Saving My Assassin – Virginia Prodan

Saving My Assassin – Virginia Prodan

Saving My Assassin – Virginia Prodan

Virginia Prodan may not consider herself a “hero” … but we’ll let you decide what to make of her. Over 30 years after being exiled from her home country of Romania, Prodan shares her incredible story of unyielding faith and courage with host Charles Mizrahi — and leaves listeners with an important message.

Topics Discussed:

  • Life in Communist Romania (00:02:14)
  • Becoming a Human Rights Attorney (00:07:57)
  • Religious “Tolerance” (00:12:20)
  • The Bible: An Outlawed Book (00:15:02)
  • A Fighting Chance (00:19:50)
  • “By the Grace of God” (00:22:57)
  • Arrested & Tortured (00:28:00)
  • Loving Her Enemies (00:35:24)
  • A New Life in America (00:43:59)
  • Virginia’s Message to Listeners (00:49:40)
  • In Closing (00:54:18)

Guest Bio:

From a young age, Virginia Prodan was not afraid to be “different.” As an attorney in her communist home country of Romania, Prodan fought for the religious rights of her fellow Christians — at her own risk. After enduring torture at the hands of the Romanian government, she came to America, which “offers freedom and opportunities to everyone.” Now an established author and speaker, Prodan is active on her website, VirginiaProdan.com, and continues spreading her message of hope.

Resources Mentioned:

