Dr Nick was a gentle, loving person. Of many who came to his doorstep searching for help and advice, he gave special attention to students, especially those experiencing financial needs.
Dr Nick knew all too well what it meant to be a poor student, to sleep on the floor in a friend’s room when there was no money to afford paying rent, and to sleep on an empty stomach on more than one occasion, and yet to excel in school and finish among the top of your class.
Romans 12:9 says, “Let your love be genuine.” In our Romanian Bible it adds a bit more to the idea – it says, “Let your love be without false pretentions.”
This was the kind of love Dr Nick had and was known for, marking his whole life and living a dent in the world.
Dr. Nick (center) with Bill Bathman (right) and fellow Romanian pastor, Paul Negroot (left).
Dr. Nick Demonstrated Compassionate Generosity
While a student in the university, a young man in Nick and Cornelia's church lost his father to cancer.
He was in his third year of studies, and the family was not well-to-do. Besides this, the father was the main breadwinner in the family, and he had three other siblings.
After the funeral, the couple decided to give him a monthly allowance from that moment and until he finished his studies.
Even though this happened some 20 years ago, to this day, he remembers the help he got without which it would have been much harder to complete his degree, maybe even impossible.
Dr. Nick's compassion for the hurting led to the existence of ITMI project, Casa Dorca Orphanage.
Dr. Nick Was Generous in Investmenting in People and Ministries
Dr Nick mentored a young theology student who was studying in the Seminary in Bucharest in mid-90’s.
At that time, Dr Nick was the General Secretary of the Romanian Baptist Union and living in Bucharest part of the month, and his studio apartment was in the same building as the dorm which housed the students.
Dr. Nick advised the theology student many times, and helped financially as the need arose. Upon graduation, this theology student became a pastor in a church in North East Romania, and would visit Dr Nick in Oradea from time to time.
He remembers how once he was in Oradea at the church and met Dr Nick, who told him, “You must come by our house – we have an envelope for you.”
The pastor relates the envelope had a sum of money which was exactly the sum needed for the down payment on a piece of land he was looking to buy for ministry. To this day his eyes light up when he shares the story of how the Lord “whispered” to Dr Nick about this need.
Dr. Nick preached passionately about Jesus from the pulpit and with his life.
Dr. Nick Prioritized His Family, Not Wealth
When in the US during the early 70’s, working at a clinic in Baltimore, Dr Nick was offered a job with a generous monthly salary.
Almost on the spot he refused, saying his family (wife Cornelia, daughter Corina and son Radu – Ema had not been born yet) was more important to him.
He went on to say that staying away from them for a longer period of time (due to the Communist regime in Romania at that time, the family would not have been able to join him right away) was not what he desired, despite the benefits of the job.
Throughout his whole life he was an advocate for family values and family unity, and in his later years, he would always say to us how grateful he is to the Lord for family, for blessed family reunions, for good communication and great relationship among siblings.
Dr. Nick and his wife, Cornelia, with their daughter, Ema Ban and her family.
Many of you already know that being a part of what God is doing in Stone Hill, South Africa has been and continues to be an amazing experience. Here’s 5 big things He has done in South Africa, and now we’re adding one more!
A four-man team ventured across the wild Zambezi River in canoes last month. When you set off into the secluded area with little contact to the outside world, you’re never sure what will happen. Only those up for an adventure need apply. This trip did not disappoint…
It was 6am on a Saturday morning. ITMI’s Gerhard le Roux was engrossed in getting his tractor to bubble to life. The corner of his eye caught…
It was a tranquil Sunday morning. The town of Kampala, Uganda had not yet awakened. The tropical birds and insects, filled the air with clatter and squeaking as they searched for their breakfast. I enjoyed the calming effects of distant, traditional whole-choir numbers from an open-air Catholic parish even as they competed with faint chants from a nearer Muslim mosque. The tranquility of the morning would be long-gone later that afternoon.
They came from all over the city of Lodz, (pronounced “whoosh”) Poland. The elderly. The homeless. The lonely. All in one place on Christmas Eve.
Seeing new things being constructed is thrilling. The formation of something new holds a myriad of possibilities to ignite our imaginations. But the construction of this building is scintillating because of the hope it represents.
It was Christmas morning. The people of Paul and Molly’s church, Harvest Bible Chapel were together for a Christmas breakfast and service. The family of God called happy greetings to one another as they enjoyed breakfast together. Laughter filled the room. Smiles were everywhere.
We just wanted to go to Katooga slum to get a few photos telling the story of what life is like in much of Uganda, give out a few “sweets” and not cause a scene. But Francis had other plans.