Today, the Lord called bro. Curtis Pugh home. A void remains in our heart, but we also rejoice for him. The calling home of a faithful servant should be celebrated, not mourned. We are comforted in our sorrow by the hope of the resurrection and by the confidence that he is now in the presence of the Lord whom he loved and served his entire life.
Sovereign Grace Baptist Assembly exists because of his missionary efforts. What a privilege we have to be part of a congregation of Christ. We will be forever thankful to the Lord for sending Bro. Curtis to us.
In 2004, when he became ill with an auto-immune disease similar to leukemia, the best doctors of Eastern Europe didn’t give him any chance of survival. According to them, his life expectancy was 2 years at the most (until 2006). When he called his personal doctor in Budapest after several months in which he hadn’t seen her, she cried over the phone and told him that she thought he was already dead. The Lord prolonged his life with 12 years. Why? It was for us, who remain here, not for him, because, due to his illness, he was fighting a struggle against his own body that few people can even imagine. We still needed him. Now, the Lord said „Enough!” The Master called home his good and faithful servant, to offer him eternal peace and the fulness of joy that is in His presence.
He served us with great efforts. It was difficult for him to walk even 100 ft to the print shop’s office – he would get so short of breath. Even so, he continued to serve us in a wheelchair. In Filiasi, taking long pauses after every step, he climbed up the stairs of Bro. Nicu Fundeanu’s house, to the upper room, where we were gathered for Bible study and worship. He came every time he could, even though that trip meant that he will be bedridden for the next few days due to exhaustion. He loved Romania and Romanian people to the end. He gave them everything he had. No man – not even he – knows the exact number of people that were helped by him, directly or indirectly, in various ways. Only the Lord knows, and He will give him the just reward.
The work of printing and distribution of free literature in Romanian language was his soul-project. He always told us: „Literature travels further than we can and will last longer than we will.” Until now, almost 1 million booklets and books have been printed and distributed in Romania and throughout the world. Our brother passed on, but this work goes on. We are left with his sermons, books and articles that he wrote, which will be a useful tool for the teaching and the encouragement of many people, for many years to come.
Before he returned to the United States, our congregation assured him that we will defend the faith and will pass it on, that we would rather die than betray it. He left Romania only after the church was organized and mature enough to carry on the work. He considered his mission accomplished and did not want to be a burden to the work. The move back to the States was, actually, a great self-sacrifice, because his desire was to live and die in Romania. His desire was that on his headstone, we should write the words „Numai haul,” Only Grace, the title of his favorite Romanian hymn.
He continued to help and support us from the other side of the ocean to the very end. His whole life was one of altruistic, selfless service. The words of apostle Paul, written at the end of his life, are befitting Bro. Curtis as well: „I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:7-8). You are well now, brother Curtis, you’ve never been better! We may meet soon, for the coming of our Lord is drawing nigh! Until then, you’ll always be in the hearts of the members of Sovereign Grace Baptist Assembly, who are so thankful for your life’s work! La revedere in vesnicii, frate Curtis! Until we meet again in eternity, Bro. Curtis!