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Read Transcript

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, if I lived in Romania at the time and owned the Bible, what’s my punishment? What law am I breaking?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: They would say that there is a law—and nobody would say what the law was because remember: No lawyer would take your case to defend. So, you would be by yourself. You wouldn’t know any laws or anything that they would say because your Bible was printed in America. So, you would be a spy for America.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: “Explain to us how you got the Bible.” Even though, according to that treaty, you have the right. But you can imagine that when I showed them the treaty and explained it to the judge, the judge had to give me the right to make my clients free because of the treaty and the documents.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What was the penalty for possessing a Bible?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Ten years in jail—or more. Some people disappeared. Some people were killed. Whatever the government wanted to do with you, they would do it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My guest today is international human rights attorney Virginia Prodan. As a young attorney in Romania, under the Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal communist regime, Virginia had spent her entire life searching for the truth. She finally found it in the pages of the most forbidden book in all of Romania: the Bible. From that moment on, Virginia accepted the divine call to defend fellow Christians against unjust persecution in an otherwise ungodly land. For this act of treason, she was kidnaped, beaten, tortured, placed under house arrest and came within seconds of being executed under orders from Ceausescu himself. She was exiled from Romania in 1988 and built a life for herself and children in the United States. I recently sat down with Virginia to talk about her story of courage in the face of intimidation—and even death—on behalf of others, and her unwavering faith in God.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, Virginia Prodan, thank you so much for being on my show. I greatly appreciate it.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I’m very happy to be here, Charles.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Virginia, I looked through your book, and I read parts of it. The book is Saving My Assassin. Folks, I want to tell you, once again, [about] another guest I have where their book sounds like fiction. I can’t believe you actually lived this life. So, let’s get right into it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Virginia, you were born in Romania, in probably one of the worst and most oppressive dictatorships back in the day, where communism was the law of the land. You grew up in Ceausescu’s Romania, correct?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: That’s correct.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Communism, socialism… What’s so evil about it?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Well, that’s the start of the book, Saving My Assassin. I will start by sharing with you the fact that even as a young person, six years old, I have seen my parents, relatives and neighbors being very politically correct outside—trying to do everything that the government asked them to do—and just giving away their rights. But I have also watched them inside of the home, whispering [about] how the government would never stop taking those rights. And tomorrow, they would take again and again. They were so unhappy! I watched them and I thought, “I don’t want to leave this kind of life. I don’t want to grow up like this.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Out of that came my desire to look around me and see why people and adults are not speaking the truth and how to find the truth.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I want to stop for a second here, and I want to ask your audience to stop and think about what they see around them, what questions they have and also what is in their heart and mind. They will say, “I’m going to change this.” That, as I will explain later, will become their mission in life. Those questions and observations about a lack of freedom, the desire to find freedom, and a way to find freedom became part of my mission in life. We have to pay attention to those questions because everybody is born in a specific time, in a specific area and with a specific purpose.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I want your listeners, your viewers, to be reminded that we all are precious to each other because we influence each other and we are here for a purpose. And I want them to think about their purpose in life.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: That’s a beautiful message. You were born into a government that controlled everything. Ceausescu and his wife ruled the country as if it was their own private estate, where people were subject to him. Everything was controlled by him, and it was a totalitarian state. You didn’t like that. You stood up against that. You became an attorney. What bothered you? Why didn’t you conform? Why weren’t you just like everyone else?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Those are some great questions. There are two things that I want to share with your audience. When you read my book, you will find out about my childhood. It wasn’t, like many people say, a “Cinderella” kind of childhood. It was very hard, but I want you to think, as you progress in the book, that that childhood prepared me for who God wanted me to be. I was different. I had the red hair. I had white skin and freckles and everything. That in and of itself prepared me to be different in life and never conform.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Well, Virginia, that’s a big thing in Romania to have red hair and freckles. It was considered a bad thing if you had a redhead.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, exactly! We had just one family in that small town near the Black Sea—where I grew up—and in that family only one man had the red hair, and he was Jewish. It was so unusual, these strangers coming to visit my town and take pictures of me.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: That gave me the confidence that I was okay to be different and that, later on, I was okay to be different and take the government to court.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Before you take the government to court, let me back up. Not everyone read your great book—although, I hope they do. So, let me just set the stage here for you.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You decide that you want to become an attorney in Romania—in Ceausescu’s world—and not just a regular attorney, but what type of attorney?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Human rights and defending Christians.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, so if you want to pick the worst path for career success in a communist country, become an attorney. Become an attorney that defends people who believe in God. You picked a wise career path, so that was going to get you real far.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Oh, yes, that is so true.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: But, as everyone reads the book, they will understand that when God puts it on your heart…I was six years old and God put it on my heart to understand where to find the truth, how to find the truth and so forth. And I went to law school later on. He brought this to my life as I started to become a lawyer and work as a lawyer.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: He brought into my life a client that had problems with the government and I helped him. At that time, I didn’t know anything about this client. Many times, I considered him crazy because in a land of hopelessness, he was full of hope. In a land of joyless, he was full of joy.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: But I was always busy with clients coming back and forth, so I never had the opportunity to so-called “fix him” until the time when I went to work as an attorney with the confidence that after I graduated from law school, I was going to find the truth and speak up for my clients.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Well, one day, I came to my office and I was very discouraged. I’m not a quitter by nature, but that day I was close to just giving up.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Why?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I remember telling my assistant that I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore. I told her that I tried to find the truth and there was no way I could find it. She looked up at me like, “Where have you been? Where do you live? Come back to reality.” She gave me three files and said, “There are three clients that will come to see you, and one is in your office.” She gave me the files and I took the files, walked into my office, and noticed that the client that was there was the client that I used to believe was crazy.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: As I walked to my office, to my desk, I stood at my desk thinking, “Where is the truth? Why can I not find the truth? I found myself looking at him and saying “I wish I had in my life what you had.” He stopped talking and saying new things about his case, and asked, “Do you go to church?”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I remember looking back at him and thinking, “I’m so sorry I asked the question. I knew you were crazy. I don’t know why I asked the question.” But he wrote something on a piece of paper and gave it to me. He said, “Would you come to our church next Sunday?”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: And again, I heard myself saying “yes.” That’s the craziest thing that a lawyer in a socialist [country] can say. The dictator just declared himself God and required all of us to worship him. I had no idea what his church was worshiping, but I said, “Yes, I’ll come to your church.” I was that determined to find the truth.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Let me ask you something, Virginia. In Romania, there wasn’t religious tolerance, correct?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: No. There wasn’t religious tolerance, but let me explain.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: President Ronald Reagan gave Romania and dictator Ceausescu the most-favored nation status.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: The most-favored status had a lot of economic benefits for Romania. The dictator used them for himself. Attached to that, the most-favored nation status meant the respect of human rights and and freedom of religion in Romania. But socialism works on lying. Dictator Ceausescu never publicized that part of the trend with America.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Prior to 1980 and Ronald Reagan, were there churches and synagogues in Romania? Or, would they show one or two to show that they had some religious tolerance, but it was all a joke?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: They would show the kind of churches that people from another country would be able to come to and say, “Oh, yes, they have opened churches.” But our open churches were full of some resilient Christians and a lot of spies from the government that would report everything.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, to go into it, I just wanted to get our viewers and listeners to understand that these were—as everything was in the communist world—all for show. It was all for public appearance. Anyone who went was either a spy spying on someone, and there were very few people there who took the risk of being thrown in jail and losing their jobs.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I have some experience. When I went to the Soviet Union and went to a synagogue, they said, “No one’s going to talk to you because you’re an American. Most of the people here are KGB spies anyway.” So, it’s just fascinating how they start to put on shows to make the world believe—and even the people believe—that there’s something.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: By the way, I just want to point this out because I think it’s so important: You are a shade under five feet tall. This is going to be very important to the story. I think you’re five feet in heels, as your kids told you, right?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. I just have to say that, as my client told me and invited me to church the next Sunday, I went to church with my children, and his family waited for us in front of the church. So, we went inside, and I heard the gospel.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: That day, I accepted Christ. That day, I also understood that God gave me the desire to find the truth in order to go to law school, and that at law school I was looking in the wrong places—in law books. The truth is Jesus Christ, God himself. And I accepted him. After that, I understood that that was my mission. I know I didn’t have to look for clients because nobody in Romania at that time would take those those Christians and defend them. .

