|April 2004 Newsletter|
With Just One Smile
When the director of the Child Protection Agency asked me to come visit their placement center, I went, never thinking that I would be returning home with a few extra children. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I have a sensitive heart, and it doesn't take much for me to grow attached to a child. In this instance, all it took was for me to see Petrica's smile, and my heart was his for the taking. Petrica and his twin brother Vladut, of seven months, along with their brother Stefanel of three years, came to the placement center less than a week ago, following a tragedy that befell their family. Their father, Anton Chelemindra recently passed away, and less than a week ago their mother suffered an accident due to which she was deemed unsuitable to care for her three children. Within minutes the director of the Child protection agency filled out the necessary papers smiling, and when she handed them to me she said, "I knew your heart wouldn't allow you to leave without taking them. " Once more the Hand of Help family has expanded, and we have three new children to love and provide for. Please remember them in your prayers, and pray that sponsors will be found for them.
Will No One Visit Me?
The moment we walked through Maria Duduman's door she began to cry. Wiping tears from her face she said, "just ten minutes ago I came inside, because it was getting too cold. I stood by my gate for the better part of three hours watching as all my neighbors received visitors on this day of remembrance, and crying I asked God will no one visit me?"
Sometimes God answers our prayers just that quickly. He has sent His servants to comfort an old woman, and answer her prayer.
We spent a long time with Maria, hearing stories of her younger years, and all the things that God had done for her. Her joy was complete, as was ours upon realizing that all we have to do is tell God what ails us, and He will answer, even when everyone else has the day off.
Hand of Help Staff
Save My Family!
It was a cry for help that came from the brink of desperation. A heartfelt prayer, which we are hoping God will answer speedily. The Livadaru Family has no other hope than in God, and they cry out to Him with great unction. Three more children have been added to the Livadaru family's ten, and although both parents consider this a miracle and a blessing, they are asking for our help. "It seems God chose to add to the Niculae Balcescu church only through my family," the father said when we visited them, bringing along some food and baby diapers.
The mother who recently gave birth to triplets is the subject of discussion for many local newspapers, but their recent publicity will in no way help them survive. They need our prayers, and support especially now that they've moved into a village where they are the only Christian family. With what they were able to save, they bought a small home, but they have no land, or livestock. Their only means of support comes from the government, and that's not enough to carry them through one week, never mind one month. As many others, this family is merely trying to survive.
If we look at the big picture, I believe what happened to this family was God's way of letting everyone in the village know that a Christian had moved into their midst. There are no Christians for a one hundred-kilometer radius, and if this is God's way of starting a work in Niculae Balcescu, it was an opportune moment in time. Many are not expecting the babies to survive, and they are anxiously watching to see if the Livadaru family's faith will prove itself. It is as though God has planted three fragile saplings in the midst of this village, and we pray God will watch over them, and help them grow.
This family needs our help, and I pray God open our hearts to do what we must in order to insure their survival. The needs are many for this family, but we trust that God knows when and how to work. They are in desperate need of a cow, which curr e n t ly costs $500, and at least one hectare of land, which they could purchase for $250. It would be a great thing if we could also give them a monthly sponsorship, which would ensure they are fed, and their needs are being met.
One thing we must keep in mind is that no matter how insignificant something may seem to us, to a family who has nothing, even the smallest blessing in our eyes is a great blessing in theirs. May God work, as He always does, and for all His blessing we give thanks. May we never grow weary of doing good.
Planned Activities for April and May
Ever since the inception of Hand of Help, our goal and our burden has been singular. To meet the individual need, and provide for either family, widows, or orphans that which they most desperately lacked. It is a very personal way of ministry, one that causes many to see the love of God firsthand. For most, it is a direct answer to their prayers, and it helps reaffirm their belief that God is listening, and answering their requests.
We recently broke ground for the Solcan family home in Dolhasca, and the home in Leorda is close to completion. We also bought several hundred chickens, and as the weather becomes warmer, we will be distributing them, especially to widows, and seniors. This year we also purchased thousands of seed packets, half of which we planted ourselves for distribution to the poor during harvest season, giving the other half away to families who had land but couldn't afford to buy seed.
We also continue to distribute more clothes, food packages, and Bibles than ever before, and we are grateful to God for showing His goodness on a daily basis. This week we visited a family of 8, which needed shoes for their children. We came back the next day, having found the right sizes for all of them, and although some were used, they were in good condition. Upon leaving one of our visitors said to the man of the house, "it's such a small blessing, but we're glad we were able to help." The father of eight, looked into the visitor's eyes, and said, "there's no such thing as a small blessing, it is what we prayed for, God bless you."
This experience marked us all, and we talked about it on the drive back to Botosani. For the one in need, for the one praying for a miracle, truly there is no such thing as a small blessing.
Hand of Help Staff
It is no small endeavor to provide for over 120 children every month, to feed them, clothe them, and buy the necessary medicine for some that have ailments. It is you who make this possible, it is you through your selfless giving that keeps us afloat. The only option that we have is that of going forward, trusting that God will continue to speak to your hearts, and meet the needs of this orphanage. Without you, what we do would be impossible. Although not often expressed, our gratitude toward your sacrifices for this ministry is ever present in our hearts. It is God who has bonded you to this ministry, and made us one family under His guidance and mercy. May you be blessed in knowing that you have sown your seed in good soil, and the harvest is visible on a daily basis. For His glory we co-labor together, knowing our reward for all we do in His name will be amply rewarded.
