|February/March/April 2008 Newsletter|
The Hand of Help office in Romania receives alot of correspondence. In large part they are letters from families in need from throughout the region, asking if we would find it in our hearts to aid them in their time of crisis, to be a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak existence. We answer every letter, some families we even visit personally and help however we can, but once in awhile we get a letter that stirs our hearts, and today we decided to share just such a letter with you. Since receiving the letter, we have visited the Damian home, and can attest to the fact that this letter is indeed factual, and they are a family in need, one who waits on the mercy of the Lord patiently.
"As ones who know the fear of the Lord, we write this letter today in the hopes that God, through you will make a way for our family in this time of need. We have heard of the good and noble things the Father has done through you, and knowing that you are fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, we trust that though we have never met you, you will know the spirit in which we come.
Our family has always labored, we have always been self sufficient, able to provide for ourselves, and giving to others whenever possible. It is difficult to present the needs of our family, knowing that there are countless others in our nation who suffer the same hardship, who toil as faithfully, and lack as profoundly. We are a family comprised of seven individuals, five of which are children between the ages of three months and sixteen years. We are active in the church in which we found the Lord many years ago, and as by God's commission and grace, I preach the word, serving in the capacity of an evangelist. The goodness of God has both tried us, and strengthened us. We accept all things that come from Him with gladness, knowing that we will enter His kingdom only after being tested, after having faithfully endured to the end of our journey here on earth.
I often ponder the words of Jesus, 'foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head', because they are all to real for myself and my family, and can be readily applied. The spirit of the Lord has led us from place to place in recent years, to rebuke, exhort, comfort, and make straight the path of the Lord, and we have faithfully heeded His voice. Persecuted, rejected, chased off, we have lived in no less than eight cities in the last ten years.
The Lord has been, and always will be our refuge, but as yet we have never had a home to call our own. The children want some semblance of stability, they want to know that if they befriend someone at school, they will not have to say goodbye in a week, they want to sleep in the same bed, and eat at the same table. This is my family's prayer, one that the Father hears on a daily basis.
The second reason I was compelled to write this letter in the name of my family, is due to our three-month-old daughter, Sara. Sara was born with a malformation of the heart, and we have been told that if surgery is not performed soon, she has no hope of survival. Yes, we have prayed for her, and continue to pray over her, and we will continue to do so until the Father's will is revealed and made known.
I realize that compared to others, our needs seem insignificant. I know there are others who suffer as we suffer, but since I felt compelled to write this letter, I did so. If the Lord wills, my family could have a home, and our daughter Sara will be able to grow up with her two sisters Ana Maria and Rebeca, as well as her two brother Bogdan and Petru. For all things we give glory to God, and whether we live or die, we are still the Lord's. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you, as well as with us."
With hope in God,
The Damian Dumitru Family
A Long Ago Encounter
The staff here in Romania still recalls the story, even though it took place in early 2000. They remember the details, not just because it involved Virginia, but also because a life was saved in the process. It was a chance encounter with a then pregnant Daniela, who was planning on getting an abortion, of which Virginia convinced her to rethink. Because of Virginia's inter-vention, Gilbert was born, then Lorena, and now Daniela is pregnant again, and will soon be giving birth to her seventh child.
We met Daniela again, and as we talked she confided that she would have regretted her decision the rest of her days if she had gone through with her planned abortion. "I know God sent Virginia that day to save me from allot of heartache."
As we looked around Daniela's home, a cramped two room adobe provided by the state as a means of social aid, we realized there were allot of needs that needed to be met, and though she didn't ask for anything, after repeatedly asking her what her needs were, she began to cry and shared the burdens of her heart with us.
Her youngest daughter Lorena is in desperate need of medicine for her eyes, and although she's had a prescription for the past three months, Daniela has not been able to afford it. "Things have just gotten so expensive", she said, "I have to choose between buying medicine for one child, or feeding the other five. I don't know how it can get any worse, but I fear we will soon find out."
Daniela's husband Petrica has health issues of his own, being a diabetic for the past eight years. Due to his condition he is unable to work physically demanding jobs, and since on the rare occasions a job becomes available it is usually of a physical nature, he has not worked for some time.