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, the Bible was an outlawed book in Romania. That was a book that you couldn’t really have.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, it was an outlawed book. But again, socialists and communists work on lies. When Ronald Reagan gave the most-favored nation status to Romania it was attached with respecting the human rights and religious rights. It was in that treaty that missionaries from America, or other countries, could come to Romania, be in the church and provide bibles for churches.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: That was the reason why people in Romania had, here and there, some Bibles. Nobody knew this, but by the grace of God, I found those documents and defended Christians—and people that were put in jail for having a Bible.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, if I would’ve lived in Romania at the time and owned the Bible, what’s my punishment? What law am I breaking?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: They would say that there is a law—and nobody would say what the law was because remember: No lawyer would take your case to defend. So, you would be by yourself. You wouldn’t know any laws or anything that they would say because your Bible was printed in America. So, you would be a spy for America.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: “Explain to us how you got the Bible.” Even though, according to that treaty, you have the right. But you can imagine that when I showed them the treaty and explained it to the judge, the judge had to give me the right to make my clients free because of the treaty and the documents.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What was the penalty for possessing a Bible?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Ten years in jail—or more. Some people disappeared. Some people were killed. Whatever the government wanted to do with you, they would do it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Why was the Bible such a threat to Ceausescu, socialism and the Romanian political hierarchy? What did this book have that they were so fearful of?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: You and me as Christians are a threat—not only in Romania, but for any socialist or communist government because we remain loyal to Christ. God is the one giving us freedom, not the government. For that reason, they consider us traitors. They want to us to betray Christ. When we don’t, they will put us in jail, kill us or cripple us. The communist government is a government that says that it gives you freedom. Every government that gives you “freedom” takes your liberties away.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Just for the record: I’d be persecuted because I’m Jewish, not Christian. So, we’d both be in the same boat for different reasons, but also because we both believe in the Bible.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, clients would find you because you were defending them against a government that was putting people in jail for up to 10 years for possessing a Bible. Christians would find you specifically because they knew that you were the one that [gave them] a fighting chance in court. But weren’t the courts kangaroo courts? Basically, whatever the government wanted to do, it did? Or was there actually a rule of law that they followed? You were able to argue cases and win?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, I was able to argue cases and win. One thing that I want to emphasize is this: When God gives you a mission… He never gave me a blueprint, but He gave me guidance and all my needs for the next step.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I want to tell you that when clients came to me and asked me to defend them as a lawyer, what did I do? [I started] to look and see if there was a law that protected them. I went to the law school library and searched for it. At that time, I was a Christian, so I prayed a lot. I said, “Lord, if you want me to defend them, help me find it.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: One day, I found a book in a very specific area where there were braille books or something like that… And those books were open there.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I opened it, and I found it. I found the law that protected Christians, and God to asked me to make copies of this. And I did. It wasn’t a mistake that I found that book, somebody forgot that book there—forgot to put it inside and lock the doors. It was locked before. But this is how God works. He provides every single thing. When I defended clients who had bibles for the first time, and I started to talk about the Lord, the judge looked at me like, “You are crazy. What are you talking about?” Well, I went to my desk, picked up the copies and gave it to the judge and prosecutor… And they turned red. At that time, I had no idea why they turned red. Then they said they have to take a recess.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Before this, no lawyer ever defended clients because they had no idea about this law?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. If they tried to do it, they would be put in jail before they could be in the courtroom.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I also want to tell you: I am alive by the grace of God. I am not a hero. In everything that you see in my life, you see God’s protection and God’s direction. I want people to be encouraged because if you are 100% for God, and if you want to do what he’s asking you to do, he will protect you. He will take you to victory.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Let me tell you what they were saying—when they had to take a recess and everything. I was just fine with them. I found out, in a few hours, that I won the case and I was very happy. At home, when I put my kids to sleep… In Romania, we have two radio stations—American radio stations that would penetrate Romania but were in Germany—”Radio Free Europe” or “Voice of America.” We were told not to listen because we would know what was outside of the Berlin Wall.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: So, I listened to “Voice of America,” and all of a sudden, I realized that I was the news.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I became the news. They were telling me what I did, how I gave them copies and how I won the case. On one hand, it was good. I was happy that the entire world knew about what I was doing. But I knew that the secret police—the security of the government—could come to my home any time and arrest me or kill me immediately, thinking that I was a spy for America.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, winning that case put a target on your back?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, yes! But what I found out later on was that when I was in the courtroom, giving those copies and arguing my case, behind me—and unknown to me—were representatives from all throughout Western civilization. [They were] taking notes about what I was doing and telling everybody, “Look, that’s a woman who is twenty-five or twenty-six years old, under five feet tall, 82 pounds, and she’s taking the government to court and winning because of the laws she’s using. Do you see how God protected me—how God provided? I didn’t know at that time.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Let me ask you something: What made the Western observers come to the court that day? Was that the first time a case to defend the Bible and Romanian citizens against incarceration ever happened?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: The American embassy started to get very involved in my cases. They were the first ones to find out that I filed a case. They started to follow me. And after the American embassy, other embassies.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Later on, congressmen like Frank Wolf and Christopher Smith would come to Romania. Before they spoke with the dictator, they would come and talk to me. So, you can imagine that the dictator was not very happy. At one point, it was my protection for my life. At the same time, the dictator took all the revenge possible. I was arrested, tortured and placed under house arrest.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Stop, stop, stop. You’re how old, 25?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. Because in Romania at that time, when we finished 12th grade, and we would be allowed to go to graduate school. We didn’t have a college. So, I was 25 years old by the time I graduated from law school.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you’re 25 years old, you have two little children. You’re taking on a police state where they put people away for 10 years in jail. You’re the only attorney that ever comes up with this defense based on their laws. And there’s a whole group of Western correspondents in the room, and you’re the front-page news in Romania…

