"Hope and freedom hang in the balance between the success or failure of one man’s plan. And John Muntean will succeed, or die trying."
I have the blessing to know Jo Walker through online and phone calls. A truly remarkable lady with a bright love for Christ in her heart. When she told me about her opportunity to write John Muntean's story I was excited. But that excitement paled in comparison as I read a portion of the story before it was even published.
Willing to Die takes the reader into a world very few knew much about. History books made passing remarks. We could find the country of Romania on the map. We heard tales about Romanian gypsies and the Romanian circus, but other than that what did we really know about it other than it was the Breadbasket of Europe?
The horror of WWII barely touched Muntean's village. To those who experienced the atrocities the news about the war's end brought them hope. According to Muntean, "they truly believed life would get better once the Nazis left". But the one sentence that prickled my skin and sent ghostly shivers down my neck was: They were wrong--the Russians were coming.
That one sentence set the stage for a book that is truly hard to put down. Throughout the oppression, the reader sees the hand of God at work through one man and his family. How many close calls? So many that you can see only God brought him through it or saved him from it. And God had a purpose for this man's life.
Not only to flee a country where Christians hid in fear, where those who did not conform to Communism faced imprisonment, torture, and even death. People wanted to flee. The Breadbasket of Europe became a withered loaf under the pounding of an iron fist.
As the reader becomes immersed in the true story of one man's plight and flight, you can't help be see the parallelism with today. That was Romania in history. It is fast becoming America today. With so many truths exposed and so many warnings, I wonder who will listen to his man. He loves America and he's willing to fight for her. Through this book, we see more than just history, we see the future.
In 1981, Muntean and his family saw a wondrous sight, one that most Americans have forgotten that existed. On the plaque it reads:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
The Statue of Liberty represents freedom. Freedom that Americans are signing away each day for a few morsels, a few crumbs, of bread from empty promises of a government.
Read below for more about Josephine Walker and Willing to Die:
A rough partial outline for the book was written by John Muntean, that and a total of 107 interviews brings the story and John’s warning to America to light.
Josephine Walker is the penname for Jo Walker, a member of ACFW. A mother of three grown children, grandmother of eleven, widowed in 2011.
More about John Muntean:
Born in Romania when it was still the beautiful, vibrant, productive Breadbasket of Europe, John Muntean had a taste of real freedom. Thirty-two years later, his desire to flee religious persecution and Communist control pushes him into a plan that very well could cost him his life. All he’s got to do is get past the throng of specially-trained guards keeping Romanian citizens away from the American Embassy. If he doesn’t, his family will be living forever under one of history’s most ruthless Communist dictatorships. John’s willingness to die for his family’s freedom rocks the nation and brings hope to those trapped under the thumb of Nicolae Ceausescu. Until November 10, 1980, hope hadn’t been a word heard too often on the lips of the average Romanian citizen. Then, with one broadcast from Radio Free Europe, it explodes across the nation into the hearts and minds of all those yearning for independence.
Now, after living thirty-two years in his beloved America he sees the same things happening, and fears for his children’s and grandchildren’s religious freedoms. John has a strong warning for God’s people and every liberty loving patriot.
Excerpt from his warning to America, thirty-two years later:
"The remains of American soldiers lie in cemeteries across Europe
and other countries as monuments to America’s willingness to fight
for freedom for all.
"Thousands of our combat veterans carry emotional and physical
scars from their efforts to protect freedom—ours and other
"Do some things need to change? Of course, they do. There
are those within and without who want to bring America to her
knees. There are those within and without who have an agenda of
destruction. Yet, American citizens are strong. Our heritage of freedom
ought not allow us to stand aside and let destruction happen.
"If we, God’s people, will fulfill our responsibility to God and
our land, God will, indeed, hear from heaven and heal our land.
Thirty-two years ago, I feared for my children’s and grandchildren’s
futures under a Communist dictatorship. I put my life on
the line to gain freedom for my wife, my children, and me. Now,
thirty-two years later, I again fear greatly for the freedom of my
children, my grandchildren, and their descendants."
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