|December 2006 Newsletter|
To God Alone
We look back upon the year that is almost at its end, we take stock of all that God has done through this ministry, and all we can say, is to God alone be the glory, to Him alone be the praise. Although the year is not yet complete, we have surpassed every other year since the beginning of this ministry in the number of hungry that have been fed, the number of naked that have been clothed, the number of families that have been sheltered, and the number of projects that we were able to complete.
With every tear filled smile, with every answered prayer, with every thankful heart, our passion to do more for God is fueled, because the fruit of our labors is evident, and we know in the depths of our heart that we are practicing true and undefiled worship.
All that has been accomplished could not have been, without the selfless sacrifice, and obedience of so many of you, and for this we are eternally grateful to the heavenly Father, and thankful to you. Thank you for your compassion toward the poor, thank you for seeing the hand of God in this work.
Through the years I have learned that prayer works, and obedience unto God is always rewarded. I cannot help but trust God, for He has proven His faithfulness time and again, and as long as we remain humble, and put the needs of others before our own, He will continue to guide, protect, and provide.
My pledge to you remains that we will not resort to gimmicks, or offering worthless trinkets for a set donation amount, charge for the revelations that God gives, nor will we be starting multi leveled membership clubs, wherein the level of giving mirrors the level of appreciation. Know that all who pray for this work are equally appreciated, just as those who support this work financially. We appreciate every one of you, and pray for every one of you, because to us, you are family.
We will continue to be diligent in presenting needs as they arise, and being the hand of help that reaches out to so many who have no other hope but in God. As long as we remain faithful, God will remain our provision, and in His infinite goodness He will stir the hearts and instruct them as to what they should do.
For all that He has done, and all that He will do, to God alone be the glory!
Michael Boldea Jr.
It is said that a person's true character is revealed only in times of greatest trial and upheaval, that only when faith is tested can it be proven. This past year Gabi Abuziloaie, has endured the greatest trial of her life, and when all else seemed lost, it was her faith that kept her, and allowed her to persevere. The year began with great promise, having been relocated to the village of Mindresti, her husband having been offered a good job, and having met a faithful pastor looking to build a church in the village.
One morning God laid it on Gabi's heart to donate some of their land for the church building, and after speaking to her husband about it, they agreed, and shortly thereafter the foundation was laid. Before any more work could be done however, unexpected tragedy struck, as their beloved pastor died in a car accident, and a month afterwards, Gabi's husband passed away from what turned out to be lung cancer.
"I was at a crossroads", Gabi said, "on the one hand, I could have given in to the grief and despair that threatened to overtake me, on the other, I could have trusted in the faithfulness of God, and pressed on. I chose to press on, knowing that God had a plan greater than what I was seeing at the time."
With the help of friends and neighbors the church project continued, and the walls were erected. When we went to visit, we were impressed by just how much of the structure was complete, and we felt an urging to bring this need before you, and ask you to prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you do. The church in Mindresti, once completed, will be an oasis of faith not only for this village, but also for the neighboring village of Plopenii Mici, where the thirsty will be able to drink their fill, and the unsaved will have a beacon of light to which they can come.
Gabi's faithfulness in light of all she has been through this year was humbling to behold, and all we can do is thank God for such giving and steadfast servants, who do not allow them to be swayed by circumstances.
When all seems lost, God is our comfort, when life is at its worst, God is our refuge, when darkness prevails, God is our light, when all have abandoned us, God is our Father, who will hold us in His gentle embrace. May we know the blessing and assurance of trusting God in all things!
Hand of Help Staff
The Hand of God
One cloudy morning as we were packing the cars with food packages and supplies, God impressed it upon my heart that we should visit the Cojocariu family in the village of Ruginoasa near Iasi. I have known the Cojocariu family for some five years now, having met when my wife went and paid to have their electricity installed since they had been living without it for some years. At first I questioned the feeling, because it would have been an extra two hours of driving, and they were the only family in the area that we knew, but God continued to nudge my heart until I added the Cojocariu family to our list of visits. This family is another of God's special servants, who have dedicated their lives to His work, having offered their home as a place for the brethren to gather and fellowship. I remember the story of how their home came to be the local church in Rugionaosa, from when brother Iulian shared it with me the first time we met. He was at a prayer meeting in his home, when a prophetic word came through a brother who said, 'I have given you a home, which room will you give for Me?' That same day brother Iulian said, he emptied the biggest room he had in his house, and brought in benches and a pulpit that the community would have a place to gather.