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Not in Romania—outside of Romania. I had no idea that they were behind me.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Well, forget about that. That goes without saying. But now, you get the worst publicity in the world: The secret police now have your name and number. And you didn’t make them look good today.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, so that’s the stage I want to set. Now, let’s jump to the next part because you just rattled off like it was a walk in the park. They arrest you. Who watches your kids? What do they do, come to your office?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: The socialist and communist government does not work on the truth, but lies. The arrest was always for hours. I was beaten. I was full of blood.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wait, why did they arrest you? What was your crime?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: They never told me. The only thing that they said was this… When we allowed you to be in law school—and to be one of the 100 students in law school—we considered that you will be loyal to the government who gave you the chance to be a lawyer and defend the government against those dissidents—not the other way around.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you double-crossed them. They said, “Look, we’re the state. We know best. We’re taking care of you.” That’s what socialism tells you: The state will take care of you. You go around and you stick your finger in their eye, and you embarrass them throughout the world. That’s the way they saw it.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And you have to pay the price. So, they arrest you on some trumped-up charge, right? They take this 25 or 26-year-old mother with two children… And they torture you?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What does torture mean? Explain that to me… Does that mean they didn’t give you dinner? What does torture mean?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Oh, it’s everything that you see in the movie—and more than that. Absolutely. But what they never expected is that under interrogation and torture… And I have to say that I never expected myself, but God knew—and knows always—what he was doing. Under those circumstances, God help me to understand, express and apply what loving your enemies means and looks like.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, hang on one second. Just slow down because my mind cannot capture all you’re throwing at me. It’s too much. They’re interrogating you and torturing you to confess to what?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: To confess that I was just crazy. And everything that I said in the case is not good and I’m not mentally correct or something like this… And I said, “No, I don’t want to sign those papers.”

