|February 2006 Newsletter|
Nothing marks the passage of time more vividly, than seeing children who you recall tugging at you, wanting to be carried, now old enough to be married and start a family of their own. Such was the case with Geta Andrusca, a girl who grew up in the Hand of Help orphanage for the past eight years. Even having seen it with my own eyes, it is hard to believe that she is now a married woman.
Being the closest thing to family she had, I felt like a proud father, giving away my own daughter, and wept as I prayed over them asking God's blessing and guidance. It is difficult to start a new family, no matter where you live, but in a country like Romania, it is more difficult still.
We asked the new couple what needs they had, and at first they were hesitant to say, stating that we had already done enough, raising her in the fear of the Lord, but after we insisted, they say although they had an apartment, they had no appliances.
We went out and bought an oven, and a refrigerator, and offered them as our wedding present. They wept as they thanked us, and asked us to thank you as well for all the years you helped provide Geta with a warm bed and shelter.
It is truly rewarding to see that our labors are not in vain, and that the times these children spend with us, staying at the orphanage moulds their character, and their attitude toward God as well as life in general. On behalf of Geta, and all the other children whom through your kindness have found a home, and a hope, thank you.
Michael Boldea Sr.
Early one morning, as we were preparing to load the truck with food packages, and visit some villages for which we knew such gifts would be a true blessing, we decided to add the village of Satuceni to our ever growing list.
We knew of a few families with needs, but the primary reason for going to Stauceni would be the Federciuc sisters, Maria and Ana who live in a small country home on the edge of town. They live alone, and in the twilight of their lives, have no one to care for them, and though they manage, Maria who is legally blind feels like she is a burden for her sister Ana.
The Federciuc sisters are close to our hearts for many reasons, among them being the fact that they donated the land on which the church in Stauceni is being built.
As we drove up to the house, Ana was outside chopping wood for the stove, and when she saw us she smiled and waved.
We took a food package from the truck, and walked to their front door to be greeted by Maria, who had heard the car stop in front of their home.
"Who's there?" she asked as she heard us walking up the alleyway.
"We're from hand of help," I answered, "we came to bring some food and see how you are doing."
"I know your voice," she said, "You're Virginia's son aren't you?"
"Yes ma'am I am," I answered. "How have you been?"
"By God's mercy still alive, but there are more important things to talk about than my health."
Her answer took me by surprise, and I asked what those important things might be. A serious look came across her face, and she said, "The most important thing of course, when will the church be finished? I asked the Lord to keep me until I can walk into that church and hear the word of God being preached. I haven't been to church in so long, it's hard to travel when you're blind, and the closest church is fifteen kilometers away.
Promise me," she said, "promise me you will finish the church soon."
I looked at the church, which neighbors their home, and quickly did a mental checklist of all that still needed to be one before we could hold service there. It still requires much work, but I could not deny her selfless request, when it was so sincere and heartfelt.
"I promise," I said, "I promise I will do all that I can to finish the church as soon as possible."
She smiled, and reached out to place her hand on my chest, "You have your mother's heart she said, I believe you when you tell me you will do what you can. I will pray for this every day, until I walk into that finished church."
We left the food package, and said our goodbyes, but the promise I made to Maria stayed with me throughout the rest of the day. It is a promise I intend to keep, and I ask for your prayers for the Stauceni church.
By our calculations we would need another $15,000 to complete the building, and equip it with pews and a pulpit. Please keep this project in your prayers. Though it may seem impossible under the present circumstances, we know we serve a God of the impossible.
Michael Boldea Jr.
We have always taught our children that it is better to give, than to receive. For the past few years, the children at the Hand of Help orphanage have been practically applying this adage, by putting together small gift boxes for children less fortunate than themselves. This year we chose the village of Suharau, as the place where we would pass out the gifts our children had put together, as well as some food packages, which thanks to you we were able to put together, and pass out throughout the end of December.
