In Brosov, Romania, a woman and her six children grieved the sudden loss of a husband and father due to a heart attack. Sara Filimon, the youngest, was 13 years old at the time.
The year of her father’s death, Filimon attended a camp in Romania and placed her faith in Christ. “The experience of my father’s death drew me closer to God,” Filimon said. With support from her family and the mentoring of her godly mother, Filimon grew in the Lord during her teenage years.
“Seeing the transformation and the forgiveness God brought to my life brought about a desire for me to share this with other people,” Filimon said. “There are people who have never heard the gospel and have never experienced salvation and the love of Jesus. I wanted others to know the life they could have because of Jesus. That is how I knew I wanted to become a missionary.”
When she was 19 years old, Filimon came to America to study at a bible college. She transferred to Clarks Summit University from Davis College in 2019.
“I am really glad God brought me here,” Filimon said. “CSU embraced me with so much love, and they cared for me. So many people have been a good influence and had such an impact on my life. I’ve seen how much they care and how much they want me to thrive.”
Filimon worked in the cafeteria at CSU, ran on the cross-country team and was a resident assistant in Barndollar Hall. She graduated in December 2020 as an Intercultural Studies major. Early in 2020, Filimon was visiting her sister in Texas for what she thought was just a two-week visit. Due to the pandemic her visit stretched into four months. While there, her sister and brother-in-law asked her to join a team focused on church planting in Romania. As Filimon prayed, it became clear that the Lord wanted her to join the team and return to Romania. Filimon plans to build relationships and disciple Romanians with a focus on students in a university town.
“We want to equip and mobilize university students in the context of the local church in Romania,” Filimon shared. “Our goal is spread from Romania to other countries. Romania is right on the border of the 10/40 window. The ministry is focused on Romania, but it has the potential to send missionaries throughout the whole world.”
Since graduating, Filimon has been staying at a missionary home in Arkansas and raising support. Filimon and the Romanian church-planting team are represented by the Baptist Mission Association, an association of churches that support missions around the world. Even with the challenges of trying to raise support in a pandemic, Filimon is confident of God’s calling on her life.
“Sara trusts God in all circumstances,” Director of Student Employment and Career Readiness Marilyn Luster said. “She has demonstrated a trust in God that is unshakable. She has personally taught me to not rely on my personal understanding of circumstances, but to trust that all circumstances are part of God’s sovereign plan…She has a deep conviction to share the gospel truth with others so that they can have the same relationship as she does with her sovereign God.”
Beginning with her salvation in a year of loss and finishing her degree in Intercultural Studies at CSU in a year of a pandemic, Filimon is equipped to carry the truth of the gospel to the Romanian people.
“I have discovered how much I didn’t know while attending Clarks Summit University,” Filimon said. “Diving into the Bible, I discovered how little I knew. My professors opened my eyes to so many realities that I never knew before. It was exciting to see the foundation that God was laying for my life.”
As she returns to her native Romania, Filimon brings back a deeper faith, a stronger foundation and a passionate focus to share the love of Christ.
by Julie Jeffery Manwarren