|January/February 2005 Newsletter|
God at Work
We can never aspire to understand the extent to which God cares and provides for us, but we praise His name, and we rejoice in His goodness, seeing that He does notdiscount the prayers of even one of the least. I can say this with certainty, knowing what my family has been through and how miraculously God has answered every one of our prayers. When men ask me why I believe so wholeheartedly, my answer is simply this: "My family has a roof over their head, a home to call their own and only a miracle of God could have brought this about."
Yes, I believe in miracles, because my family and myself have seen a miracle with our own eyes.
There are no words to describe the joy my family and I feel today, or the thankfulness we feel in our hearts for all who labored on our behalf. We have moved into our new home, and I for one am still shocked and amazed at how great a blessing God could bestow on an unworthy family such as my own. Again, thank you to all those who stood with us in our trials, and may the good Lord reward you beyond measure.
It is a word that brings a sense of peace, and a feeling of love whenever uttered. A word that resounds throughout the world, and in it warmth and kindness are always present. Among the great majority that have a mother to call their own however, there are some in this world whose mother is no more. Even worse, there are times when the one who is entrusted with new life, the one who is to nurture and raise the precious gift that God has given, chooses instead to abandon her offspring, and pretend as though it never existed.
Whether due to poverty, or the inability to raise an infant, the abandon of newborn babies, as well as young children has become an epidemic here in Romania. Just in the past two months alone, the Child Protection Agency brought eight children to us who had been abandoned by both parents.
This is where the story of the Volovaci sisters begins, two beautiful little girls, Adina, who is five years old and Malina who is one year old. Both were abandoned by their parents some time ago, and by some miracle managed to survive some weeks before the government officials were made aware of the situation. The neighbors took pity and fed the children, after their parents simply packed up and left. Often times when the parents are found, and asked to answer for their heartless deed, they simply shake their head and in muted tones they answer, "rather than see them suffer, we left them in God's care."
God was indeed watching over the Volovaci sisters, and from a distance of over 500 kilometers away, he made a way for them to reach our doorstep, and although we reached capacity at the Hand of Help orphanage long ago, and finances are scarce, we could do nothing less than take them in and offer them a home.
The first day they arrived, as we were getting them situated, sudden Malina reached out to her sister, and with a pleading voice began to say, "mother, mother," Adina who is only five, quickly went over to her little sister, picked her up, and began to whisper in her ear, "I am not your mother, I'm your sister, but I love you."
We stood watching a baby take care of another baby, wiping tears from our eyes, and in that moment even a heart of ice would have wept.
We do all we can, every day, and with each passing day our purpose for being here becomes ever more evident. Hardships and loss, tragedy and pain continue to grow to new highs here, just as they are throughout the world. Please remember this work, and these children in your prayers, that God would continue to provide, and help continue to be that place of refuge for the orphan and the abandoned.
Hand of Help Staff
Lord You Have Delivered Us
We arrived at the home of the Ciubeica family in the village of Smirdan with the good news they had been praying to receive for some time.
Their joy could not be concealed when we told them their prayers had been heard, and God had provided for a new well to be dug on their property. With hands raised towards heaven they began to weep, and through his tears the father said, "Lord you have delivered us, you have sent us victory, you did not let us fall prey to our enemies."
Living on the outskirts of Smirdan village, surrounded by neighbors who harbor only hatred and contempt for them because they are Christians, everyone forbade them from drawing water from their well. Their only source of water was the puddles that were formed after it rained, and the Ciubeica family would gather the water in pots, and then boil it so they could drink it.
"We will never cease thanking God for you," Stelian Ciubeica said as he gripped my hand then hugged me. "You will never know how you have blessed my family this day." Because the earth was still soft, we brought in the equipment and dug the well immediately, and now the family has a source of clean water. The bitter words spoken in hatred by their neighbors seem to be forgotten, the pain and the hurt replaced by joy.
"Our neighbors used to mock us and say let your God give you water," Stelian said smiling, "now He has given us water, not a bucketful, but an entire well."
Together Through It All
The Hand of Help family is a special one. God has brought us together, united and bonded us to one another, to share our sadness, our joy, our suffering, and our blessing, and only in unity will we be able to walk in God's perfect will. The Master of this work knew to bring together those He chose, and our meager efforts always bring a blessing wherever we are sent, and wherever God leads.
We feel a liberty to share both our needs and our blessings with you, our trials and our triumphs, and in all things we praise His name, knowing that every step along this narrow path brings us closer to eternity. All we can do is be at God's disposal, and pray, knowing that He will be faithful in all things. The children of God have always been called to stand in the gap, and we thank you for doing your part whenever God compels.
We are living in difficult times, times of tragedy and hardship it seems greater than ever before, and no matter where we are, there has always been, and there will always be great need.
Throughout the earth, suffering is more pronounced than ever before, but we know that the work of God will continue for as long as He chooses. We know that no matter the trial, no matter the hardship, with God we are more than conquerors.
It is no secret that it is difficult to provide for such a large family, as the Hand of Help family is, on a monthly basis. Without your prayers, and support of this work, we who are here, could do nothing.
