|September/October 2005 Newsletter|
In Just Three Hours
In the life of an ordinary human being, three hours may not seem significant. Three hours is an average church service, or the time it takes to go visit relatives, but for the thirty- three families in the village of Pascani, in just three hours their lives were forever changed, never to return to the normalcy they once knew.
It's hard to understand the extend of the damage that could be sustained in such a short time, and if I had not been there, to see it with my own eyes, I would have a hard time believing the stories that some people had been traumatized for the rest of their lives. But I was there; I waked among the mud and debris where once and entire village stood, and even after the waters had receded, the sight was chilling to behold.
I had come to visit brother Tudose and his family, knowing they would need our help, and as we stood amid the ruins, he recounted that night, and the events leading up to it, in a hushed and somber tone.
"We had gone through every possibility in our minds, when God started speaking to us almost six months ago that a great trial was soon to be visited upon our family. My wife was not in the best of health, I had been feeling ill, and naturally we assumed it would be one of us that would have to endure. Even when God said that certain places would be nothing more than swamps, we did not understand. Only when we had to flee for our lives a little before three AM, with nothing more than the clothes on our back, did we fully grasp what God had been trying to warn us of.
It had only started raining three hours prior, but rain we were used to. Then, I was awakened by a man screaming in the street, and only after his third repetition, did I understand what he was trying to say, "the damn is breaking, the damn is breaking."
I knew it was true, I woke up my family, and in our pajamas ran for high ground, making it just in time to see the wall of water covering our entire village. I don't know what I can offer my nine children now, for all is lost. Only God can see us through this hardship, and though we are tried, we are not defeated. God remains our only hope, everything we worked for was buried under 8 feet of water, everything is gone, our home, our clothes, our beds, and our livestock."
The Babes family needs our help as do so many other families whose lives were affected by the recent flooding. They look toward heaven, knowing it is the one place they can hope to receive some help from. Any help, however little would be greatly appreciated, as the devastation is unprecedented, and those affected are in the hundreds of thousands.
A Weathered Smile
We had been traveling most of the day, throughout the rural areas of Romania, and having exhausted most of our supplies and moneys, we decided it would be wise to begin making our way toward home once more. As we drove through a small village, down a muddy street barely wide enough to hold the car, we noticed an elderly woman trying to herd a few chickens back into their coop. What followed, was perhaps the sweetest and most endearing experiences of the past few months.
Since we had one more food package in the trunk, we decided to stop, and give it to this elderly woman, who we later found out was named Maria Paduraru, she had lived in the village of Crisana all her life and this year she had turned one hundred years old.
As we walked up to her, she eyed us suspiciously, and when we told her we wanted to give her a food package, she grinned and said, "Are you trying to make fun of an old woman? People today don't show this sort of kindness anymore, not unless they want something from you."
We assured her we wanted nothing in return, and after thinking it over, she accepted the package and thanked us. As we turned to leave, she tapped my shoulder and with a sheepish grin she asked, "would you mind it terribly if I sat in your car for a while? I've never been in a car in my life, and my neighbor says it's something one should experience before they die."
I stifled a laugh when I realized she was serious, we helped her up in the front seat, and took her for a short ride. Throughout the trip Maria's face beamed and she couldn't stop smiling. "My neighbor was right," she said, "this was something worth experiencing."
We brought her back home, and decided to show her a few of the things she had in her package. It all went smoothly, until we came upon the instant soup. "All you need to do is add hot water, and you have soup," I tried to explain to her.
"They've thought of everything" she said, "I haven't been to a store in fifteen years, so I knew they'd have some new things, but I never imagined anything like this."
We stayed with Maria for some time, hearing stories of her life, and as we prepared to leave she took my hand and said, "I'm happy to see there are still good people on this earth, we still have reason to hope."
Maria stood in the street and waved as we drove off, continuing to wave until she was no longer visible.
What Am I To Do?
On October 4, we found ourselves in the village of Unguroaia, money in hand, preparing to buy a horse for a family who had asked for one, some weeks prior. The papers had been signed, the horse had been delivered, and we were preparing to leave, when we noticed an elderly woman walking up the street waving her arms in the air. "Please wait, don't leave, I need your help. I am 72 years old and I have no one."