The family's primary source of income came from Daniela selling plastic bags in the vegetable market, but she is no longer able to do this due to the auth-orization taxes re-quired of the local constabulary.
"My family finds itself in a difficult situation", Elena said, "the government won't let me do my job any more since it costs me a year's wages just to get their authorization, but they don't come up with other solutions either. Sometimes all you can do is hope and pray."
Four of Daniela's children are already in school, and they go every day without school bags, or lunches, because their mother is firm in the belief that even though she didn't get a proper education her children will. For warmth Daniela and her husband collect cardboard and other combustible trash, burning these items to keep their children from going cold. Life for this family is a constant struggle, and it would be an answer to prayer if God would make a way and we could help her in some small measure. Please keep Daniela and her family in your prayers.
Hand of Help Staff
Every time I return to Romania I am encouraged to press forward. Every time I gaze upon the smiling faces at the Hand of Help Orphanage, hand out a food package, help someone with their electric bill, it makes me realize the reason for which God has us in this place, at this time. To say that I am reinvigorated is putting it mildly. The difference is evident, plain, for all to see with the naked eye, especially so in the upbringing of the children.
While the few government run facilities that are still active are being rocked by scandals, from child abuse, to outright selling of children, our ever-expanding family is enjoying a season of peace, joy, and good reports. To us it's not just about making sure the children survive, but that they thrive and excel, that they find their passion early in life and nurture their gifts and talents.
From now college graduates, to valedictorians, to nationally recognized artists, the Hand of Help Orphanage has done its part in making sure that when these children finally walk out of our doors, they have a future, they are productive members of society with a skill and an ability to earn a living.
Having read some of the statistics of what happens to children who having reached the age of maturity, are required to leave the orphanage, and strike out on their own, the heart weeps. From going into pick pocketing, to prostitution, to petty crime, an overwhelming number choose a life of crime and degradation simply to survive. It does my heart good to report to you, that we are the exception. Every child that has left the Hand of Help Orphanage was able to make something of their lives, in smaller or greater measure, due to the nurturing, caring, love, and knowledge they experienced while staying with us. Whether they chose to stay in their birth country, or ventured out into unknown lands, the reports that we receive on a constant basis, are always uplifting and rewarding. Good jobs, careers, families, children of their own, and all these things they attribute to the foundation that was laid while residing at the orphanage.
No matter what one does in life, it is rewarding to see that their labors, efforts, and time sacrificed toward said endeavor was not in vain. Seeing the difference between the children that we have raised, and others raised by a heartless system, brings forth a sense of accomplishment, and yes, a feeling of fulfillment. It is rewarding to see that our sacrifice was able to impact a life, to positively affect it, in some cases even save it, and make it possible.
I write these lines today, with a heart overflowing with joy for what God has been able to accomplish through this small work. Know that your prayers are not in vain; your support is not in vain. They are saving lives, bringing hope, providing homes for the homeless, and restoring families. To me at least, this is the true test of a ministry that it not only preaches the gospel, but also reaches out to those in need, and follows in the footsteps of Christ.
I realize times are difficult, and we all know soon they will be even more so. From the bottom of my heart thank you for your prayers, your sacrifice, and for remembering those among the brethren who are helpless.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
A Life Changing Experience
At times we lose focus. We pride ourselves in 'having plenty of time' to figure things out and we postpone tending to our lives not understanding that life can end in an instant. During those times when we grow com-placent, God often allows a circum-stance that teaches us a simple and basic truth, the hard way. In such circumstances our faith must remain strong, drawing comfort in the knowledge that God's perfect will, will prevail.
For at least a year God put Kenya on my heart, so when the opportunity arose to join brother Geno Schmidt and brother Steve Whatley on a mission trip, I agreed. We decided to connect in London as I was flying from Romania. It was very good to see familiar faces in such a foreign setting. The brothers asked me what the Lord had shown me about our trip, and I shared that the only impression God had put on my heart was that His purpose for us in Kenya was for our growth. I knew that we would be receiving more than giving. The brothers informed me that presidential elections were going on in Kenya and my heart sank, as I have had two previous experiences in Israel and Moldova during presidential elections. I knew the risks of being in a country during such controversial times.