Inflation and the falling dollar continue to weigh heavy on us, and all we can do is pray that God speak to those He has already prepared, and meet the needs as He always has. If today, 130 children have a home, it is because of you, and if today they are able to smile, it is because you have been obedient to the voice of God. Thank you for all you do, and may you always know the joy and reward of obedience.
Hand of Help Staff
A Sudden Father
Corunga Vasile is just one of many young men who have gone through similar situations. His father passed away recently, his mother is bedridden, and being the oldest of his siblings, at the age of only 19, he finds himself taking up the role of father to his seven brothers and sisters. Young as he may be, he now finds himself in the position of being the provider for his family, a heavy burden, especially since the village he lives in has no jobs.
We heard about this family, and when we stopped to visit, Vasile began to cry. For Vasile our visit meant a great deal, since just a short time ago, he gave his life to the Lord, and began going to church. "I pray every night," Vasile said, "and I ask God to send me a sign that He hears me, and that He considers me one of His children. You are that sign."
As we left some food packages, and talked to Vasile about the Lord, he smiled through his tears, and said, "I read in the Bible that God will always be there to provide for our needs, and I see this truth right before my very eyes."
The Corunga family continues to need help, and we pray that the One who sees all things will provide for Vasile's family as He chooses.
Thanks be to God
We thank God for all things, for we know that everything God allows in our lives is for our own good. I also thank God for you, who feel Godly compassion when you see others going through trials and hardships. God always sends you at the perfect time, and plucks the faithful out of their desperation. I will never forget that when my family had no place to live, Hand of Help was there, willing to sacrifice, willing to extend their love and their compassion. If today my seven children have a place to lay their heads, it is because God used you.
The monthly support you have given us, has also blessed us in a measure you may never know. All that is left is for me to thank God, and remember you in my prayers until I breathe my last, for helping us in our time of greatest need.
Village of Corni
Overwhelmed by Blessing
For some it takes very little to feel blessed, and when God exceeds their expectation, they are simply overwhelmed. The Tudose Viorel family of Popeni could not conceive of a greater blessing than that of having a cow.
Their prayers were soon answered when we arrived at their home with a milk cow in tow. In prayer that morning however, God had put it on our hearts to give the family some financial help as well, and if Viorel Tudose was able to contain his tears when he saw the cow, when we told him we had something more for his family, he simply broke down and began to cry
"All I asked of God, was to provide us with a cow, so I could have milk for my children, but God knew I had a debt to pay as well. We fasted and we prayed, and we believed, and God chose to bless us in greater measure than what we asked of Him."
Viorel Tudose owed the equivalent of $600, and we helped him with $200 toward that debt. It may not seem like much to many of us, but for a family with 13 children it is difficult enough to feed all of them, before the paycheck runs out. Paying off his debt seemed like more than he could hope for. They are still in need of $400, and if the Lord provides, then we will once again be visiting the Tudose Viorel home, bringing blessing, and seeing prayers answered.
The Greatest Need
When we visited the Irasoc Mihai family in the village of Corni, all we knew about them was that they were a family in need. We brought some food packages and some clothing with us, knowing that every family could use them, but as far as specific needs this family had, we had no clue.
As we sat down with Mihai, a father of seven, we asked him only one question. "What is your greatest need?" Without hesitation, Mihai answered, "a cow."
"What could be more necessary for a large family such as mine than a cow? I would give anything to see my children happy, and well fed, and with three children under the age of three, there is no greater blessing than that of a cow. It is something I fear I will never be able to buy for my family, since I work 16 hours a day just to provide the essentials for them. It is something only God can do, and we pray for this miracle every night."
We urged Mihai to continue praying, and promised we would make his need known. The rest, we leave in God's capable hands.
A New Year of Joy
The Turca family of Leorda have many reasons to be thankful to God, and not a day goes by when they don't stop a neighbor, or a stranger walking by their home, and say, "God gave us this house."
They have settled into their new home, and for the first time, slept on a bed with sheets. We wanted the Turca family to move in before the end of 2004, and indeed they did. Their joy was indescribable, and if the parents attempted to reign in their emotions, the children did no such thing. They ran from table, to closet, to chairs, touching everything giggling, and laughing, making plans as to where they would do their homework, and where they would put their clothes.
After tiring themselves out, and finally coming to rest beside the dining table, one of the children shook his head and said, "I heard God was good, but I didn't know He was this good."
Yes, God is indeed good and He has proven His faithfulness countless times in each of our lives. May we be thankful for all His many blessings.
Hand of Help Staff
What Will We Do?
One day as we were driving through the village of Corni, returning from delivering some sponsorship funds, and food packages, I remembered a family we had not visited in a long time, and felt compelled to stop and see how they were doing
When we walked up to the door of the Valeriu home, the father opened it before we knocked, with a big smile on his face. "We prayed to God to send you back to our home" he said, "We've been expecting you. I don't know if you remember", he continued, "but three years ago, you brought us a cow, and we have never stopped praying for the Hand of Help since. Our family has now grown to twelve, and it is the milk from the cow you gave us that sustained us all this time. Now concern and worry has compelled us to call on God again, and ask that He send you to us. The walls of our home have started to crumble, it is a very old home, and the foundation is sinking into the ground. We prayed, we fasted, we cried, and left it in God's hands. If God would be merciful and give us the means with which to build a small home it would be a great blessing indeed. We earn our living working as day laborers, and it is barely enough to sustain us, only God can help us."
