Campus Events, Staff News, Student Life

A mission trip that planted seeds

By CSU Media | April 2, 2018

Almost 14 years ago, Dr. Charles Smedley and Dr. David Naylor took some CSU students on a mission trip to Romania. They would work with orphan children and with poor people in the community.

Daniel Puiu, a Romanian working in ministry at that time, clearly remembers watching the CSU group teaching and singing with the orphans. “You could see God working through the students,” Puiu recalls.

In 2016, Puiu, his wife and two children, decided to move to the United States. Though Puiu admits they did not know why – they chose to live in Charleston. Puiu had worked as a manager in many big European companies. He continues working from abroad in project management as a consultant. He doesn’t believe in coincidences, but he does believe God pointed his family to Charleston for a reason. “We don’t know our purpose, yet, but we believe 100 percent we’re where we are supposed to be.”

Puiu decided he needed a master’s degree to compete for jobs in the United States. He suddenly realized the very university that he first saw in his home country all those years ago, was now in his adopted home of Charleston. “That’s the reason I chose CSU; I still remembered the school, the students and the professors from those years before in Romania.”

Now enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program, he’s confident all of this was not an accident or a coincidence. “It’s more than I expected. The professors are so willing to help,” said Puiu.


The Puiu family was recently separated for about six months. Mom and wife, Beatrice, was a member of the Romanian Olympic bobsled team. Daniel managed the chaos of his studies, the two children and their schedules until Beatrice returned from South Korea.

It’s hard to know what impact or effect a mission trip might have on those who see groups arrive wearing CSU t-shirts from a city and university thousands of miles away. It certainly made an impression on a young Romanian many years ago, and Daniel Puiu is certain now, more than ever, that “all things work together.”

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