|May/June/July 2006 Newsletter|
As many of you know, Anca has been a special needs child in the Hand of Help family from her early youth. Her life story is not filled with days of jubilation and laughter, as are so many children's but rather with constant hospital visitations, operations, and health issues.
Anca was brought to the Hand of Help orphanage on July 11, 1999. She comes from a modest family in the village of Cervicesti, her father having died shortly after her birth, and her mother unable to care for her, came to us as her last resort. Sometime in November of 2001, Anca began experiencing headaches, blurred vision, excessive vomiting, and sleeplessness, and after taking her to the pediatric hospital in Botosani, she was sent to the University hospital in Iasi for further testing and a CAT scan.
The CAT scan revealed that she had a tumor, one that required immediate admission and surgery. After making this need known, the finances were soon available and the surgery was performed successfully. Six months after the surgery, another surgery was performed and a valve was introduced to better oxygenate the brain.
Her recovery was spectacular, and for the first time in her life she was able to enjoy the simple things that many children took for granted on a daily basis. She has been going to Iasi for checkups every six months, and on her last visit we were informed that she would need another surgery.
Due to her growth in size and weight, the valve that was introduced for the brain's oxygenation, must be changed for a larger one. Her current valve prohibits the full mobility of her head, as well as impedes her walking somewhat.
She is scheduled for surgery in mid-July, and we would ask that you remember Anca, our miracle child, in your prayers. May God watch over her, and keep her, and may the surgery go smoothly, and without complications. Through your prayers and support, you have affected the lives of children such as Anca, giving them hope, and a reason to smile. For this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Hand of Help Staff
An Urgent Need
An urgent need has arisen in the Hand of Help family, one for which we ask for your immediate prayers and petitions to the Father in heaven. Earlier this week I was called by the staff in Romania, and informed that the boiler system in the Hand of Help orphanage that has been on its last leg for quite some time, has finally given up the ghost. If not for faith, and hope, which defy probability, the sum, which we must raise in order to replace the old boiler system, would be beyond anything we can achieve. Knowing that we have a good Father in heaven however, and that He hears the prayers of His children, we cling to hope, knowing that He is able where we are not.
The total cost of replacing what we need, including labor, is $49,000, a sum which we do not have at this time, but one we must come up with before the winter months come around again. It is imperative that we get the entire project done before the weather turns, otherwise we will not be able to house the children in the orphanage during winter.
Again I ask that you pray concerning this need, and if the Lord so leads, please do what you can. May God bless you, and guide you in all things, and may you hear His voice, and know it is He.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
A Visitor's Perspective
My husband and I have been supporting Hand of Help for 11 years. My mind is full of images from over the years; images of the orphanage being built, the faces of people in the villages, and the sweet smiles of children in their care.
For so many years I dreamed of coming here to touch and see firsthand the work of this humble ministry. This was our very first visit and a true gift from the Father in Heaven to me. We arrived on my birthday and I was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving to be received as part of this very large family.
My children have had the time of their lives on this visit, and they want to stay!
There one thing for sure � Virginia's presence here is greatly missed. You can see and feel the desire in the children to have their 'mother' back. We are sad that we never got to meet her in this life, but will certainly do so in the next.
For now we must return home. We live in Israel though we are Americans. It is our wish to be able to come again. The believers here have a genuine faith and live a life of trust that brings such glory to God!
We thank you, brother Mike, Sergio and Daniel. You and the whole Hand of Help staff have blessed us and we are so grateful for your love and hospitality.
The following are just two of our experiences while we were there that really opened our eyes to all the work being done:
After going through some time without building activity, we can now witness the continuation of the building project in Stauceni, close to Botosani. The view form the church building is fantastic; all around are rolling hills. The windows are being put in and the application of stucco inside and outside will be the next step. The saints are now coming together in brothers' homes. During one of their meetings we were invited to take part in the communion service and foot washing. There is so much joy and excitement among the believers regarding the building of the church. We pray that many more people in the village will be interested to hear God's Word and accept it, especially when the building is finished.
We had to carefully choose a day to visit the saints in Dumbravita. There are so many cold and rainy days this spring in Romania. Two days after visiting Stauceni we were able to see two Christian families in this village close to Dorohoi. The Lord put it on brother Michael's heart to bless those families with a cow.
