As I received a phone call this morning from Pastor R in Syria and wrote down some notes from his special report, I thought of a familiar verse found in Joel:
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:14-16)
It is amazing to see how in some of the worst places on earth, at least as far as anything having to do with human rights or religious freedom is concerned, people are clamoring to hear the truth, no matter what the personal cost might be. This is very much the case in the Middle East today. In a place where people are being killed with bombs and missiles by the thousands; a place where there are dozens of jihadist groups roaming around just looking for an excuse to kill, people take enormous chances to meet in gatherings just to hear someone speak about the hope that has been offered by the God of the Bible…in contrast to what they have already heard taught from the Qu’ran. The attacks by ISIS are the most barbaric the world has seen in some time. There is no accurate accounting for how many have been abducted, most never to be seen again. Yet, in the midst of all this chaos and brutality, crowds of people are begging to hear the truth, and the Christian missionaries are providing it for them. There is another Bible passage that comes to mind:
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for him. When they found Him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. (Mark 1:35-39)
As it was during the time Jesus walked on this earth, and as the Word of God was spread from Jerusalem out into the Gentile world, so God’s Word is being spread in the Middle East. As multitudes of people have been reached with the gospel of the coming Messiah, a great many Muslim sheikhs have become believers. Experience has shown that most sheikhs, especially the head-sheikhs, have great influence among the people. Many of these men have 40-50 years experience in teaching people. Once they have gone through some Biblical training, they prove to be quite effective. This has proven out once again, and this is the reason for this special update.
Regular readers of this blog know the story of ex-Muslim head-sheikh Salem. After just one evening of giving his personal testimony and then teaching about Jesus, every single man in his audience of about 250 became a believer! Unfortunately, the next morning he was murdered. But, in spite of his murder, hundreds more became believers in the next few days…and it continues to this day–partially due to the desire he had had to share communion with the believers. His widow, Fatima continues with this today, and thousands have since been saved, healed, and baptized with the Holy Spirit.
About a month ago, I reported to you about four more head-sheikhs who happened on one of the Bible classes being taught. After asking permission to sit in on them for several days, they decided that they wanted to become followers of Messiah Jesus as well. They were guided into the sinner’s prayer and were baptized in water. These four men, Mefliah, Radi, Taher, and Shaher, whose photos were included in previous Mideast Updates, then joined one of the classes and joined the rest of the students, taking the intense teaching course provided by House of Blessing.
Just recently, we learned that these four men discussed going back to their individual mosques to give testimony of how they found Jesus Christ and then to teach their former followers, about 18,000 people that attended their four mosques. They did as they had discussed and all four had very good receptions with their people. However, while on their way home, they were all four abducted by ISIS and have not been heard from since.
Now comes the reason for this update. Their testimony was apparently so appealing and powerful, that literally many hundreds who had heard their testimonies in those four mosques have come looking to learn more so that they also can become followers of Jesus! Because the demand was so great, the HOB missionaries arranged a location for a mass meeting. These people met for three days straight. The photos below were taken at this event. There were several sheikhs who attended this event, and for the sake of their security, their faces have been covered.
This story has really just begun! Only God Himself knows how many thousands more will be reached just because of the sermons these four brave men preached to the 18,000 men in their former mosques. Now multitudes of families and relatives are being reached with the gospel of Jesus, the soon coming Messiah!
Please take this great miracle upon your hearts and pray earnestly that huge numbers of Muslim people will find the one and only hope of mankind, Jesus Christ. Abba Father is allowing us to have a part in this great harvest! Now, they need Bibles, and lots of them!
Just a quick report on other miracles continuing. Sister Mufiedah and “The Widow Sisterhood”, even though they have been hit very hard with 17 being captured by ISIS, and dozens having been killed by bombs and missiles as they were working among the dead and dying, continue ministering day and night. Additional to the widows lost, ten of the male missionaries had also been captured by ISIS jihadists. None of them have been heard from to this date.
The location where Mufiedah is working is now overwhelmed by 150,000 refugees. You might remember that there were about 40,000 when she started there! Pastor R said that another 40 were healed and brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus through Mufiedah in the last handful of days. At the same time, however, another 20 missionaries were killed, as well as six children. Another ten new believers starved. Many refugees are starving to death; others are succumbing to exposure. These missionaries really need our prayer support! They are experiencing the best, but also the worst.
Sister Hafezia continues with the communion services, and another 500 people have been reached and baptized through these special times around communion. Thank God for the miraculous things He is doing!
Since I’ve mentioned the communion services in northern Syria, I should also mention that Sister Fatima is also continuing with the communion services in Iraq. By latest report, 1,000 have become followers of Jesus Christ since the last report from there. Unfortunately, another six HOB missionaries were martyred there in the last three days. The enemy of our souls is desperate, but the Lord of the harvest is responding to the thousands of hearts crying out to Him!
One obvious result of what is happening is that there are now thousands in line to take the intense “School of Ministry” course that House of Blessing teaches. Pray that they can get a multiplied number quickly trained so that this enormous need can be met. They are doing their best to expedite the process without leaving anything out.
In conclusion I would like to share a passage out of the Old Testament book of Amos. This is what has been recorded by the prophet:
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it.“ (Amos 8:11-12)
This world is hurtling into a time like the human race has never seen. The Bible gives it several names; one of them being The Day of the LORD. We also know it as the Apocalypse. It will be a time like none this world has ever seen. We know that this will be a time of unparalleled catastrophes. The Bible also says that the religions of the world will be gathered under one ecumenical head. This is in process as I write this update. This world church will not offer the unadulterated Word of God to its people. God’s true Word will be extremely rare, just as is described in this Amos passage.
The wise will recognize that we need to make the most of the time that we have left–which is precious little. Those of us who have our priorities out of order need to recommit ourselves to the true God…the God that created the entire universe. He is the only One man needs to answer to. It was He who offered Jesus Christ, who literally was God in the flesh, the Son of God. Jesus said words that only He could back up; words that affect every man, woman, and child on this earth. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father, except through Me!” Let’s all make sure that He is truly at the very top of our priority list! It affects our eternity!
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