From London we set out for another long journey to Nairobi. Mike Hyodo, a good friend of ours, greeted us. Besides being a friend, he is also a missionary devoted to serving in many countries. He brought us up to speed concerning the local turmoil and gave us advice on what we should do, should we run into any trouble. It was getting late so we decided to get some rest. We went to our room and Steve started sharing that he felt we should return to the airport and fly back. We prayed together and decided to wait and see what the morning would bring. Even though I was exhausted I could not sleep. I knew that the Lord was compelling me to pray. I spent about an hour in prayer and received a prophetic message from God saying, 'Do not let your judgment get in the way of what I the Lord want to accomplish in you. You are here for a purpose, I want you to experience a glimpse of what others have gone through to bring you the Word, that you accept no compromise in your walk, and that you not take the calling I have on your lives lightly. My hand will be with you and I will protect you.'
After the Holy Spirit spoke I received peace and was able to get 3 hours of sleep. In the morning we met with the local pastors, the selfsame men we would travel with. We left Nairobi and started driving towards Kisii at around noon. Six hours into our trip we came to a roadblock and were advised by the locals that we should turn back. There was a riot a mile ahead, and it was not safe to continue our journey. Ahead of us we could see a mass of people gathered around a fire, we later learned it was a vehicle with people inside that had been set ablaze. We decided to turn around and drive back to Nairobi. As we drove into the village that we had just passed through fifteen minutes prior, we were stopped by a riot of thirty or so angry men, armed with machetes, clubs and rocks. I had never seen such anger in my life, their faces distorted by fury. They began running toward our car, yelling and waving their clubs in the air. We were now trapped between two riots, with nowhere to go. Just as they were getting close to our car, a military vehicle with fifteen armed soldiers, seemingly from thin air, pulled up, scattered the crowd and cleared the road. We rejoiced in God's protection, and only then did I share with the brothers the message that the Lord had given me the night before.
We had to decide what we would do next. It was getting late, so our driver advised us that it would not be safe to drive after sunset. We drove twenty minutes to the first 'city' Narok where we would spend the longest night of my life. The Holy Spirit instructed us to get a motel further from town, even though the locals said it would be safer to stay in town. We found a motel just outside of Narok that was 400 feet away from the main road. The motel was quite full and everyone was gathered around the only television in the reception area. As we were watching the news, it dawned on us that the entire country was rioting, what we had experienced was going on everywhere in Kenya.
I tried to contact the US Embassy's phone center but got a message. It was evident that we were to rely only on God for our instruction.
Along with the three Kenyan pastors and our driver, we went into our room to pray. God's presence was very powerful. He spoke, reassuring us of His protection and comforting us with Psalm 91. He also gave me a message for the Kenyan church, a call to humility and unity so that God could bring to fruition his plans for the country. I had a vision of riot fires going on in various areas and God allowing it to rain to put them out. It was a hard vision to share, knowing that Kenya's rainy season was over and it was in the high 80's with clear skies the day we were there.
After our fellowship we decided to get some rest. We were suddenly awoken by sounds coming from the neighboring city. The city center that was thought to be safe, was full of locals rioting, burglarizing local businesses, and setting fire to the town. We spent the night listening to machine gun fire, and the manifestation of a very angry crowd. Every minute seemed like an hour, my faith was swaying. I did not know if we were going to make it through the night. I had called my father to say my goodbyes, and was devastated to hear him cry. The night tarried, seeping away with painful slowness, but the morning sun brought hope. Steve felt very strongly that we should leave as early as possible. We woke everyone up and started driving around 6 am. Every town we drove through gave off the feeling that another riot was simmering beneath the surface. After driving for five hours, we came into Nairobi city limits, and were amazed to see clouds coming together, the heavens opening up, and rain coming down. The Kenyans turned to me and said, 'papa it's raining.'
Steve was impressed to change the tickets for our flight as soon as possible. When we got to the airport we discovered that there were only four more seats available. After checking in we enjoyed watching the rain continue to pour down and reminisce of our 48 hours in Kenya. Geno was able to share the Lord with a Muslim right in the airport.
