Today is leap day, and it also marks the anniversary of Richard Wurmbrand's arrest by communist secret police in Romania. In honor of this date we share two excerpts from Richard's book, In God's Underground:
The first half of my life ended on February 29, 1948. I was walking alone down a street in Bucharest when a black Ford car braked sharply beside me and two men jumped out. They seized my arms and thrust me into the back seat, while a third man beside the driver kept me covered with a pistol. The car sped through the thin traffic of a Sunday evening; then, on a street called Calea Rahova, we turned in through steel gates. I heard them clang behind us.
My kidnappers belonged to the Communist Secret Police. This was their headquarters. Inside, my papers, my belongings, my tie and shoelaces, and finally my name were taken from me. “From now on,” said the official on duty, “you are Vasile Georgescu.”
It was a common name. The authorities did not want even the guards to know whom they were watching, in case questions should be asked abroad, where I was well known. I was to disappear, like so many others, without a trace.
_ _ _ _ _
I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times—once for every day of the year—“Don’t be afraid!”: 366 times, not merely 365, to account for leap year. And this was February 29—a coincidence that told me I need not fear!