Hand of Help Staff
Our Oldest is Getting Married
Throughout life there are unique moments of joy. Few experiences compare with the joy one feels when they see that their children choose the right path in life, they have matured, made good decisions, and are ready to venture out on their own. The children at the Hand of Help orphanage are like our own, treated with the same love and affection we would show our own flesh and blood, and for this reason we can't help but feel a sense of joy and accomplishment.
Viorica Hulai is among the first children to have been part of the Hand of Help family, and although at the time she was older than most of the children, she had been through difficult times in her life, and needed mending and comfort. Throughout the years we have seen her grow, and have thanked God that with each passing year her relationship with the Savior grew stronger. Now Viorica is 22 years old, and God has prepared a young Christian man for her, with whom she is ready to make a home, and a life.
Please remember them in your prayers that God would watch over them, and provide for their needs.
Hand of Help Staff
Little Food But Much Prayer
"We have a merciful God," said Nicoleta Turca. "Even though we had more prayer than food for Easter, I know it was just a temporary trial that God took us through, so He could once again prove His faithfulness to us. It doesn't concern me how much others have, as long as I have God, I know He will always be there. It is amazing to see Him work, to see true miracles day after day. When I first started going to church, I didn't know what to expect. I was used to being around selfish people, who only wanted for themselves, but now I've come to realize there are selfless people in this world. There are still people who are at God's disposal, who hear and obey His voice. This is all new to me, but it is awesome to see," Nicoleta continued. "I am moved beyond words, and any thanks I would offer would be insufficient in light of what you have done for me and my family, but what I can say with all my heart is may God do unto you as you have done unto me."
The fact that on Easter Sunday we showed up with food, informing her we would be looking for a place to build her a home, surprised Nicoleta most of all. "When other people are sitting around bountiful dinner tables, enjoying the company of their families, you come to my home, to bring me food and tell me God has provided me with a house. Such a thing, I have never heard of," she said.
Nicoleta realized what many in Romania have realized throughout the years through this ministry, that God truly does care for the poor and afflicted, and He is always faithful. What's more amazing, is the plot of land we found to build this family a home, is next to a church that will open its doors shortly after Nicoleta's home will be finished. Even in the smallest of details we see the hand of God, and that is something for which we will always be thankful. Weather permitting, we plan to have the home finished in one month's time. May the abundant blessings of God be upon you for meeting the need of the Turca family from Leorda, and may their joy be your joy as well. May all the glory and praise be to God our Father for all that He does through you.
He Is Risen
They are perhaps the most powerful words in human dialect, truly the most important event in the history of the world. No words have caused more controversy, or polarized the world, then those that we utter with the remembrance of our Lord's resurrection; He is risen, and the tomb is empty. For those that have found the light of truth, those that have been chosen to know the word of God, no words bring more comfort and peace. He is risen, never to die again. Until Christ's resurrection death had dominion over every created being in the universe, now for those that believe on the name of Jesus it has become nothing more than a vanquished foe. We no longer fear death, because it has lost its power and its hold.
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus and the resurrection of those who die in Him is the heart of the Christian message. During the time of the Roman Empire, thousands of men were crucified, yet history has erased all memory of them. They are long forgotten, gone forever from the consciousness of humanity, never to be remembered again. One thing made Jesus unique and singular, the fact that He did not succumb to death, as all men must, but rose again on the third day, in order to fulfill His covenant with us.
What sets the resurrection of Jesus apart from any other in the Bible, is that unlike the resurrection of Lazarus and others in the word, Jesus did not rise to go into the earth again. As Paul states in Romans, we know that Christ was raised from the dead, and cannot die again because death no longer has mastery over him. The raising of Lazarus from the dead was to show His power, His resurrection was the assurance that death has been conquered forever.
Before being caught up, Christ left another promise for those who testify of His saving grace, that He would one day return. One day every eye will behold Him returning in glory, and either rejoice at His return, or be dreadfully fearful of it depending on their relationship with Him. This truth should give us more strength than any other to continue pursuing that, which is good and just. This truth, more than any other should fill our hearts with peace and joy, regardless of the chaos the world finds itself in.
God does not lie, in His word He forewarns us of the times we are living in, but also encourages us to take courage, and not faint of heart. He stands with us in our trials, in our needs, and even when the whole world seems to have abandoned us. He is faithful and just, His mercy endures forever, and His desire is for us to grow in Him. To know Him as father, to feel His love poured out upon us each and every day.
As the speed of life continues to accelerate, I pray we take a moment and meditate on the sacrifice that was made for us, the redemption the blood of Jesus bought us, and the fact that His return is imminent. May our heavenly Father continue to hold you in His embrace, guide you and comfort you. May you always feel His presence, and know the joy of salvation. My prayers as always are with you, and I ask only that you remember me in your prayers as well.
With Love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.