One of the benefits true believers in Jesus Christ have that no one else in the world has is a knowing that God has all things under His control. There is, of course, no lack of those who in their ignorance make accusations against God to the contrary, but in the end, every knee will bow, willingly or unwillingly, before the one and only God. There is only one Almighty, and He is Creator of the entire universe. In all reality there is no contest for the title or position of “God.” There is only one Creator. Everything else that is in existence has been created. As God, He exists outside of time, but He uses time for His own purposes. And, in time, we will see come to pass everything that He has decreed, whether it is past, present, or yet future. It is His will that will have determined the final outcome of all things…including the contribution of each and every human being that has ever lived, or is yet to live–whether that contribution is good or bad. God, in His foreknowledge, knowing exactly what we will choose to do with our lives, inserts each individual life and its story into the time-slot in history where it needs to be in order for His entire plan to find completion. Take a moment to think on what you just read. God does not miss anything, not one detail, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us.
The reason I spent the time to share these thoughts is because of something that came to light this past week that altered the lives of some of the House of Blessing missionaries, and will likely affect many more in the days ahead. If you have been a follower of the mission of the House of Blessing through this blog, you may remember the story written almost two years ago. The story was of a man named Sheikh Salem (accent on the last syllable), Sister Fatima’s late husband. Sister Fatima’s name has been mentioned in nearly every Mideast Update since the death of her husband.
Sheikh Salem had been a well known head-sheikh until a little less than a year before his death. As he had listened to the real story and learned the true identity of Jesus from some House of Blessing missionaries, he became a believer in Jesus as well. After receiving some training, Salem began sharing the Gospel story himself. It didn’t take very long until it was apparent that the Spirit of God had a special anointing on this man. God gave him great power in his preaching and the miracles that God blessed the people with were impossible to ignore.
In late November, he made arrangements to speak at a mosque where he had taught formerly. There were over 250 men at that meeting and after brother Salem spoke, every single man in the mosque wanted to be prayed with so that their sins would be forgiven. Salem, Adel, Omar (an earlier Omar than the one we have been writing about lately), and other brethren helped pray for the men, ten at a time. There was great joy when the men found that Jesus Christ, not the Isa that Islam teaches about, but Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and Savior of the world, had visited their mosque that night! Sadly, the next morning Omar found Sheikh Salem knifed to death near the place where he had been staying. There had apparently been one man who was not happy with the message that had been shared by Salem, and this man decided that Salem deserved to die. Omar found the knife still in Salem’s body but no one knew who the killer was.
This past week, a man came to the Fallujah area looking for anyone from the House of Blessing Christian community that might know Sister Fatima. When he was asked why, he said that his name was Munsor and he had been looking for her for months. He needed to see her and ask her forgiveness for a terrible mistake he had made, the worst mistake in his life. He, Munsor, was the one who had murdered Fatima’s husband Salem.
When Sister Fatima was told about the visitor looking for her, she was caught totally off-guard and, as you can imagine, she had a very difficult time processing the information she had just received. After three days of serious time in prayer, fasting, soul searching, and seeking God’s strength to deal with the deep wound that had been reopened, Fatima met with Munsor. She listened to him as he told her that some time after the murder of Salem, God got ahold of Munsor’s heart through the preaching of some other HOB brethren. This time, instead of fighting against God and His preachers of Truth, Munsor bent his knees, repented of his sins. From that time on, he began to learn from the Word of God and he also began sharing with the lost. The Lord even sent three well-known head sheikhs across his path. These men also became believers in Messiah Jesus, their entire families, and at least 2,000 men who attended the mosques they taught in. The power of God’s Word is impossible to fathom!
Yet, even with souls now being saved by the hundreds through Munsor’s testimony, he was not able to sleep well at night. Even though he knew God had forgiven him, his murder of Sheikh Salem haunted him. Now Munsor was able to speak with Fatima and ask her forgiveness for the terrible thing he had done. They took the time needed to talk, cry, pray, break bread together, and share communion. He has finally found peace and is able to sleep–and Fatima is able to close the book on who it was that had killed her husband.
As I heard the story of Munsor, I could not help but think of the Apostle Paul. He had caused great fear among the Christian community. He had the authority to have them beaten, imprisoned, and even killed. It was Paul–or rather Saul, before his name had been changed to Paul, that stood by holding the coats of Stephen’s killers as they stoned him to death. But then God got ahold of him! This story is being relived and retold again and again in our generation. We serve a very powerful and merciful God!
As the numbers of Bible students grew quickly with the addition of the new 2,000+ brethren, just in this one location, the other teaching locations are finding their numbers swelling exponentially. A good example of this is Sarah’s group of 1,500. I am told they now number over 4,000. How these numbers are being managed is a mystery to me! But, God has His hand in it. It is God who is multiplying the results of today’s harvest. And it is God who is also multiplying their food! All eat once a day even though HOB is not able to come up with enough food for the many thousands that are gathered in locations all over the Mideast to learn from the Word of God. Only God can do such a thing! And, the numbers continue to grow…
Pastor R, in spite of a stubborn throat infection, continues to pray for 200-300 people on a daily basis. The people he is praying for are really quite sick. It is a miracle that he is able to pray for that many seriously ill people! God is good! I also received word that brothers Same and Omar are out of the hospital and have joined the teachers that had been chosen to take their place until they could return to their positions. The need for good teachers is critical and so the return of these good brothers is a blessing from Heaven!
As I close this update, I just ask you all to pray…really pray for these folks. No one at the House of Blessing works for a salary of any kind. All minister by faith. If they get to eat, they’re happy. If there is nothing to eat, they are happy anyway. It provides an extra time to fast as they pray and minister. They believe in the Scripture that says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
We should also rejoice always. Our Lord and Master is coming for His faithful remnant soon. Very soon! Let’s make the most of the time we have for the day is evil and the world is becoming darker and darker. But, as the Scriptures tell us, we can redeem the time!
Forever in His Service,