|June 2004 Newsletter|
Amidst the multitude of pleas and requests, there are also a great number who now have reason to be thankful to God for having answered their prayers. Due to the mercy of God, the month of June will be a month in which many of our current projects will be finalized.The Livadaru family is overjoyed for the cow that was provided for them. The church in Boureni Hirlau is in its finishing stages and it will soon be open. The Andrici family will be moving to their new home shortly. The Turca family's home in Leorda, is awaiting final authorization from the site inspectors, after which it will be done in a matter of weeks. The final paperwork is being completed for the Solcan family's new home in Gulea. We are distributing clothing, food and money on a daily basis. All these things are for God's glory, and it is His mercy toward the poor that has allowed us to come this far. Thank you for being an answer to so many prayers.
From the mouth of Babes!
One of the pastors we support monthly came to the orphanage one day with a troubled look on his face. "I need to tell you about a family," he said. "You need to go visit them, and see if there is anything you can do. They are desperate."
We got the details from the pastor, and the next day we drove to the village of Girdesti, to find the Gruea family. When we finally arrived we were surprised to find that only the children were home. Not one, or two, but all nine of the Gruea family's children were sitting on one bed, with the oldest reading the Bible to the younger ones. After introducing ourselves, we asked them what the one thing they most wanted was. Their answer surprised us, because they asked for neither candy nor toys. "If father had a horse," the oldest sibling said, "we would have what we need to earn our daily bread. We keep praying and praying for a horse, and we know God didn't send you here by accident."
The words of wisdom from such a young child, and the certainty with which he made his request known surprised us. May God hear their prayers, and answer them speedily.
Hand of Help Staff
Waiting For A Miracle
When poverty and hopelessness have taken up permanent residence in your home, all you can do is pray for a miracle, and wait on God. You wait with great anticipation for the day of mercy, when God will come and visit your home.
The Murariu family in the village of Leorda is one such case. They are a family of thirteen, living in one cramped room, waiting on God to provide them with a cow to feed their 11 children. What has brought even greater suffering to the Murariu family is that one of their eleven children is paralyzed. "The other children are so good with him" Vasile said, "they've never once complained about taking care of him. We are at God's mercy, He is our hope, and He will not abandon us."
A Worthwhile Journey
The passing of time is so fluid and constant, that only when remembering milestones do we take a moment to look back and realize just how much sand has passed through the hourglass. Often we are astonished by how long it has been, and with a shake of our head, we think to ourselves, 'it just doesn't seem that long.'
May 25 was a beautiful and sunny day, but also an important milestone for the Hand of Help family. It was on this day, twenty years ago that an immigrant family from Romania, not knowing the language or customs of this land, obeyed the voice of the Father and started a small ministry in their two bedroom southern California apartment. We had neither dreams of grandeur or great wealth, only the burning desire to do what we could to help those we had left behind in Romania, still suffering the tyranny of Communism. We knew from the onset that there was nothing we could do on our own strength, that in fact, being strangers in a strange land, God was the only one who could bless the work and bring forth good fruit.
Although it seems like only yesterday, the abundance of memories betrays the fact that indeed it has been much longer. It has been a journey worth remembering and a realization that God has been with us every step of the way, always guiding us, protecting us, and standing with us even in the midst of trials and hardships.
From its infancy Hand of Help's only purpose was to stand in the gap, and provide the essential things of life for those in need. Whether spiritual nourishment, or physical, our calling has been to show the love of Christ in action, and be obedient to His voice. To God it seems, the size of a ministry is irrelevant. Yes, we are small, but the amount of souls blessed through Hand of Help, the number of people whose hope has been restored through this ministry is innumerable.
Looking back on twenty years of labor, we can see the fruit, and be thankful to God. He has helped us build over fifty churches, distribute hundreds of thousands of Bibles, have an orphanage that is a safe refuge for over 120 children, build countless homes for the poor, bought land cows, chickens, pigs for those that would have otherwise gone without, as well as provided thousands with the most basic of needs such as clothes and food.
In His infinite goodness, God has allowed us to seek out the poorest among the poor, and be a ray of hope in their darkest hour. Even after all this time we are still in awe of how God works, how He touches hearts, and provides for the ever-growing needs. If today we are still here, it is only due to His mercy, and we will continue to be here for as long as He requires it.
It has been an uphill battle, and we have never been short on trials, but in order to appreciate standing on the mountain top, one must first pass through many valleys. With each victory He proves His faithfulness, and strengthens our faith. What an awesome God we serve.
Hand of Help Staff
One Sunday morning, close to thirty minutes before the service, I was sitting in church going over some scriptures, when I happened to look up and see the children's choir. Although service would not start for some time, all the children were assembled, their smiles guileless and undemanding. As I continued to look at their innocent faces, I felt a tear trickle down my cheek, realizing that what I was really looking at were the faces of the children in the Hand of Help orphanage. Before they found a home here, these were children without hope, who had seen much pain and disappointment, and who had not felt the love of Jesus in their hearts. Now, they were in church before most of the adults, eager to
do their part and serve the Lord. I sat for a long time; not bothering to wipe the tears streaming down my face, remembering our small beginnings, and realizing just how far simple obedience had brought us. I pray all of you who are co-laborers in this work with us, who pray for and support this ministry, will feel this same joy and sense of accomplishment in your hearts. God has brought us so far, yet there is a long journey ahead of us. May you be blessed of God for all you do for His name's sake.