When she finally reached us, we realized she was ill, later discovering she suffered from an advanced case of asthma that sapped her of al her energies.
"Please help me," Butaru Veronica persisted, "I have nothing left to live for, and if God chooses to extend my days, I cannot live outdoors."
We walked with Veronica to the place her home once stood, and realized why she was so desperate. A few weeks earlier, the floods that had devastated the region, had also taken her home, and all that was left was a pile of brick and mud. Although she had escaped as by a miracle, Veronica had nothing left to return to. A neighbor had shown kindness and allowed her to stay for a while, but now she was starting to ask Veronica when she was planning on leaving.
"What am I to do?" Veronica asked, "Where am I to go? I have no one."
For $1500 it is possible for us to build Veronica a small home, that she too may have a place to rest her head for as many days as the Lord sees fit to extend her life. May God be merciful, and may His will be done in this matter.
Only God Can See Us Through
Floricica Lupu is a desperate mother of seven, who recently lost her husband in a tragic accident. Though times were difficult while here husband lived, now they have become impossible. Though she strives to provide for her children, she is unable, and all that Floricica can offer them is her love.
After her husband's passing, the bank took away they home they had been living in, and the family they are currently living with keeps insisting that they leave, or authorities will be called.
"Where can we go?" loricica pled, "we have no land, no family no home, and only God can see us through this time. I cannot simply live in the street with my children, but it seems this is the only option left to me."
We know the difficulty Floricica is facing, especially in this time of constant trials throughout the earth, but we realized if we didn't do something to help her family, no one else would.
We found three thousand meters of land that someone is willing to sell at a good price, the dollar equivalent being $520, and if we could buy this land for the Lupu family, it would truly be an answer to their prayers. Our hope is to build a small home for them on this land, which would cost us another $3000, and thereby knowing that the life of yet another family has been saved.
"All I want is to be able to provide for my children, to know they have a place to sleep, but I cannot do it on my own," Floricica said. Please keep the Lupu family in your prayers, and if the Lord leads you to help in this matter it would truly be a miracle for them.
Hand of Help Staff
A Ray of Hope
Virginia and our team decided to go to a city where an entire street had been flooded by a dam break. What was unusual was to find such flooding in Romania. The city was Pascani, a dam had broken under intense pressure from all the rain, and an entire street had homes literally demolished and laying in piles. We drove down the street and saw home after home with nothing left but mounds of dirt. What I was impressed by, was the fortitude of the people.
We brought about 35 food packages and money to help in rebuilding the roofs of the homes. We met a pastor who was encouraging people, and helping any way he could. The people were not angry or biter, even tough may of them were elderly and were now left with nothing.
They still greeted you with expectation and you felt he presence of the Lord everywhere as God showed how much he loved the people by giving them food and aid. They were so appreciative and with a smile and many tears gave thanks to the Lord.
The pastor had been reaching these poor people with God's love and you cold see many were touched by this act of benevolence. I don't remember feeling so much joy, than when I saw people in such dire need, receive the help they so desperately prayed for.
It was a ray of hope for these people who lost everything. It was such a blessing to drive down the street and see every family get help. How great God's love is for the hurting and how timely this trip was. These people thank you for your heart of love, and giving to them in their time if despair.
Seeing the Power of God
God showed me his power during a recent trip to Romania, in not just one, but many significant ways. A few days had passed since our arrival, when suddenly I cam down with a very bad lung infection. I found myself coughing constantly and unable to get any rest. I had gone to the Messiah Church on Sunday, and was invited for prayer at a brother's home that evening.
While our knees were bowed, and our hearts were joined in prayer the Holy Spirit gave me a word of prophecy through a vessel, that God would heal my body and I was to keep preaching. During that same revelation, it was said there would be a major earthquake in the country in which I reside, and the Lord in His goodness would protect my family.
The next day I could breathe better, the cough started to dissipate, and I could felt a touch from the Lord. Thanks the to the Lord for His healing hand. While my body felt better, I ached in my spirit for the trials I saw ahead for my country.
Later during the trip, while in Timisoara a lady called and said, "God put it on my heart to call this house for prayer." She had been bed ridden for two days, and had grown very ill. We decided to fast that night, and visit her home, along with two others the next day.