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, they basically want to make you a crazy person—this is a one-off event—and discredit everything you have done so you cannot embarrass them in the future.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: That’s correct.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Now they’re torturing you. And I don’t want to even get into the terrible torture they probably did to you… Are you thinking of your two daughters at this point—that you might not come home? And you know what? Maybe it’s just so much easier. “Let me just sign whatever stupid papers they want. I know who I am inside. Let me go home and see my kids and hug them.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: As a Christian, then and now, my principle is: I don’t want to live without Christ for one second.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, stop one second… As a mother of two children that would grow up alone… You’re 25 or 26 years old, you’re 82 pounds… I don’t know how much torture you could absorb. “As a mother, let me just sign this stupid piece of paper, tell them what they want and let me go home.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: This piece of paper means that I betrayed my Lord. He gave me this mission. It was not mine. It was not my idea. And he said, in the Bible, that he will never leave us or forsake us. I knew that he was there. He told me—and told everyone in the Bible—that there is no wisdom, no inside, no plan can succeed against the Lord—Proverbs 21:30. And I believed in that. It was hard.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, that gave you strength. When you’re being tortured, you’re not thinking of not coming home to your two children. In fact, you’re thinking the opposite—that, “I’m not I’m only going to survive this—I’m going to come out stronger, and God’s going to protect me.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. And I always believe they have a job to do, and I have a job to do, too. Out of that, I remember telling them, “I don’t like what you are doing. It’s painful what you are doing.” They knew that. But I know God loves you, and I choose to love you.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: But how could God love evil? These people are evil. How could God love evil people?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: We all are sinful people.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I’m not talking sinful—I’m talking evil. These are evil people. How could God love evil people if God is a god of goodness?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Because God created us in his image. And those evil people, that’s the way God asked me to look at them and see them. Those evil people are doing evil acts because they were captured by the evil one and they are under his tent. And God wanted me to show them love and respect no matter what they are doing so they can see that there is another way of living and allow God, in me, to take them from the tent of the evil one to his stand like he did with me. And I don’t know… In heaven, God will show me. But they were crying and turning their heads because they didn’t know what to do with me. Every single person, no matter how evil they might act toward us or others… They are looking for God. They are looking for love—unconditional love of God. And those people were looking, too. And yes, it was a very hard circumstance. But God can use us, for his glory, to accomplish that.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I’m not going to debate this with you. I have a very difficult—almost impossible thing—to believe… That evil people, God wants us to love them. I can’t see anyone loving a Nazi or people that put my grandparents, my family in concentration camps and crematoriums… That these people are to be loved. But let’s put that aside.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You now escape with your life. You’re telling me your captors and your torturers now are moved by your heroic actions. I know you don’t want to use that word, but I will. Your heroic actions. You now come out of being incarcerated and being tortured. And now what?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I go to court and I do the same kind of things and everything that I was supposed to do.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You don’t stop for one second.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: No, because it’s not your energy and it’s not your cleverness—it’s the power of Christ in you. And that is what moved me, what motivated me. And that’s what I have done.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, so now… Ceausescu is not happy with this 82-pound dynamo who does not know what defeat is and does not know what giving up is and who he cannot break… So, he sends an assassin to kill you.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yes. I love how your answer is like I asked you a question like, “What did you do Wednesday?” “I went to walk in the park, of course.” So, he sends an assassin to kill you. And this assassin is, if I remember the book, 6’10” or so. Pretty tall guy. Comes into your office, your assistant leaves for the night, you’re sitting in your chair—82-pound Virginia—with 6’10” Mr. Assassin. And he says what?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: “I’m not your client. I’m here to kill you.” And he points his gun at me and he starts screaming and saying, in detail, who sent him—the dictator—and what the dictator told him.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you’re on Ceausescu’s private list of people—his to-do list. People to be killed today: Virginia Prodan. And he sends an assassin to kill you. You pose such a threat to the Romanian government and to his rule because you’re embarrassing the government by defending Christians and defending the Bible in a place where it shouldn’t exist. And congressmen from the United States are visiting you before they visit him. So, you’re a pretty big shot.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Well, he explained to me why—because he, the dictator, does not stop to do this and respect the treaty, the president, Ronald Reagan, wants to take the most-favored nation status. And they believe that I was the reason.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you were the reason to cost him billions of dollars of economic aid and benefits because this little lady is defending people in court and winning.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, that’s what he said. And he was screaming and he was just giving me every detail because he believed, as I believed at that time, that that was the end of my life.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, at that point, Virginia… It must be painful to even remember that day—or maybe not. You’re superwoman anyway. Are you thinking, “I’m never going to see my two kids again?”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. As he was screaming, I was looking at the picture of my kids, and that was the feeling—that this is the end. “I will never see my kids again.” And I remember my knees were shaking and my stomach was making noise and I could hear my heart in my ears. It was so much noise inside of me. I was, I believe, shaking. My body was shaking, and he was screaming. So, it was noise outside. But in all the noise around me, inside of me, I heard the Lord. I sense the Lord saying, “Share the gospel.”

