Ever since this work begun, more often than not, it seems we’ve been moving mountains by faith. Looking back on all the years, all the trials, all the setbacks and all the obstacles there is only one conclusion I can rightly come to, that if not for the grace of God, if not for His mighty hand keeping us and strengthening us, we would merely be a long forgotten work that met its end before it even begun. It is humbling to look back and consciously underscore all the instances wherein God intervened, and all the situations through which we came unscathed as if by miracle or divine providence. With all requisite honesty and humility I daily realize the profound truth that it is not by our might or by our power, it is not by our ingenuity or savvy that we’ve survived for this long, but by the grace and providence of almighty God, who in His infinite mercy watches over a work even as small as ours.
Recently a new obstacle has been placed in our path, and a new mountain has appeared as if out of nowhere, one that we cannot circumvent or sidestep. In order to put the situation into context we have to journey back to the beginning of our work here in Romania, to before we broke ground on the land upon which the Hand of Help Orphanage now stands.
In the early 90’s when we first received the vision of building the orphanage, it was unlawful for the state to sell land. Rather than give people the opportunity purchase the land outright the state established ‘lease contracts’ whereby one could readily build upon the land they leased from the government, paying a minimal yearly stipend. Since the downturn in the economy, and the growing need for new revenue sources, the government has changed the law and is now selling the properties that were up to this point leased. In order to ‘encourage’ the purchase of lands by either individuals or companies, the government has reserved the right to invoke their own version of ‘eminent domain’ on all those who opt out of purchasing the land they currently lease.
For those who do not know what eminent domain is, it is the right of a government to seize private property for public use, in exchange for payment of fair market value. So basically if we refuse to purchase the land upon which the orphanage now sits, the government reserves the right to seize it at its leisure.
The asking price for the lot of land on which the orphanage sits, some two hectares worth (215,000 square feet) is currently at $1.2 million. Never mind this sort of sum not being in our ballpark, it’s not even in our hemisphere. We’re not that kind of ministry, and we don’t have that kind of money.
Smelling blood in the water, old adversaries have come out of the woodwork, and the local priest is already petitioning the city council to invoke eminent domain forthwith.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a breath away from having my Habakkuk moment, where the only thing left to do is to cry out to God ‘O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear?’ at seeing the wicked surround the righteous and perverse judgment proceed unhindered. But then I remember the goodness of the Lord, I remember the mercy of the Lord, I look back on the life of this ministry and realize it is not my ministry, or my family’s ministry, but God’s ministry, and He will make a way, when no way is visible.
Upon hearing about the current situation, one of our directors took me aside and asked, ‘what are you going to do? Are you going to start making some phone calls, are you going to reach out to some people and ask for help?’
My answer to him was, ‘I’m going to pray. I’m going to make the situation known, and I’m going to pray, and I suggest you do the same.’
Taking the advice to heart, the entire hand of help staff here in Romania, as well as the Messiah church have committed to a week-long fast, for God to remedy this situation, and move this mountain that stands in our way.
We must all live what we preach, and I preach a God of miracles, a God who is able to do exceedingly beyond what we can envision or anticipate. I have faith that God will provide, I have faith that God will make a way, and I would ask that you keep this matter in your prayers as well.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
Chairman, Hand of Help Inc.