We picked Suharau because it is one of the poorest villages in our area, with a higher than average number of children per family than other similar towns. We knew that families, who could barely afford to stay warm, and have a meal from time to time, could never afford to buy something for their children, and we realized these gifts would be welcome and appreciated not only by the children but also by the parents.
We called ahead, and asked the pastor to gather all the families with children at the church, as well as all the widows and widowers in his congregation. Since it has snowed the previous night, it took us longer than we expected to reach our destination, and we did not know if we would still find anyone there. When we arrived, to our surprise, a sea of people was waiting outside the Suharau church, and for an instant we wondered if we had brought enough food packages.
It turned out the 80 food packages we had brought with us, were just enough to give one to smaller families, and two to families with five or more children. It was a blessed day, and the entire congregation rejoiced in seeing God's provision on their behalf.
It is a great feeling helping one family at a time, seeing the smiles and the tears, but when you get a chance to help an entire village, it is a memory that will stay with you for many years.
Brother's Keeper Project
It is easy to show compassion when compassion is convenient. There is no sacrifice involved in my pulling some money from my pocket when I see an elderly woman, barely able to stand under the weight of her own weakened body, reaching out in the hopes that someone will show some kindness, a ray of sympathy, and offer her the means by which she will live yet another day.
As those whom God has called to be set apart however, as those whom the eternal Creator calls his own, our nature must be as such that we go out of our way, sacrifice our own comfort and ease, to be a blessing, to show compassion, and to demonstrate the love of Christ.
During the summer months, delivering moneys and food packages to families in need, in isolated and desolate villages is an easy proposition. If the streets are too muddy to make it in by car, we simply walk, and accomplish our objective.
During the heart of winter, things get much worse, and those streets, which in the summer months were impassable, turn dangerous. When the car you are in begins to slide down the hill you just climbed, even with snow chains on, with nothing to stop your fall into a ravine except a rickety wooden fence, you have to trust that the God for which you are sacrificing the safety and warmth of your home, will intervene and keep you alive.
That which compels us to o out into the villages while others would not hazard a walk to their mailbox, is the knowledge that we are these people's only hope, and most often the means by which their prayers are answered.
God has places us here with a clear and defined purpose, and the heart of Christ that beast in us, necessitates us to be tireless in fulfilling our responsibilities toward God, as well as you.
The falls, the scrapes, the close calls and near misses, come with the territory, and while we still have breath, while we are able, compassion will continue to guide us to places where others would not dare go, and meet needs that would otherwise go unmet.
Michael Boldea Sr.
I had just arrived back from my trip to Romania the previous day, still weary and jetlagged, preparing to sit down to a lunch my wife had cooked, when my telephone began to ring. I answered it, only to be greeted by an eager young man who introduced himself, then proceeded to tell me he was from a newly formed Christian marketing company, and no to sound too boastful, but he was the answer to our prayers.
I tried to explain to him that I was just about to have lunch, but he insisted that I just give him a few minutes of my time, so he could convince me of the wonderful new programs they had implemented, and how he could help our small and fledgling organization to go corporate. Once again I tried explaining that we weren't interested in 'going corporate' but at his insistence, and being the sort of person that doesn't like toe unkind, I let him continue with his pitch.
"Let me warn you," he said, "You will need to make allot of changes. I've been reading up on hand of help, and you guys don't even ask for money, how an you hope to survive if you never ask for money?"
When I said that God provided for our needs, he replied that was all well and god, but we could have so much more. I realized it was pointless to try and make his see our perspective, so I let him ramble on.
In the end, his ideas were nothing new, but merely rehashed ploys to make people open their wallets a bit further. Everything form honoring our biggest contributors by mentioning their names in our newsletter, to allowing their company to write letters requesting donations on our behalf, to sending out novelty items for a certain predetermined offering, to creating a club wherein certain donors would have exclusive rights to some materials regular donors would not be able to access, were things we had been offered before, and turned down offhand.