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My heart’s pounding just listening to the story 20 years later… So anyway, you’re sitting there, he has the gun in your face. He could pull the trigger any moment, and you’re done. You hear a voice tell you share the gospel. So, what do you do?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I listened. I learned not to question God. He has a reason. Because in Romania, we didn’t have Bibles. Or when we had the Bibles, we would memorize Bible verses. It was very easy for me to say it. So, I approach him saying, “I understand you have a job to do. I would love to share with you some things before you do your job. Would you allow me to do it?” And he nodded, and I started to recite the Bible.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: And as he put the gun down on the table and listened to me as I recited the Bible, his shoulders went down, and he started to melt under God’s word—word by word from the Bible. And I was mesmerized. I never had seen something like this in my life. And as I watched him, I was thinking, “When I finish, he’s going to kill me.” And I forgot my words.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: So, I started to paraphrase, but maybe only two or three sentences because as I started to say my own words, he came back to the big man statue. I prayed like never in my life. And the good Lord brought the Bible, the gospel, back to me. And I shared the gospel with him. And he accepted Christ.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: How long is this going on? Give me the time span from him sitting down with the gun in your face to you starting to speak the gospel… How long before he says, “You got me”? Ten minutes? A half hour? One hour? How long is the period of time?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I don’t think it was more than half an hour.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Your life is threatened. You spin this around in a few minutes where he puts the gun down and says, “I’m with you”?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Several times when I talked with him and told him we all are sinners, we turn from God, that we need salvation and everything… And at the end, he to listened more and more. I asked him if he wanted to accept Christ as his savior. And he said, “Yes.” And I prayed with him. And he promised me that he would come to and act like secret police—but he will be my brother.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Aren’t you concerned that tomorrow they’re going to send another assassin to kill you?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I stood on that chair… I don’t know for how long after he left. I couldn’t believe what happened, and I couldn’t think about something worse than that happening. I just rejoiced that one of those ferocious people in the interrogation room hitting and making me full of blood… I was able to see one of them walking from the tent of the evil one to Christ. And that was such a joy. I remember sitting there and just trying to figure… It happened! It really happened! That’s how God works.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: The story of your life continues on where not everything’s sunshine and rainbows… You’re thrown out of Romania in 1988. You’re thrown out of Romania, your birthplace, where your family was born, and your grandparents and all your friends… Kicked out with your two children and you’re pregnant at the time. You have no money.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I didn’t know one word in English.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: English—you know nothing. Pregnant, two children and your husband… And you land where?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: In Dallas, Texas.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: How do you get to Dallas, Texas?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Well, that’s a story in the book. Again, I pray for it. That’s the way my life works. I don’t do anything or make decisions in my life without God. So, God sent me here. But here I am—no English, no friends, no money—arriving in Dallas, Texas. And shortly after we arrived in Dallas, Texas, something else happened. My husband left us. And I found myself a single mom was three kids now, no English, no money… living in a foreign country.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And you’re all alone here, raising three children with no husband and no income. And do you know English at this time?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: No English. My kids knew more English than I knew because they would go to public school. But I learned English. When I started to work, I went back to law school.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What were you doing? What kind of job are you getting with three little kids at home?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Every single job that was possible—every single job. And I did jobs when they were at school. And a job is something that you do. Who you are in Christ is your identity.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Give me an example. What did you do to put food on your plate?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: The first job that I did was to go to my church and ask my church if they wanted to hire me as a worker in daycare, so I could be with my son and I also work and have some money. Later on, when I went to law school, I was an assistant to my professors. So, I took three kids to three places—school and daycare. I went to law school. I worked for my professors, I came home to pick them up and I did more work. That’s how I rebuilt my life.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: OK, so not only that, you become an American citizen—naturalized citizen. Your two daughters and your son become citizens. You graduate SMU, I believe?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: SMU Law School. And I raised three children…