The first family has ten children. Eight of those have been in the orphanage, after their mother died. Some time later the father remarried and five of the children were able to come home. The Lord has blessed them with two more little ones in the meantime.
The father is so grateful for the blessings he received from the Lord. The cow we bought for them helps them to feed their children. Many are the things that can be done with the surplus milk. Yogurt, sour cream, cheese and many other products can be made from the milk. All these are very valuable in their diet, which is often very plain. Sometimes selling these products on the market can make some money. The parents were so happy that this cow was donated to them.
The second family that received a cow also lives in Dumbravita and belongs to the same church. Their situation is very difficult, because the couple is old and the husband is paralyzed for ten years. They have 26 grandchildren. The small house they live in is sparsely furnished. There are no resources to buy a clean mattress, blankets or even firewood. The wife has to do all the work as old as she is and tries to keep the one room they live in heated with corn stalks. The gift of the cow will greatly help them get some nourishing food.
Thank you to all who make such blessings possible on a daily basis.Merry Kammerer
The love of God is not subject to the changing world of men. It remains forever new, forever pure, and forever sufficient.
The ways of God
Hebrews 6:10, "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister."
Recently some long time Hand of Help supporters blessed us with a visit, and as always we wanted to extend the blessing to the families with the most urgent needs. As has become our custom, we went and bought the necessary supplies for food packages, but as it is planting season we also bought potatoes that could be used for either nourishment or seeding the ground, knowing that this spring they were out of most people's price range. Even more so, God has recently tried Romania, hoping to get the nation's attention, hoping that we would be still and know that He is God. With the exception of earthquakes, God used every means at His disposal to wake us from our slumber. From powerful winds, to torrential rains, to landslides, hailstorms and tornadoes, the entire nation was blanketed in some type of natural disaster. Everything that was planted in the fall was washed away with the rains, and due to their continued abundance almost no region in the country was able to plant corn in due season.
The need continues to grow, and one feels blessed to have the opportunity to get involved, to meet needs, some even as basic as food or clean drinking water. We went from home to home, with the local pastors from the areas and distributed as many food packages as we could, encouraging those whom we helped to seek the face of God, and lift up their prayers toward Him for mercy.
There are some who look at us as though it was by our own strength that we are able to do this, and when this occurs we turn their attention toward God the Father, from whom all blessings come. All that we ask of them is that they keep those tireless and selfless servants that have been called to do this work in their prayers.
We care for the poor we hurt with the hurting, and weep with the weeping because that is what Christ called us to do. He is the example we are called to follow, and we must do so without hesitation, and with all our strength.
Pastor Michael Boldea Sr.
A Heartfelt Thanks
Dear Hand of Help,
We are the Parleanu Victor family, a family that consists of ten children, and through these few lines we would like to thank you for the may things you have done for us. I have known this ministry since 2001 when for the first time I spoke to sister Virginia. On April 28, 2002 my wife went to be with the Lord at the unexpected age of thirty-three. I was a widower, with eight young children, and from that moment sister Virginia dedicated herself wholeheartedly to the plight of my children and myself. Without hesitation she offered to take in four of my children, and later accepted the rest being a true mother to them throughout their entire stay.
I am now remarried with Mihaela, a warm soul who was also untimely widowed, and God has given us two more children, a girl named Naomi, and a boy we named Onisim.
All we can do is thank you for all the help you've given us, and the times sister Virginia visited were true and unforgettable moments of fellowship.
We have praying for a cow for some time, and God has finally heard our prayers. We recently had the blessing of Pastor Michael's visit, and he left us twenty million lei with which we will purchase a cow.
We give honor to God, and thank Him that there are people such as you still among the living, with big hearts, and warm souls who help in the most desperate of times. May the Lord reward you with eternal life. We also thank Pastor Michael who has remained close to us throughout, and he as well as all the children at Hand of Help are in our prayers.
We will never forget all that you have done for us. May God reward you in kind.
Parleanu Victor Family
A Promise Kept
I praise the name of God who makes all things possible, with the condition that we remain in Him, and that His word, remain in us. I was in the Hand of Help office in Wisconsin one day, while visiting the US, when someone called asking for details on Butacu Verona's situation. Although I did not know much at the time, I promised that I would go and visit the elderly widow personally, and see how she was doing.