At first glance you could be quick to say that the whole trip was a mistake. I know however that I was walking in God's perfect will. I thank Him for this experience that has impressed me to take my walk even more seriously and has given me a taste of what others have been through, what they've had to endure for what they believe in. What an experience to live by His promises and to experience Psalm 91 firsthand.
May God be praised!
As a fellow laborer in Christ, I rejoice as Daniel mentioned in the Lord's divine protection over us on this trip. Greater still was the plan that unfolded at our return. Learning firsthand from the pastors we had been with, we received reports of Churches being burned with people still inside them. Many churches were being used as refugee camps to house the quarter of a million people who are now homeless due to the destruction in the villages.
Had we not witnessed firsthand the great need presenting itself, perhaps our hearts would have remained indifferent to the needs. As a result of our experience, we were able to spread the word to other ministries, and Voice of the Martyrs, Frontline Fellowship, and Samaritan's Purse partnered with us in sending some wire transfers to the Pastors for food.
To God be the glory, truly great things He has done. May we who have only known peace realize that freedom and faith have come with a price. May we be prepared in our faith and in our walk to stand boldly in the face of adversity, should it come our way.
The Martyrs PraiseIn a little town in Kenya with 200 people inside
Undivided, We stand United, willing to die for our faith
Undivided, We stand United, willing to die for his name
As the Angels come down, with the Martyrs crown
with the Saints all around
We will proclaim His name
Like Paul in the prison, Or Jesus on the Cross,
The enemies of the Gospel, will think that we have lost
But The Blood of the Martyrs, Shed in other lands
Is the Seed for Revival, As the Faithful stand
Father forgive them, for they don't understand
As I commit my life, into Your hands
Holy, Holy, is the Lord
Worthy, Worthy, is Your Name
Holy, Holy, is the Lord
Undivided, We stand United, willing to die for our faith
Undivided, We stand United willing to die for His name
As the Angels come down, with the Martyrs crown
with The Saints all around
We will proclaim His name
Undivided, We stand United willing to die for our Faith
Undivided, We stand United, willing to die for His name
Though our lives our taken, Our Faith won't be shaken
As we kneel down to pray, This is the Martyrs Praise.
Song written by Gene Schmidt on his return from Kenya after a revolution broke out between tribes at the turn of the New Year 2008. Dedicated to those who lost their lives in the community church of Eldoret, Kenya
A Walking Miracle
It was an average day, and Dumitru Tabac was at work on a construction site when the unimaginable occurred. While backing up, a less than observant truck driver ran over Dumitru with both his front, and back tires. This was no pickup truck it was a twelve-ton behemoth that had just finished unloading bricks. Dumitru was not saved at the time, he did not know Christ as his personal savior, but the fact that he survived could be categorized as nothing less than a miracle in his mind.
To everyone's surprise, including his doctors, after one month in a coma, on the brink of death, Dumitru woke up. He did not come out of the incident unscathed, having lost one lung, retaining only one quarter of his liver, and due to the fact that his spinal fluid gathered in a small pouch under his skin, having nicked an artery, he was paralyzed and unable to walk.
None of the doctors who were in charge of his recovery can explain how his spinal fluid returned to its rightful place all on its own, or how Dumitru started walking again when they had insisted that he would never stand on his own two feet. After some time, Dumitru began to spit up blood, and his first thought was that his one lung had somehow gotten infected or worse. This however, was not the case. In His goodness, and omnipotence God continued to work, and when Dumitru went to hospital where he had been a patient until recently, and got an x-ray of his lung, the two nurses administering the procedure were stunned speechless.
Another miracle had occurred, Dumitru had two lungs, both perfectly healthy, and functioning. To this day the doctors are baffled, unable to come up with a valid explanation as to what happened to Dumitru. Since his accident he has come to know the Lord, is a faithful servant, and attributes his experience to the grace and mercy of God.
"God did not want me to stand before Him unsaved. If He went to so much trouble for someone as insignificant as me, if He performed miracle after miracle just so I could see how much He loves me, I know He is a good and loving God."