We had a building expert come out and see if there was anything we could do to patch the home up, but he said it was in too terrible a condition to allow for any renovation. This means we have one option left, that of helping the Valeriu family build a home. Please join us in prayer that God would supply the $5000 needed for this new project, that once more He would show His power and faithfulness and answer this family's prayers.
I have always heard that when you travel to another country for a short missions trip, your life is changed. This proved to be true for me in our recent trip to Romania. The time spent at Hand of Help ministries was such a tremendous blessing in my life, I don't even know where to start when telling about it.
Making our food packages, and then being able to go out to the villages and deliver them ourselves was a great experience. It was unbelievable to see the sad situations that exist for these people. It was the children and the elderly who touched my heart the most, children, who didn't have proper food or clothing for the winter, and elderly people who were alone and without someone to care for them. I keep thinking of one sentence Virginia said while we were delivering food, "We are bringing them hope." It was plain to see that the aid given by Hand of Help is a light shining in the darkness. Being able to help with material needs is a great way to reach more people with the love of God and His provision.
A great blessing for me was visiting and worshiping with brothers and sisters from the church in Botosani and also from some surrounding villages. Even when we don't speak the same language or come from the same country, the Spirit of God can still be felt moving when believers get together. We all worship the same God, and that gives a sense of 'family' no matter where you go. Seeing the faith and courage of so many people in their difficult circumstances challenged and encouraged me in regards to my own faith and trust in God. I know that the times we spent singing and praying, not only in the church but also in the homes, were a definite highlight for me in our time in Romania.
Another highlight of our trip was the time we spent getting to know the kids at the orphanage. The children at the Hand of Help get excellent care and plenty of love from the Hand of Help staff. Each child is a precious life full of energy, love, and dreams, yet behind each beautiful smile is a sad story. It is plain to see that the pain of losing their parents and their homes will always affect their lives, but God can work in their lives, helping them to adjust and overcome. I had so much fun with them, and it was so hard to leave them when we had to go home! I loved the times that we spent playing games and talking.
One evening a bunch of kids got together with us and sang for quite a while, and they helped me learn a couple songs in Romanian. That is definitely one of my many favorite memories.
The people and the needs of Romania are very near to my heart, and I am so thankful that God gave me the chance to go. May God continually bless the ministry at Hand of Help and provide for their needs as they do His work by helping others.
With every new year, most reflect on the year that has passed, and look forward to the year that is about to unfold, resolving to accomplish those things which time did not permit them to accomplish the year before. It seems, the New Year resolutions have become common practice to many in today's society, and the things we resolve to do, most forget about within the first few weeks of the year.
Whether your list is pages long, just one or two simple resolutions, or none at all, today I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider adding two more to the list. We see the signs of the times all around us, and for most they have become so real and pronounced that they can no longer avoid acknowledging them. We see wars and rumors of wars, we see the fragile peace holding the world together begin to fray at the edges, and realize that time is short, and only God in His abundant mercy is holding it all together.
In such a climate, the children of God have a responsibility and a duty, to not only pray, but also redeem the time that has been granted them to reach out to those living in darkness, and bring them to the light.
The first thing that I believe, is the duty of every Christian to do in this late hour, is to remember this nation in their daily prayers. As new conflicts approach for this nation, and as new enemies will reveal themselves, it is only God's protection that will carry us through, and it is the prayers of His children that compel God to do what no man can. There is power in prayer, and God hears every supplication and counts every tear.
The second thing I believe each of us must resolve to do, is be fearless in sharing Jesus with all those that God brings across our path. There are no accidents with God, and every time we are silent when we should speak, is a missed opportunity to see another soul saved, plucked from the very depths of the mire.
Truth is a rare and precious thing, and as time marches on and events begin to unfold, men will begin to seek truth like never before. It is in the darkness of night that light is most pronounced, when the contrast is real and undeniable. As darkness approaches, I pray we seek to be true lights, so men may know refuge is within reach.
Although I have been in ministry all of my adult life, and most of my childhood, your kindness and willingness to help those in need still continues to humble and amaze me. All I can do is continually thank God for putting this work on your hearts, and thank you for being obedient to the voice of God. You are continually in my prayers, as is this nation.
As a new year of trials and triumphs, heartaches and joy begins, take heart in knowing that the creator of all that is, stands with you, holding everyone of His precious children in the palms of His hands. Once again, thank you for your prayers and support of this work, knowing that all things done in His name will be amply rewarded.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
If contributions exceed the amount needed to help a family, the extra contributions for that project will be used to help a family in a similar situation. It is our commitment to you before our Lord that we will be faithful in the disbursement of all contributions that we receive.
The Hand of Help Staff.