THE PRICE OF FREEDOM – A BOOK REVIEW
Wow! It’s all I can say after finishing The Price of Freedom, A story of faith, in the face of danger by Simon Ivascu and Wesley Pop and co-authored with Bev Ellen Clarke.
I started reading The Price of Freedom after lunch today and finished it a few hours later. I just could not put it down. What an amazing testimony to the faithfulness of God.
Two young Romanians, facing army duty in this Communist country, tell of their escape from their homeland in search of freedom of worship. Simon, hoping to find this freedom in Italy with his older brother, Stephan, endured many dangerous ordeals in his quest to cross the guarded border from Romania into Hungary, from Hungary into Austria then from Austria into Italy. His friend, Wesley, a couple of years later found his way to Simon with a Black Market travelers permit. Though his trip to Italy was much easier than his friend’s in that he was taken all the way by car, he was then unable to find a job or accommodation once he arrived. Simon was able to live with his brother and found work though he was an illegal resident.
When it became clear than neither Simon nor Wesley could chance staying any longer in Italy (they both had papers stipulating they had to leave the country in 15 days), they began to search for ways to escape to a safe country. The Price of Freedom is the story of how these two young men were put into a container to be sent by ship to either Australia, India, the US or Canada. Their frightening journey takes them from what seemed an interminable delay before the container was stored in the ship’s hold through a terrible storm, from soaring temperatures and lack of oxygen to knowing they had used their last bottle of water with an unknown number of days still ahead, from fear of dying in that container to finally trying to make their presence known to the ship’s crew.
Simon and Wesley had been singers in Romania. They sang in their church and at conferences. But in the army they would not have been allowed to practice their Christian faith. They would have been cruelly beaten and roughly treated not only for their faith but just because that is how the soldiers are treated. They could have died before their time was completed. The possibility, through their ordeal, was always of being caught, jailed, sent back to prison in Romania and still having to put in their army time. But the possibility of freedom was greater, and so they willingly endured what most of us could not endure. They did not consider the price of freedom too great to gain freedom of worship, and God was with them and brought them through.
They seemed more dead than alive when they were finally able to make their presence known, but they were encouraged by the kind treatment they received from the ship’s crew. After more hardships and trials once they landed in Canada, they now enjoy the privilege of Canadian citizenship. And they are part of a gospel quartet, Freedom Singers Canada, singing the praises of their God and spreading the gospel message wherever they go. They have been rewarded for their willingness to endure all these things, and they have proved that the price of freedom is never higher than we can pay.
Check out their web site for more info.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for proof that miracles still happen today, to anyone who needs encouragement to endure whatever hardships they are going through, and to anyone who wants to be blessed by the testimony of these two young men who were willing to pay The Price of Freedom.