streets, Nicky is ideally suited to reach them with God’s message of healing. 

Inside One Woman’s Experience

Romania has suffered from a years-long epidemic of sex trafficking and prostitution, especially among homeless street-kids. 

Nicky’s translator Dan and his wife, Laetitia, work with the homeless in Bucharest, most of whom come out of the orphanages. They explained that during the Communist era, the government paid couples to have lots of children with the goal of one day building a large army. 

When Romania’s communist government collapsed, however, many families were not able to care for all of their children. Soon state-run orphanages were packed, and children were being kicked out onto the streets.

One particular woman whom Dan and Laetitia have been working with was a Madame. They told her and the children she controlled about Nicky’s story. 

Finally, she said to Laetitia, “I’ll come to this crusade, but I refuse to let anyone talk to me or pray for me.” 

True to her word, she came, along with many of her young prostitutes, and listened intently to Nicky. As he began to give his testimony, the Holy Spirit gripped her. At the altar call, she jumped up, ran forward and was the first to the stage. 

She said she wanted to share Nicky’s story with the kids she knew from the streets and in her neighborhoods, so the team gave her a copy of Run Baby RunNicky’s memoirdetailing how God changed his life. 

To this day, Dan and Laetitia continue to meet with her and many of the lost youth in Bucharest.

The Larger Impact

While Nicky was in Romania, he talked at a pastors’ conference, hosting close to one thousand ministers, many of them youth workers. They gathered in the Presidential Palace, many of them eager to discuss how they could better reach the children and teens in their city. 

This was the first-ever Christian gathering like this in any government building since the Communists took over Romania.

Afterward, Nicky and the team moved out into the city to hold open-air crusades in a public park for two days. While the crusade went on, a thousand copies of Run Baby Runwere handed out for evangelism. 

Romania’s next generation is desperately seeking their heavenly Father.