21st March 2019
Pastor Ian Sweeney, president of the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, approached the pulpit. He looked at the audience of more than 650 members who had gathered from around Ireland and Northern Ireland. He then turned his back on the audience and focussed his attention on pastor Christian Salcianu, who was sitting on the stage accompanied by his wife, Claudia and daughter, Iris. He delivered a sermon to the three of them apparently oblivious to the crowd in the background. There was no murmur of complaint however. If anything, it was pride that oozed from the members seated in the hotel conference centre because it was the occasion of pastor Christian’s ordination.
At the opening of the ceremony choirs from each of pastor Salcianu’s Dublin congregations had belted out joyful and harmonious hymns of praise – evidence of their joy at this opportunity to affirm their pastor’s giftedness and calling to be a gospel minister. Then a senior pastor, John Lascu, who had travelled from the Franco-Belgian Union Conference, introduced the pastoral family to the congregation.
He told the story of how Christian was born to an Orthodox family in Romania but developed a deep interest in Bible prophecies while a young student in military school. Pastor Lascu remembered his first contact with the young Christian in 1996 when he came to his church in Ramnicu Valcea, Romania to enquire about a book about Sunday Laws. A year later Christian was baptised.
Pastor Lascu’s account testified of a deep mentoring relationship that had developed between himself and this young lay member, who soon became an effective leader and passionate evangelist in his local church. Claudia came into the picture at one of the men’s mutual campaigns. She was baptised, and Christian married her soon afterwards. Four years later Iris was born. There was a journey through seminary, a stint at the publishing house in Romania, and a pastoral placement with Pastor Lascu, this time in Belgium, before pastor Christian and his family moved to Dublin.