When we arrived at their home, Iulian and his family were just returning from the fields, and they were exceedingly glad to see us. As we began to fellowship, we learned that just the day before they had survived an accident. On their way home, something had spooked their horse, and their cart had been overturned. Although all of them were covered in bruises, none were seriously injured, and even the nonbelievers who had seen the accident had said it was only the hand of God that kept them.
As our conversation progressed, we discovered that the entire family had been praying for one specific thing, namely that God provide their firewood for the upcoming winter, and God did just that through the brothers that were with us. God answers the prayers of His children, and He is faithful in all of His ways. For the Cojocariu family, winter can now commence, and it will not be a dreaded thing, but rather, especially for the children, it will be a welcome change of seasons.
For many families however, the winter months are a reason for concern and trepidation, because most can't afford the extra cost of purchasing the firewood they so desperately need. Due to the fact that so many are without warmth during the cold months, for the past few years we have made it a priority to purchase firewood for those that cannot afford it before the first snowfall. This year has been no exception, but there are still so many that would look upon a winter's worth of wood as a blessing. Please keep this need in your prayers, as the coldest time of year is quickly approaching.
Pastor Michael Boldea Sr.
Trip To Romania
The following are two testimonies of brothers in the Lord who recently visited the Hand of Help work in Romania. We are always glad to have friends and brothers visit, fellowship with us, and help in the work that God has placed before us.
Oh, the pure joy of being on the scene when God shows up to answer the prayer of the desperately poor after they have cried out to Him for help. They just erupt with praise and thanksgiving to Jesus for hearing their cry, which is exactly the way we want it to be. May all that we do and say bring glory to God!
Our primary objective was to see to it that widows and poor families were prepared to go into winter with food, clothing, firewood, etc. Ninety-five percent of those we visited had no firewood or just some sticks they had gathered together. For them to receive a winter's worth of firewood is seen as a miracle from God.
One cold, cloudy, damp and windy day we went to see a family whose roof had so many holes in it that they had stuffed corn stalks into the holes in an attempt to keep the rain, wind and snow out. They had nine children, most of which were barefoot and wearing tee shirts, and no jackets. We left them lots of clothing that we had brought as well as money to buy food, firewood, and fix the roof. They said, 'Jesus has visited our home today.' House after house that we visited had heart-rending stories of difficulties, yet they know God is their only hope. Great is Thy faithfulness, o God our Father!
Please read Matthew 25:31-46. Did you ever stop to think that Jesus is still hungry, thirsty, naked, in jail, sick and in need of a visit that would minister to His needs?
Jesus loves the orphan, the widow, and the poor. The question we must ask ourselves, is 'Do I?' Do I love what Jesus loves, and do I hate what He hates? If not, Lord, please bring me to that place. There's no greater joy than serving and ministering to Him.
Exhortation: II Corinthians 9:6-7, Matthew 6:19-21
Dave, Cheryl, & Hosanna Edman
All praise and glory to God, because serving Him is the greatest privilege for a Christian. We can't look at our trip to Romania any other way than a privilege. Weeks before we left for Romania we started praying and asking God what is it that you want us to do, and how are we to do it Lord? God is so faithful! His ways are so much bigger than ours. Our trip this time brought us to many needs and the Lord allowed us to help meet these needs. No, we can never come with pre-planned notions or agendas, we can only be led by the Holy Spirit and be obedient to what God puts before us. We believe this becomes more of a blessing to us than it is to the people we help. During our stay it was our desire to call upon the Lord in all decision-making, we pray we were faithful in these areas because then it allows God to use us just the way He sees fit. When you come face to face with so many desperate situations you can only lean on God for direction and guidance and yield to His ways for the outcome, whatever that may be. God is sovereign and we had to trust Him in all circumstances. Looking into the eyes of the people in the villages, surfaces a compassion from the depths of one's soul which only the Lord stirs, and enables one to reach out and provide for a need. God doesn't need us; we need Him to help us to care for the orphans, widows and the fatherless.