That morning, we went to church, and after the service found ourselves in family's home for a time of fellowship and prayer. As we go ton our knees the Holy Spirit spoke through a vessel's mouth, who knew nothing of our plans for that afternoon and said, "You will be going to three homes today, where you will visit the ill. In one home, you will find a person who needs a touch from me, and in another one who needs to draw closer to me. You will visit a third home and pray for an ill child, and in that same home there will be a man who needs to accept me as his Lord. He has only taken small steps toward me, and today I want to show my power."
Needless to say, the afternoon unfolded just as the Holy Spirit had said. We went to the first home, got on our knees and prayed, and the woman who had been bedridden, after being anointed with oil, began to sit up and color returned to her face. When I asked if there was someone there who needed to draw closer to the Lord, a man lifted up his hands, with tears in his eyes, got on his knees and began to pray. You could feel his sincerity, and the true desire to walk closer to the Lord. He witnessed God's power of healing, but also God's power of forgiveness that day.
We went to the second house, and prayed for a boy who had a blood disease and was a hemophiliac. After the prayer he said something I'll never forget. He said, that even with this disease, he loves God and knows that there is a purpose to his life. I could not believe the love for Jesus this boy had. We prayed for him, and felt he power of God in the room.
Finally, we went to the third house and a man of thirty-seven, lay on a bed crippled from a accident. Some of his friends were there, and we started to talk. I told him we wanted to pray for him, but first asked him if he knew Jesus as Lord. "Do you know how much he wants to be your Savior?" I asked. After a few minutes of quiet contemplation, he said he wanted to receive Jesus as His Lord. We prayed and he accepted Christ as Savior. It was the most beautiful thing I have witnessed in the accuracy of what God spoke that morning.
God also spoke that day that it is not man that will do these things, but I the Lord. God told me to work in his power and in his timing we would see miracles happen. Dumitru Duduman always said the greatest miracle is to see a soul saved. We thank the Lord that His Holy Spirit speaks and reveals the hearts of men. Bless His name!
Hand of Help, Extends a Hand for Katrina Relief
When natural disaster strikes, it's not only the people going through it first hand that hurt, but we as Christians, hurt along with them. We ache as we see Mother's with infants unable to provide formula for their crying babies. We regret our plenty when we see those in want.
We, the staff and families of Hand of Help, launched a grass roots effort to extend some help. After making a few phone calls, we to our surprise had pallets of relief to help the southern region. Arrangements were made and flown the next day by a pilot who also offered his services for the cause. Three weeks later we had accumulated enough for an additional semi trailer to be shipped to some of the worst hit areas in Mississippi. The Pastor who was our contact person just called and said, " never before in my life have I seen such an outpouring of God's people carrying the burden". May we who are able, find a need and fill it. The joy that comes is one that money cannot buy.
Staff and Friends of Hand of Help gathered once again to walk on behalf of America's largest Food Bank "Second Harvest" in their "Hike For Hunger" campaign. Collectively $13,000 was raised to help aid those displaced and hungry.
May His Mercy Shine
"We have heard of all that you have done for so many in this country," Ion Agache of Unguroaia said while we visited his home, "and all I can hope is that God's mercy shines upon us as it has shined upon so many." The Agache family is comprised of six souls, who have reached the edge of despair. With winter well on its way, they gaze in hopelessness at the home they began building, but were unable to finish. "We cannot survive the winter if we don't finish this home," Ion said. "We have no other options but to cry out to God in the hope that He will hear us."
It would cost $2000 for the Agache family to finish building their home, and have a place of their own, where they will be protected from the elements. We ask that you join with us in prayer, that indeed God's mercy would shine upon this family, and their prayers would be answered.
Hand of Help Staff
Lord Hear Our Prayer!
As we neared the home of the Cioran Viorel family, we were greeted not by just one singular voice crying out to God, but an entire chorus, pleading and petitioning God to intervene. "Lord hear our prayer," the voice of a young boy echoed, "Lord we need your help."
We waited patiently, not wanting to disturb their prayer time, and twenty minutes later, with a resounding Amen from what we assumed was Viorel, the man of the house, the prayer ended.
