Jaime Torres, an evangelist whose life transformation story from drug dealer to Christian minister has been featured on CBN's The 700 Club, left his 3-month-old son and quiet life in ministry in the countryside of North Carolina to fly to Romania on March 7, as a man of God on a mission to help rescue refugees at the Ukraine border.
Obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and willing to help those in need, he came face to face with the traumatic realities of war.
"I went to the Ukraine border to serve, and all I did was serve," says Torres, who is the founder of Jaime Torres Ministries and author of the book You Can't Kill the Miracle. He went to the edge of the war zone to demonstrate and spread the love of Christ, putting his own life in God's hands amid the risk.
As soon as he arrived at the Ukraine border, despite his exhaustion from traveling, Torres found himself in a car with instructions driving to Camp Christia, a Romanian faith-based organization 40 miles from the Ukraine border, providing relief to refugees who have come over the border.
While he waited in the empty vehicle at the border, a stranger suddenly opened the back door and hastily shoved a young woman and her two children into the back of the car. The woman and her kids were weeping.
"You could tell that she was scared," says Torres. "Imagine how you'd feel if you had to leave your home. They were crying. It was very traumatic. To see those people leave everything behind, I was able to feel their pain. I cried so much. I have never been the same since."
The woman and her children had no idea who Torres was or anything about Jaime Torres Ministries. They had to trust him to bring them to safety. They had to trust that he was not a human trafficker masquerading as a "Christian pastor."
They spoke no English and they faced an uncertain future. The lives of this family, who had to separate from their husband and father because Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 years of age cannot leave the country, were now in the hands of this American evangelist driving at 80 mph down an unknown, curvy road in an unfamiliar land amid snowy, below-freezing conditions.
He brought them to safety at Camp Christia, completing the first of many trips back and forth between the camp and the Ukraine border. By the time Torres and his fellow minister arrived, Camp Christia was receiving between 200 and 300 refugees a day, according to Torres. The need at the Romania-Ukraine border is expected to increase.
"We spent eight days there. I shoveled snow, threw down salt, cleaned tables and bathrooms. I packed vans with supplies. I preached. I sang. I loved. I cried. I laughed. I thank God I was able to go to help," says Torres. "I didn't know the language, but I knew the universal language of love. I loved on the Ukrainian refugees, fed them and helped them. It was an honor."
He adds, "There is a ministry that people don't talk about. It's the ministry of presence. You don't have to be a preacher, but your presence speaks more than a thousand words. It means that you care."
Torres shared his presence in a foreign land, letting the refugees know that people care for them. He was able to minister to more than a hundred Ukrainian youth. He was also able to minister to 85 elderly people of Jewish descent. He carried their bags and cried with them. He helped people bear their burdens as much as he could while he was in Romania.
"I knew I was there for a reason," says Torres.
This trip was the first time Torres ever traveled to Europe in his life. He went with the heart of an intercessor. "I was praying for Ukraine and Russia. I prayed for both nations."
The direct interactions with the Ukrainian refugees deeply impacted Torres, now back home with his family in North Carolina.
"The experience at the Ukraine border brought a lot of things into perspective. How good we have things in this country and how we take too much for granted here in America," Torres explains.
Anthony Hart is a freelance writer.
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