As I stood in front of Verona's house, I saw her walking out, waving as she approached. After I introduced myself, sadness passed over her, and she said, "I loved your wife, she was the heart of God. If only Virginia was still alive, my house would be done already."
I hugged her, and whispered in her ear, "even though Virginia is gone, Jesus lives, and He is the father of the orphan and the widow. It is what Christ did through Virginia, and continues to do through all who are willing to heed the call, that gives hope, and renewed strength."
We left some money for sister Verona, and are glad to report that her home is in the finishing stages. The windows have already been installed, and a crew is scheduled to go and finish the exterior.
I thank God for all of you who continue to be sensitive to the needs of others, knowing that through your help and prayers we are able to relieve some of the burden that presses down so heavily, on so many. May the Father in heaven, bless you for all that you do, and may His reward be nothing less than eternity.
Pastor Michael Boldea Sr.
A Widow's Plight
It has been many years since we've known the Banu family. We first came in contact with them when brother Banu came to us in need of finances to travel to Bucharest in order to receive treatment for the cancer that was ravaging his body. Although his pain was unimaginable, and the doctors were unable to help him in any way, every time we met the joy of God radiated on his face, and he had come to accept the will of God for his life, whatever that may be.
In May of 2006, brother Banu was called home, leaving behind seven children under the age of eleven. It has been a difficult time for the family, but as always with the children of God, a time of rejoicing for he has gone to receive his reward in heaven.
When we visited the Banu home, we brought food, and also paid the three million lei rent they owed for a piece of land they leased in order to plant vegetables. It was then that we realized the need was great, and that we were in a position to try and help in any way that we could.
The greatest blessing for this family would be to purchase the land that they are leasing for them, and also finish the interior of their home. We consoled Maria Banu as best we could, promising that we would return, and encouraging her to be strong for her seven children.
The land in question would cost $2000 to purchase outright, and it would cost another $500 to finish the inside of Maria's home. Please pray for this need, and pray for this family as they walk through the valley, that God may shine His light, and heal their hurting hearts.
Hand of Help Staff
2 Timothy 2:3, "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
2 Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away form the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
If the first six months of the year are any indication, by the time this year is over I will be a very tired man. It seems we barely had time to breathe, going from place to place preaching the unadulterated Word of God, and calling all those who would hear to make a new commitment and begin a new life in Christ.
Throughout my travels on this tour I got the opportunity to meet many of you, and fellowship, and for this I am thankful to the Father in heaven. I have noticed something, while traveling, that I would like to share with you, and perhaps to a certain extent all who truly desire to experience the fullness of God in their daily lives have observed the same thing.
It seems more and more, truth is falling on deaf ears. Those that choose ignorance, and accept a marginal faith, an infantile spirituality, grow in numbers on what seems a daily basis, while those that still search after spiritual maturity become less and less.
There is something to be said for spiritual maturity, especially in the hour in which we find ourselves. It is far easier to pluck a blade of grass from the earth, than it is to uproot a tree. It is much harder to entice, deceive, or tempt away from the will of God, one who had built his foundation on Christ, and Christ alone, than it is one who has accepted surrogate gospels and a counterfeit Christ. It is the truth that we must uphold and lift high, whatever the consequence may be, for truth not only sets us free, but gives us the strength to press on and trust in the faithfulness of an unchanging God.
Not until the hour of battle is upon him is a soldier's preparedness brought to the forefront, and whether or not he has mastered the weapons of his warfare, whether or not he has been a diligent pupil, may mean the difference between life or death.
In this hour when the darkness is threatening to overwhelm all, God is looking for soldiers. We proudly sing the song 'God's got an army marching through the land', but grudgingly we must admit that much of this army is weaponless, powerless, and absent of the basic knowledge required to do battle, to stand, and having done all to stand.
Some may think my words harsh, while others simply odd, but the alarm must be sounded, the wake up call must be given, and spiritual preparations must be made for our enemy is cunning, merciless, and resolute in his desire to destroy the children of God.
I will be returning to Romania for a short sojourn, to see my family, and see the progress we are making on some of the projects we are currently contributing toward, and I would ask that you keep me in your prayers, as whenever I go back, it is very difficult for me to return. It is, after all home, and it's always hard to leave home.
As always know that your support of this work is what allows us to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, care for the widow, and be a father to the orphan. For all these things, your reward in heaven will be a great one.
Ephesians 6:10-13, "Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand."