With the COVID-19 outbreak devastating our economy, particularly small businesses, one of the hardest hit has been the restaurant industry. It didn’t take long before most restaurants in major cities lost 100% of their business. The devastation became personal to me when I learned what occurred to Marcelus Suciu, one of my spiritual sons in Romania. I first met Marcelus in 1988 when he was a youth, growing up under Ceausescu’s cruel regime. After the revolution Marty Brill had the dream of bringing American initiative to a backward economy. He took Marcelus under his wing and established the most successful chain of restaurants in Cluj. In the years that followed, Marcelus expanded the business to 22 locations with almost 700 employees. By 2016, Marcelus was honored as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Romania. With his keen initiative and creativity, expansion seemed limitless.
And then the COVID-19 outbreak. Marcelus had to lay off 460 workers. With no income stream, his creditors took most of his restaurants and threaten his home and the future of the entire business. Despite the devastation, Marcelus has not lost his faith. In my many years as a pastor, I’ve observed that those who are truly bankrupt in spirit are the ones who teach us how to pray. Marcelus wrote, “we are now in the deepest, darkest and coldest abyss. But, surprisingly we have more light and warmth than ever. Undeniably, I can only say that God is strongly at work here. That is what comforts and frightens me greatly.” May Marcelus’ prayer strengthen your faith and confidence to remain faithful to the Lord in testing.