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wait, wait… Before we talk about raising them, let’s talk a little more about you. Because you are just amazing. You graduate SMU with what degree?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I graduated in three years. Normal people will graduate in four years.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Well, you’re not normal. So, that goes without saying. If you told me you did it in a week and a half, I’d believe you.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I graduated with a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Law. Yes. Two degrees.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you come to this country with nothing. Three children, husband leaves you, you start, you build, you go to school, you learn English, you become a lawyer… You then go and start practicing?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And the practice you do is what?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: It’s my own law firm, and I do federal law.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, you start your own law firm?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, I started my own law firm, and I do freedom of religion and immigration and all the federal… Yeah.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What do you do in your spare time? That was a joke. So, anyway, you raise three children, and your three children are just… The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your daughter also graduates SMU?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Your other daughter—I think—goes to Ivy League. Right? She’s at Harvard Law?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Harvard Law, yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And your son’s a pilot in the U.S. Air Force?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes. Graduated from United States Air Force Academy. Yes. And all of them are walking with the Lord.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: That goes without saying. With a mom like you, how could you not? Just walking with you is honor enough, but they’d got the Lord also? Boy, oh boy. They’re having a fun day. So, your son—I believe you told me—is a helicopter rescue pilot.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, I want to wrap this up, Virginia. And I just want to tell you, folks, if you didn’t read this book yet, go get it. I believe you sign these on your site?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Yes, they can go to VirginiaProdanBooks.com/contact. And if they want to buy books from my website, they can buy it from there, and I can sign the book.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Amazing. So, you have led a life, which… I can’t even think of an adjective for what it is. Miraculous, heroic, courageous… Put them all together, and I still don’t think it measures.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Could you please share with people who are listening… When you hear people in this country talk about socialism, talk about forms of government other than democracy and capitalism as a form of an economy and how America is not a great country and there’s social inequalities… What do you say to that?