Mike Boldea Sr.
Sometimes something as insignificant as seeds can be the greatest of blessings to a family in need. Planting season is here again, and the number of people at the orphanage gates, asking for seeds is increasing in number with each passing day. Such was the case with the Stefanescu family from Suharau. Ana Stefanescu, a mother of ten, came to us one day with one simple request. "I have a small piece of land, but nothing to plant", she said. "You have no idea what a blessing some potato seeds would be for my family. I would have something to feed my ten children, and it would make my life much easier. It is the only thing we can do to survive," Ana said. "There is no work in our village, Suharau, for all intents and purposes it is a dead place, a village long abandoned by all the able bodied, and anyone who could escape. The one thing we have to sustain us is what we grow ourselves, and this year, I am at God's mercy because I have nothing to plant."
I told Ana that we had no money, as yet, designated for seeds but as soon as we were able, we would come and visit. "Pray," I said, "and God will answer your prayers, I will come to visit, I promise."
Ana left, the look on her face betraying the fact that she didn't quite believe I would take the time to go to her home. Three days later, her astonishment could not be hidden. We came with the seeds she'd asked for, as well as some food packages for her and her children. Their need however, as we noticed when we visited did not end there. Ana has a seven-yearold daughter that needs a miracle in her life. She was born with a heart problem for which she requires an operation if she is to survive her childhood. The cost of the operation is $600, a small sum for some, but for a family who doesn't have enough to eat it is a fortune. All we can do is make the need known, and pray that God would be merciful once more and intervene on the Stefanescu family's behalf. Please keep Mariana in your prayers, so we could make this hope come to pass in her life. Nothing is impossible with God.
All I ask!
The Acrudoae family is an elderly couple that has seen much hardship during their long lives. When we visited them one afternoon, we found Viorica weeping beside her paralyzed husband's bed. It was enough to bring tears to our eyes as well.
As we stood in the cramped room that was their residence, we asked Viorica what it was that they needed. Wiping tears from her aged face, she said, "my husband has been paralyzed for over fourteen years, and he's on a special diet. Most of what I am to feed him is dairy products. All I ask the good Lord is to provide us with a cow. You don't know what that would mean to us, it would let me feed my husband, and it would make life bearable. That is all I ask, and I know God hears, and He will answer when He so chooses. We spent much time with the Acrudoae family, leaving the food we had bought, promising to return with a cow when the Lord provided for one. Our God is able, if His servants are willing.
Hand of Help Staff
Such is Life
"What can you do? Such is life, at first it's hard, then it gets harder, and the only option you have is to continue the struggle, and press on knowing that God is watching, and He will answer when the time is right. Even when things seemed impossible I never lost hope, because God promised He would be there."
These were the words of Elena Roman, a mother of 8 when we visited her, and brought some things God had provided for her.
"When I found out I was pregnant again" Elena said, "I kept worrying as to how I would raise another child. It never crossed my mind that God would give me twins. It surprised everyone, including the doctor, but no one was more surprised than I. When you have nothing, it's natural to be concerned, to wonder how you will feed and clothe not one but two babies. I just got back from the store where I bought a kilogram of crackers on credit, and now I have to ration it out. A child doesn't know money, or that there isn't any, a child only knows its hungry. What I wouldn't give to have some milk, or a cow, but everyone's poor in our village, just trying to survive from day to day. And here you are, just when desperation was starting to set in, as though God whispered to your heart, go visit the Roman family, they need encouragement. If you didn't know what it was to save a life, you know now. You just saved my family's life. But knowing what you do, I realize you do this every day. I can only imagine what reward you will receive in heaven for having saved so many. Thank you, my prayers for you will never cease as long as I have breath in me."
With those stirring words, we left the Roman home, and went to the next family on our list, yet another need, yet another blessing yet another step of faith. You make this possible, and the Father will by no means overlook your obedience.
Hand of Help Staff
All About Marius
His life has never been a normal one. Since the age of five, Marius has been suffering from aggravated diabetes, and now having just turned 20 the desperation is visible in his countenance. It is difficult for an adult to deal with such a debilitating illness, one can only imagine what Marius has gone through, having this burden throughout his childhood and adolescence. The pain he carries in his body, due to a wide variety of diagnosis is often times too much to bear.
Recently the doctors gave him a prescription that would ease his pain, but the cost of 2.5 million lei per month ($75) is far above what Marius can afford. What is impossible with man however is more than possible with God. Please remember Marius in your prayers.