When eh was finally out of breath, and I was able to get a word in edgewise, I said, 'now let me explain to you who we are, and what we do. We are not in the business of marketing God, we are not in the business of stroking inflated egos, and we are definitely not in the business of 'guilting' people into writing bigger checks. In fact we are not a business, we are an organization whose primary purpose is to help the poor, needy and afflicted, and the people who help in this work, are not faceless check writers, but our family, our brothers and sisters, people whom God has bonded to this work, whose hand I have shaken, and who would lose all respect for us if we acquiesced to these foolish ploys. Between having your marketing company attempt to generate donations on our behalf, and having God supernaturally provide for our needs, I choose God every time. No one who sacrifices their life on behalf of this work is in it to get rich, and if I told you how much I make per month you would probably laugh, but the fact of the matter is that lives are being saved, hearts are being changed, and that alone is reward enough to keep us pressing on."
I was met with a few seconds of silence on the other end of the line, after which the young man thanked me for my time, and promptly hung up. Evidently he realized, that our prayers were already being answered, not by men, but by a sovereign God, who watches over the works He establishes on earth, and is faithful to provide. Through hardships and heartaches, through trials and adversities, the work continues for as long as God wills it to, and we as faithful stewards of His provision will continue to comfort the hurting, and be a hope for those in desperation.
Than you for your obedience, your prayers, and your sacrifice, and may He who is omniscient remember and reward all that you do.
Michael Boldea Jr.
Isaiah 24: 19-20, "The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again."
While I was in Romania, one night after my devotions I went to bed, exhausted and in need of much sleep having ridden in a truck all day delivering food to families. It had been a hard day, and we had to push the truck out of snow banks and ditches more than once. My body ached, and all I really wanted was to get some good rest.
As I fell into a deep sleep I had a dream. I dreamt I was in a hotel room, asleep, when the bed began to shake violently. I knew what was happening right away. Having lived in California in the 1980's I was keenly aware of what an earthquake felt like. Suddenly I was no longer in bed, but high above San Francisco bay, looking down on the golden gate bridge. As I watched it, it began to shudder, break apart, and fall into the waters below. I continued to watch the devastation, seeing buildings collapse, and masses of people trying to find shelter. Then a voice spoke out of the heavens, a voice I had never heard before, a voice of great authority. "I will shake this land from its foundations, such as the eyes of this generation has not seen. The world will stand in awe, and tremble in fear, as even the very geography of this nation will be transformed. My wrath is ready to be poured out, for sin has overrun My temple."
In my dream I began to weep, not due to the devastation I was seeing, but due to the great power of the voice I was hearing. I woke up trembling, unable to breathe, and tired as I was I could not go to sleep again.
Shortly before sunrise, my phone began to ring, and when I answered it, it was my brother Daniel. "Are you awake?" he asked, "Yes", I answered.
"I had a dream last night," he continued, "it was a terrible dream. I dreamt of a big earthquake coming to America."
When I told him I'd had the same dream, he was silent for some time then said, "I'm coming over so we could pray."
He had just arrived at my apartment, when my phone rang again. It was a brother from 200 kilometers away, who is prophetically gifted, and has spoken many words over me that have come to pass.
"Is this Mike?" when I answered in the affirmative, he said, "I had a dream last night, and I felt I needed to call and tell you about it. I dreamt of a terrible earthquake in your country, I saw a big bridge that just collapsed I saw destruction as I have never seen before. Does this mean anything to you?"
It took me some time to find something to say. I was speechless, and could find no words. On the same night, three different people had the same dream, with the same vivid details. Knowing that the brother had a prayer group that met nightly, I asked him to remember America in their prayers whenever they prayed, and he said he would. Before he hung up he said, "Mike I've had many dreams in my life, the Lord willed it so, but none has scared me as the dream I had last night. Only God can protect someone through something like that, there is no other hope but to run to Him."
No matter what may come upon this land, we know that God abides with His faithful, keeping them, guiding them, and protecting them. Events will begin to unfold upon this earth, that will make even the mightiest of men tremble in fear, but knowing that we have a shelter from the storm, a sovereign God who watches over us, fearlessly we press on faithful in all that He asks of us.
Psalm 91:7-11, "A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in al your ways."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.