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I have been watching America—and American people—from overseas for many years in Romania, and I have been the one that many missionaries and congressmen and senators and secretaries would come to. And they’d hug me—when I was in Romania and under pressure—and whisper in my ears, “Go on. We are for you. Go on and do what you’re doing. It’s amazing.”

VIRGINIA PRODAN: And I also watched you from here—as an American citizen and growing with you. I want to say that American people are the most generous people in the whole world. We, as Americans—because I’m an American citizen—brought freedom and Christ to people all over the world. It’s time for us to bring freedom and Christ back to America. And this is the reason why we are here.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: I hope that listening to my story, reading my book, you will be motivated to understand that there is a very good reason for you to be now and during this time here in America. So, you can trust God, and you can let him work in your life. God worked in my life and changed Romania from a socialist country to a democratic country. God can use each one of us wherever we are and be a tool in his hands to change America and fight against the desire and the lies about socialists. Because America—and capitalist America—offer freedom and opportunities to everyone.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: America offered me opportunities to rebuild my life. Socialists will take the freedom away from you. And if you really want to know and understand how socialism works—and also how God can work in your life—I really advise you to take the book. Because you will understand… I take the reader by my hand, and they walk with me in socialist. And I also hope that you will share the book or buy another book for someone else to understand that.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: We are at a tipping point in America, and we have to fight for freedom. Otherwise, I have to tell you… Socialism was in Romania for 53 years—75 years in Russia. And look in China and other countries. Socialism, when established, will remain in position for a very long time. So, I just want you to encourage and to understand that your life is precious—that God can do, in your life, what you think is impossible.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: If you look at everything that I’ve said to you, you might say—or maybe have said several times—”Impossible, impossible.” God made it possible. Because that’s how God works, and he will make it possible in your life, too. He’s just waiting for us to let him work in our lives. And your life will never be the same, and America will never be the same.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: The book is Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan. Virginia, I couldn’t say it any better… It’s truly an honor and a privilege to have you today on the show. And I want to thank you so much and wish you only the best—you and your family—for many years to come. Thank you so much, Virginia.

VIRGINIA PRODAN: Thank you so much. It’s an honor and a privilege to be here with you, Charles. And I believe it’s an honor and a privilege to be with each one of you who are listening. Because I am in front of you, encouraging you, to say: Take the assignment that God is giving you. Hear from him, because he will change you and will change America forever. Beautiful.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thank you so much, Virginia.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Charles Mizrahi Show. If you’re a new listener, welcome. If you’ve been listening for a while, we’re glad to have you back. Either way, we’d love to know what you think of the show. Please leave a review if you listen on Apple Podcast. Reviews make it easier for others to find the show. You can also see the video of the interview on The Charles Mizrahi Show channel on YouTube.

 

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