Spending time with the children at the orphanage is our most precious moments. The love flows freely and it bubbles in our hearts. They are all a gift from God. We love them dearly.
It was our observation while visiting the elderly, widows, and struggling families how hard the demands were for just providing for the basic necessities. It is a humbling and sobering experience to witness. May we all be moved in our hearts! We go home with such a different perspective on life; our prayer is that we continue to engage in loving one another in deed as we serve a mighty God with a pure heart. May we always keep our eyes on Jesus and not be lulled to sleep.
Abiding in Christ,
Charlie and Jeanne Hubbard
A Life of Struggle
Although the title of the newspaper article, a life of struggle, spoke volumes, in light of what we learned when we visited the home of Aurel Moldovan, it said very little. At the age of four, the house in which he lived with his family caught fire, and in attempting to save his younger sister from the flames, his right hand was burned to such an extent that the doctors were forced to amputate it.
Today, Aurel is the married father of four children, but his life of struggle has not ended. He lives in a one-room mud brick home with his family, which he does not own, and earns barely enough to survive by offering himself as a day laborer.
The Moldovan family, have nothing of material possessions, and they have been praying for a cow, which would be a great blessing, and go a long way to meeting their needs. Please remember the Moldovan family in your prayers.
Proverbs 22:9, "He who has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he give of his bread to the poor."
Pastor Michael Boldea Sr.
I was still a child in fact I had just turned nine, when I had the privilege of hearing a prophetic word given to my mother in our own home during a prayer meeting. The word was not comforting or encouraging, but rather it was a word or warning of what was to come, and of the hardships the future held. The word was given by one of the elders in our church, and with a booming voice he said, 'Remember that I the Lord, have warned you, soon your treasures and possessions will be given into the hands of the ungodly, but you as a wise servant, store your treasures in heaven, build your home there.'
This occurred in 1958, and in 1959 the communist dictatorship that had come into power, came and took everything, from my parents' land, to their combines and tractors, and even their physical bodies, forcing them to work the land they had once owned, confiscating all the harvest.
I remember my parents being very concerned, but God always provided. I praise God that today, at fifty-eight years old, I do not remember one day when my table was without bread, or when my family went without basic necessities.
At the time, I was still a child and I did not understand how someone can build a home in heaven, while they were still living on earth, but as I grew older, and learned the ways of God, and realized the beauty that is storing up treasures in heaven.
Though the nations rage, and kingdoms be moved, we rest in the knowledge that God has prepared a place for us, and with every mouth we feed, with every home we build, with every life we save, we are building our own homes in that place that He has prepared.
Although life is not always easy, and circumstances can change in an instant, we cannot live based on our circumstances, but rather in the continual joy of the knowledge that God's great reward awaits us, a home in the heavens, for all we do in His name.
Hebrews 10:36-37, "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise."
Pastor Michael Boldea Sr.
The Suddenness of Hardships
Mihai and Alina Dragut were happy, as most newlywed couples are. Their son Sorin had just turned one, Mihai was able to earn enough to feed his family, and Alina was learning the nuances of being a mother and a housewife. Life was good, until the day that one moment, one misstep, plunged them into a life of hardship and trial.
The moment that changed their life came on a very ordinary day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and Mihai was gathering the hay he would need to feed his animals. Due to the fact that most of the work is done by hand, and there are no hay bailers to speak of in Romania, the hay is usually gathered in a hayrick, wide at the base, and becoming more narrow as it continues to be built up. The hayrick on which Mihai was working was almost complete, and he was some twelve feet off the ground when he lost his balance and fell onto a fencepost that pierced his abdomen and tore his intestines in a few places.
The village of Baranga, where the Dragut family makes their home is some forty miles away from the nearest hospital, which is in Botosani, and due to the fact that it is an exceedingly impoverished village, there is only one car in the entire community. That day, the owner of the car was out doing errands, and they were able to get to the hospital only eight hours after the initial accident.
