Although the questions about life under communism are easily asked, the answers do not come as easily. Dr. Augustin Batis says, "I find that my mind is trying to reject the memories of over 15 years ago. What I remember is that everyone had something to eat. Everyone had a roof over their head, and we could thank the government for that. As children, we went through school in order to make a strong communist country. Our personal dreams were allowed just in our dreams. As a child, I remember I had food to eat. I don’t remember its quality, but we had it."
When Dr. Augustin and his wife, Dr. Mihaela, were assigned to Pitesti after graduate school, they saw a great need. And when God sent an American missionary to Pitesti to ultimately lead them to know Jesus Christ, it became obvious that He had a plan for their lives. It was the corrupt government health system that led them to the idea of starting their own medical center.
Originally, they started their clinic in conjunction with a local church. However, when the pastor’s vision for the clinic changed, Augustin and Mihaela felt God calling them toward something different. In January, 2000, the Luke Society, along with Christian supporters from the United States, provided funds to build the Dr. Luca Medical Center. The center goes beyond the usual Luke Society clinic by offering specialty care, including pediatrics, internal medicine, cardiology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, gynecology, neurology and general surgery.
What excites Augustin about the Dr. Luca Medical Center having established the clinic without succumbing to traditional bribes that have plagued most post-communism endeavors. "The Dr. Luca Medical Center has shown that Christians can stay true to their values and be successful," Augustin says.
Over the years, one can see that growing up under the oppression of communist rule, attending medical school, and teaching community health to impoverished communities, are all ways that God has been preparing Augustine and Mihaela for this present work. It is obvious to all that the Batis’ have a passion for the work they do. Their eyes fill with tears of happiness as they talk about how they became Christians. But it is their hearts that are filled with happiness as they speak of opportunities to share God’s love with the underprivileged around them.