Dumitru's life has been a testimony in his community, and as one walks down the alleyways and roads of his village, they can hear the villagers remark in hushed tones, 'it's the miracle man.'
It doesn't take getting run over by a twelve-ton truck to give you a testimony. Everyone who has discovered Christ, all who have come to the knowledge of truth are walking testimonies, able to share the love and mercy of the Lord with those they come in contact with. Many a soul hunger to hear the good news, many a soul hunger to hear of the hope we have in Christ. May we be faithful in being worthy ambassadors.
Hand of Help Staff
"The Moment of Truth"
Hand of Help has been producing 30 minute Radio and TV Broadcast's of " The Moment of Truth " featuring preaching and teaching of Michael Boldea. These broadcast's are available for TV, Radio, and your local Cable Stations in various formats. If you would like to either sponsor a broadcast or oversee these messages get to your area, please contact our office and we will facilitate your request.
Ph: (920) 206-9910
Jeremiah 22:21, "I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, 'I will not hear."
Eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear are everywhere nowadays. They are no longer isolated incidents, but an epidemic of global proportions. On every street corner, in every home, in every church, you will find those who have chosen of their own volition not to hear the voice of the eternal Father. Our prosperity has made us dull and hard of hearing, and on those occasions when God's voice penetrates the haze of opulence, we shut it out, chase it away like some unwanted and unwelcome vagabond intent on destroying our mood, and shattering the earthly contentment we've so meticulously fashioned for ourselves.
With our lips we say we want to hear God speak, we want to hear His voice, but in our hearts we know it is a lie. When God speaks, when it is His voice carried upon the winds to the four corners of the earth, trumpeted like booming thunder, it is offensive, and most, even those calling themselves His own, turn their heads in dismay.
We hear the voice, but the words trouble us. The words are not what we want to hear, they are not what we would like them to be, for they are not words of blessing and prosperity, of easy life and cheap salvation, but rather they are words of judgment and trial, of tribulation and heartache, of tested faith and spiritual endurance. We want God, but on our terms, we want Him to speak, but only the words that comfort the flesh, the words that tell us we're okay, that we will thrive, that we will prosper, that we will be blessed and embraced by friend and foe alike. Truth shatters illusion every time, and the illusion is cracked and crumbling.
We desire God to speak, only if He will say what we want Him to say. If His words offend, then we turn to the peddlers, to the priests who teach for pay, and the prophets who divine for money, who ease our burdened conscience with the increasingly evident lies that no harm shall come upon us, for the Lord is still among us.
Today's Christian does not want to hear the true voice of God. He only pretends he wants it. Most would rather hear the word peace, even if it were a lie, than hear the word judgment even if it were the truth.
God has been handed an eviction notice in regards to His own house, and yet we still have the temerity to say He is among us. We have told Him to His face that we will not hear, even though He speaks, for His words burn and convict and compel a decision on our part. The times wherein we choose to trust God are quickly coming to an end, and very soon we will be forced to trust God. For those who have not experienced trust in the heavenly Father during those days when they had a choice, having to do so, and having no other choice in the matter will be a frightening experience indeed. Trust in God is nurtured; it is grown organically, and cannot be practiced suddenly, like the flipping of a light switch.
We would rather experience raucous laughter than groaning and tears; we would rather spend our time doing one of a hundred futile and worthless things than bend our knee in prayer. We are a proud people, and the idea of humbling ourselves before the eternal God of all, of submitting to His will even if it were to the detriment of the flesh, is both foreign and offensive to our sensibilities.
We have become that which He despises, we practice that which He condemns, yet we don't even blush when we puff our chests out proudly and say, 'the Lord is with us.'
We chose not to hear His voice in our prosperity; we chose to reject the cross in lieu of the easy chair. We rejected and despised the messengers who preached repentance, transformation, regeneration, rebirth, and lovingly embraced those who with wolfish grins told us all that was needed was to wave a hand in the air and write a check.
As the old adage goes, the times they are changing. Our season of prosperity is swiftly coming to its end, like the last few minutes of dusk until the night covers all. We will not hear His voice in our prosperity. Will we perhaps hear his voice in our poverty?
1 John 2:17, "And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.