After having undergone three surgeries, Mihai requires still more surgical interventions. Because his colon was extirpated, he is forced to have a special abdominal bag, and this coupled with his weakened state prohibits him from working.
When they came to the hand of help orphanage, Alina began to cry and said, 'we have no one to help us, both our families are poor, and because my husband has been unable to work, we have butchered all our animals in order to eat. Now, even that food is gone.'
This family needs help, and God alone remains their helper. Please remember them in your prayers, as they wait upon the miracle working hand of God to provide for their needs.
Hand of Help Staff
Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Through the years God has chosen to impart certain dreams or visions through this ministry, some of which I have shared, some of which I have kept to myself since I did not feel it was the appropriate time to make them public. What I consider to be the most powerful revelation I have ever received however did not come in the form of a dream or a vision, but it was what I could best describe as an experience. Due to the season upon which we are about to enter, and due to the fact that this revelation illustrates the importance of Christ in our lives and hearts, although I have at times spoken of it in my sermons, I have decided to share it with you as well.
I found myself in the state of New York, having been scheduled to speak in a few churches, when my constant companion Geno and I realized we had a free afternoon. Since we were within driving distance of Niagara Falls, and neither of us had ever been there we decided to make the drive and see for ourselves if the reality of the place lived up to the hype. Upon our arrival we realized that indeed the place was as beautiful as everyone said it was, but as I was watching the waters cascading and churning, as I took in the beauty of the place breathlessly, a thought began to surface at the forefront of my mind. With all the beauty that God had created, beauty that He merely spoke into being, beauty that wasn't much of an effort for Him to create in the first place, He still considers man the crown jewel of His creation.
I tried to put the thought out of my mind, so I could enjoy what my eyes were seeing, but the harder I tried, the more the thought resonated in my head. It was finally time to go, but throughout the drive back to our motel room I kept thinking, wondering, what does God see in us that makes us the crown jewel of His creation?
We arrived at the motel, and I went into the bathroom, and started looking in the mirror, hoping to see what God saw in me that was worth loving so much, that one thing which made me the pinnacle of His creation, and what I saw staring back at me was the face I had been seeing for the past thirty one years. Not an overly handsome face by any means, a bit pudgy, just as I remembered it, and I was so vexed in my heart that I began to cry, and said aloud, "What do you see in me that is worth loving? What do you see in my that makes me the crown jewel of your creation?"
As I continued to stand there, before the mirror, I suddenly heard a voice, as audible as any I have ever heard simply say, "I see My Son, I see My Son."
I stood there, rooted to the spot, simply crying for some time before I could move, or even utter a prayer of thanks to God. It was the most powerful experience I have ever had, and the presence of God was stronger than I had ever felt.
The reason I chose to share this experience today, although for me it was a deeply personal one, is the new wave of thinking, not in the world, but rather in the church, that Christ can be marginalized without consequence.
When we stand before God, on that great and terrible day of the Lord, when we present ourselves before the judgment seat of the omniscient, and omnipotent King of Kings, He will not look for man given titles, accomplishments, stellar resumes, or that we belonged to the biggest church in town, but rather He will look to see His Son in us.
No matter how many sermons I have preached, no matter how many hungry I have fed, no matter how much good I have done on behalf of the Kingdom, if God does not see His Son in me, I too will hear those dreaded words, "depart from Me for I never knew you."
Though we may sing it from time to time, may we once again awaken to the reality that it is truly all about Jesus, and what He did for us! He was born that we may be reborn, He lived that we may have life, and in a generation when the season has become about everything else but Him, may we take the time to reflect, to examine ourselves, to look into our hearts, and know that Christ is visible there. May we look to our brothers and sisters, those with whom we fellowship, and likewise see Christ in them, for if we do not see Jesus in each other, the world will never see Jesus in us.
If our end result, our primary goal is to be like Jesus, may we not hesitate in having His heart for the lost, of having His hands to reach out to the poor, having His compassion, and the single mindedness of placing the Father's will above our own. May we not only remember Jesus, but also strive in all things to be like Him!
Colossians 1:15-17, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consists."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.