Amazing Grace

Gabriel - canfield, Ohio
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Throughout my time on this earth, I have done things that may have made a difference in someone else’s life. My decisions have formed others, whether it is by them following my standards or learning from my mistakes. In other aspects of the world, my decisions would have no effect. This country gives me the opportunity to express myself. My parents have given me many beliefs, values, and customs that envelop my life but overall, I believe that my parents were right in their verdict that all peoples are created equal and freedom is something not to be taken for granted or misused.

My father became ordained into the priesthood in Timisoara, Romania. He married my mother before this, which allowed him to have a family and practice the priesthood. Soon after, he began to protest the communist government which had been under the rule of Nicolai Ceausescu for several years. He spoke out on the radio, bringing up issues specifically related to the Church, focusing on the need for freedom of religion and not government, but bishop authority of churches. His outspoken nature led to the government approaching him several times, asking him to stop. However, he persevered. The secret police went on to tap his phones and put cameras with microphones throughout his home. As time went on and he agitated more people, he was captured. He and my mom were interrogated for over 24 hours by police who kept asking for the motives behind his protests. They told him that it would be a good idea to leave Romania, his homeland. In order to keep my mother safe, he thought of a lie and told them that she was pregnant. Once they were released they proceeded to the U.S. embassy to receive safe passage to America.

My parents came to this country in 1981 to start a new life from nothing.

The troubles of communist Romania make me truly believe we are blessed from sea to shining sea. I wouldn’t be who I am, and I wouldn’t be here if it were not for my father working for civil rights. In fact, Romania has been free since 1991 and I am proud to say that my father has contributed to this. The country now flows with free expression. However, I believe that the situation is different here at home, I do not approve of the new revelations that flow through the country. They go against my moral code. I try my hardest to live out my faith but our country’s understanding is that we should live freely and without limits for such is stated in the Constitution, and though this is what many men have given their lives for, i speculate if we have taken this too far. Our gift is to be shared and there are other places in this world with no such document. There should be much more focus on these problems. Only their faith keeps them alive and hopeful that maybe someday they too can have a small freedom. Though I myself may not have enough power to help these people, a belief is what I have and it is something that is my own which no law can hold against. This I believe and this I am.