Hand of Help Staff
It had been a busy four months. Geno and myself had been on the road since the beginning of January, and the weekend of April 30, we were scheduled to speak in North Dakota. This however, was a special meeting. It was to be held on an Indian reservation, plagued with countless vices, and in recent weeks with the spirit of suicide as well. It was an open meeting, where Christians and non-Christians had been invited. For the past two weeks I had been praying for direction as to what I should speak. It was a new forum for me, and I knew I needed guidance and direction. As the day drew nearer, I prayed even more, but had received no answer.
I had worked third shift the previous night, and had only enough time to take a shower, and put on some fresh clothes before we were scheduled to make the long drive. Since I was thoroughly tired, I let Geno drive, and I went to sleep in the passenger seat, still troubled in my mind over what I was to speak.
As I slept, I had a dream. I dreamt I was at the base of a tall mountain, with a beautiful waterfall running down its center. As the water fell down the mountain, at certain intervals there were gathering pools, where the water would accumulate, then spill over to continue its trek down the mountainside. A great number of people were at the bottom of the mountain kneeling beside the lowest gathering pool sipping the water. As I looked up the mountainside more people were at the other gathering pools as well, but as the elevation grew, less and less people could be seen. As I was taking in the scene, and wondering what it meant, I noticed a man dressed in white standing beside me, his hands clasped behind his back. It was the same man I had dreamt in previous dreams. He was looking at the mountain, and the running water as intently as I was.
Finally, I looked at him, and asked: "What does this mean? I do not understand."
"It is the answer to your question," he answered. Before I could say anything else, he began to walk, turned his head and said, "Walk with me."
We walked to the first pool of water, and made our way through the crowd until we were standing on the edge, people were still scooping up the water and drinking hungrily.
"Taste it," the man said pointing to the water. It looked clean, but as I scooped a handful and put it to my lips, I noticed it had an earthy taste. I winced, the man smiled, and he continued walking up the mountainside. It was a rough and rocky path, and although the man seemed to have no difficulty climbing, I stumbled a few times, slipped on a few stones, but managed to keep up with his pace. Halfway up the mountain, we stopped at another pool. There were fewer people there than at the bottom, so it was easier for us to make our way to the edge. "Taste it," the man said. I did as before, and scooped some water with my cupped hand, brought it to my lips, and tasted it. Although it tasted much better than the previous pool, there was still a tinge of a sour taste.
We continued to walk up the mountain, until finally, we reached the top. What had been obscured by distance before was now very clear to me. At the top, there was no gathering pool, but a constant torrent of water that came right out of the mountain itself. The rush of water was so powerful that as it came out of the mountain, one could not help but get sprayed if they stood close to it. Those standing at the top, much fewer in number than those at the bottom, were already wet, and in a few minute's time I was thoroughly soaked as well. "Taste it", the man finally said after we stood and watched the beauty of the spring for some time. The water was unlike anything I'd ever tasted. It was cool and crisp, and my thirst was quenched after a few sips.
Although it was a beautiful sight to behold, I was still confused, and after some time I asked the man, "what does it mean?"
"You prayed to the Father, and asked what you should speak. It is the answer to your prayer. This spring is the word of God. When at its source it is pure, and gives life, but as men continue to twist it and interpret and dilute it, it loses its essence, it becomes bitter. Speak the truth of His word, and the thirst of those listening will be quenched."
"What was the meaning of those at the bottom of the mountain?" I asked.
"They are those who are content with half truths, many know cleaner water is found on the mountaintop, but choose not to exert themselves. It is a hard climb, and to know truth one must be diligent in knowing the Word. For now the difference between those at the base of the mountain, and those who stand here, nourishing themselves with the pure word of God is negligible to the human eye. While the day abides, in the eyes of men they are all the same, but the day will not abide forever."
As the man spoke those words, what had just an instant before been blue and sunny skies, turned pale, then pitch black. In an instant there was darkness as far as the eye could see.
"Now behold the difference", the man said. As I looked I understood what he meant. The base of the mountain was engulfed in darkness. Not one flicker of light was visible, but those standing on the mountaintop began to shine with an inner glow that allowed them to see the path before them clearly. The man who had been standing next to me shone brighter than us all.
"Only the pure truth of God's word will be as an anchor in the storm, and as a lamp in the darkness," the man said. "All else will fade away into nothingness. For the days to come are dark days filled with turmoil and great anguish. Even upon this land toward which the Father has shown such great mercy, the day is soon coming when its fate will stun the world. Be bold in the truth servant, and work while you still may that your reward will be complete."
I woke up, thinking it had only been a short while since I'd fallen asleep. I was surprised to hear Geno tell me we were only minutes away from our destination. That night, the meeting was held in the ballroom of a casino, and as instructed I preached the truth of God's word. It was a simple message on Jesus being the truth, the way, and the life, yet this simple message stirred the hearts of those listening. It was one of the most powerful meetings we've had on this tour, with people being saved, delivered, and rededicating their lives to the Lord Jesus. Since then, I have prayed much concerning whether or not to share this dream, and I felt in my heart it was time to do so. God prepares His children in advance, and offers them sufficient time to cling to Him, and trust in Him, that they may weather the storm, and see His victory through it all.
With Love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.