by Jayna Richardson

Adi and Cristina Tanase were hosting a FamilyLife marriage event in Timișoara, Romania, when Adi looked out into the audience and saw a familiar face smiling back at him. At first, he thought it might be American actor Adrien Brody, but Adi soon discovered this was an acquaintance from his past with an encouraging story to tell.

At the end of the evening, the man approached Adi and reminded him that he had been a student in 2007 and had attended a campus event organized by Adi and Cristina. His name was Cosmin, and Adi and Cristina had met with him one-on-one to talk about relationships and to encourage him in his spiritual walk. Cosmin made a commitment at that event to focus on being the kind of partner he would like to meet someday and to behave honorably in his relationships. He fully placed his trust in God for his life and future family.

Now, more than 15 years later, Cosmin was pleased to introduce Adi and Cristina to his wife, Ana-Maria, who was expecting their third baby. Cosmin and Ana-Maria had heard that Adi and Cristina would be at the event in Timisoara and dropped everything to come invest in their relationship and let the Tanases know about the impact they’d had on their lives.

“There are times when we invest in people and we don’t see an immediate result,” says Adi. “But we know that investing in people’s souls is an investment in eternity, and we are called to speak God’s truth in any circumstance. And sometimes the Lord makes us happy, years later, to see that our effort was worth it. He is wonderful!”

The Tanases met as students and became followers of Christ 30 years ago. In their 25 years of marriage, raising children, and conducting ministry, they haven’t always seen visible examples of the fruits of their labor. Their meeting with Cosmin was a reminder that God is always at work, motivating couples to fight for unity in their marriages, to demonstrate the power of the gospel in their relationships, and to forever change legacies of families in Romania.