We knocked on the door, and Viorel opened it, a smile lighting up his face when he saw us. "We were just praying God would send you, we were trusting God heard our prayers, and here you are."
The fact that we had arrived just as they were petitioning God, gave the Cioran family an extra reason to believe for the cow they had been praying for.
"There is a long list of needs, with thirteen children, there will always be needs, but a cow would solve half our problems instantly. This is why we were praying for a cow," Viorel explained.
As is always the case, we leave this need in God's capable hands, and join our prayers with theirs that God would provide them with a cow. May God bless those who remember the poor.
Hand of Help Staff
In the grip of Terror
The statistics are staggering. Over eighty percent of Romania was, or still is under water. Tens of thousands were left homeless, while hundreds of thousands are attempting to pick up the remnants of what little remains, and struggle to merely survive.
Contrary to other nations, Romania has not yet established a home insurance structure, so all that was lost is simply gone with no hope of receiving any remuneration. The government already impoverished and close to bankruptcy can offer little more than their condolences, and the only ones that are doing what little they can are the believers, who sacrifice of themselves to help as many as they can.
Though the situation may seem overwhelming, we must do what we can, wherever we can to lessen some of the suffering. One example is the Village of Comanesti, where the river's directional flow shifted, running through people's homes devastating the entire town. It swallowed up all that was in its path, and as consequence, the village is no longer there, with forty Christian families affected as well. Even the church is gone, a stone foundation and a few shattered pews being all that remain to mark the spot where it once stood. An entire village, left with nothing trusting in the kindness of strangers to bring them some food and warm clothing. Everywhere you turn there is darkness and despair, but those that cling to Christ will be victorious.
We have done all that we could, as a ministry, emptying out our storage rooms of food, and clothing, but the need still remains so great. We are living what can only be defined as apocalyptic times, and even in the midst of these tragedies we are seeing miracles, testimonies of God's forewarning, and protection, and we are strengthened by them. The need is still great, and your prayers will be greatly appreciated.
Hand of Help Staff
Luke 21:25-28, "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
As I was in Romania, trying to deal with the catastrophe that blanketed most of the nation, seeing where we could help, and what we could do to ease some of the suffering, news of what was happening in other parts of the world began trickle in, and with each new event one thing became more evident and pronounced. With all that has transpired throughout the world in the past few months, the true measure of man's impotence in the face of a wrathful God should be obvious to everyone.
We are living the times of which Christ Himself forewarned us, times of war, and rumors of war, times of natural disasters and great upheaval. Though the world hopes, in vain, that this is just a fluke, a random set of events which though close to each other in frequency have no further relevance, the children of God, those enlightened, and sanctified should see it as a wake up call, an impetus to draw closer to our Father, to pray more, to fast more, to seek out the deeper things of God, for the time is near.
Time itself has become a precious resource, for as the darkness nears, our duty as faithful servants remains the same, to redeem the time, to speak the name of Christ unapologetically, and reach out to as many as God brings in our path in the hope that they would know the truth, and cement a lasting relationship with the heavenly Father.
The hard days are not behind us for they have just begun, and we will continue to see calamities of unprecedented ferocity not only in this country but also throughout the world. It had been foretold, and God does not lie, His word remains true, throughout the ages.
Though antiquated by modern standards, the message of the hour is the selfsame message that was trumpeted by the forefathers of our faith, those mighty and fearless men of God, who even with their dying breaths cried out and pled with the people of their time, 'repent.' Repentance is no less relevant or necessary today, than it was in the days when Christ walked the earth. It is the one thing that causes God to hold back His wrath, the one hope this world has in persuading God to terry for yet another season.
Though the new doctrines of men may be enticing for the flesh, though it may be tempting to seek an easier path, there is but one path, one truth, and all that man's soul hungers for can only be found at the foot of the cross.
If God in His sovereign goodness has chosen to spare us from what has been, and what is yet to come, the least we should be compelled to do, is kneel before him unceasingly, thankful for His mercy, and remember in our prayers those who have been tried.
As I begin a new tour please remember me in your prayers, but most importantly pray that the hearts of men would be open to the message of Christ.
As always my prayers are with you, and my gratitude toward God for all you do on behalf of this work is beyond words.
Revelation 3:19-21, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him an dine with him and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My father on His throne."
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.