Dave Petrescue was a Canadian of Romanian and Ukrainian descent. His childhood was spent on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, where the daily chores and many tasks instilled a solid work ethic. Even as a youngster, he sought out challenges, whether it was the biggest stone to lift, the highest tree to climb, or the toughest ram to ride.
When Dave was nine years old, his parents had a miraculous conversion experience. His dad was healed of alcoholism and saved from an attempted suicide. The subsequent miracles Dave witnessed in their home created a deep spiritual awareness in him. Still, from the age of 10 and onwards, he grew streetwise in Regina, Saskatchewan, with increasing involvement in vandalism, theft, and crime. His early teen years were loads of fun mixed with a lot of pain. At 16, Dave was dramatically saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. He immediately began to win friends and others to Jesus as he modelled a living, vibrant relationship with Him.
I grew up in a loving and supportive Christian home in Regina. As my teen years were approaching, Dad and Mom made one of the most challenging decisions of their lives. They left their longtime “extended family” church to attend a Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) church, which provided ministries for their two young daughters. I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices they bore among family members because of that decision.
It was in Regina at the Hillsdale Alliance Church youth group that Dave and I met. Through the ministry of our leaders, Bob and Sandi Kinnie, many lives were dramatically impacted for Jesus. In later years, we took count, and approximately 70 percent of the youth group from that time were in some kind of full-time ministry. What a testimony and tribute to this couple, to our parents, and of course to the Holy Spirit’s great moving during those revival years.
Dave and I graduated from Canadian Bible College, Dave with degrees in Christian Education and Theology, and I with a Bachelor of Religious Education. The Friday night missions meetings were when I first started to realize Dave’s passion for missions. Often after a guest missionary spoke and gave a challenge, Dave was face down at the front saying, “Anywhere, Lord!”
This left me glued to my seat in fear. By this time, our relationship was getting serious, and I could not help but project into the future. I visualized someday saying goodbye to my school-aged children, putting them on a plane to an MK (missionary kid) boarding school. Testimonies of missionaries being captured or martyred consumed me with fear.
One night Betty Hunt, a Vietnam missionary, ministered to my fearful heart. She told me God never promises His GRACE for our thought life and all the ‘what ifs’ in our future. He promises His GRACE when we need it, and at that time, it will be exactly enough. I never forgot that. It would become an important reminder to me many times throughout the years.
This is an excerpt from the book, On Mission. Download your free copy today.