As I look back at the updates of the last few weeks, I reread account after account of missionaries giving their lives for the sake of the Gospel. In the last three years that I have been writing these updates, there have been approximately 700 House of Blessing missionaries that have been martyred. Just days ago, nine of Mafidah’s widows were ambushed by ISIS jihadists. Three tried to run but were cut down by bullets. The other six were taken captive and nothing was heard from them for days. It seemed that these women, whose names I gave in a previous report, were lost and we would never hear from them again. A call for prayer was sent out and I know that many did in fact take up this urgent prayer need, and I want to thank you for doing so!
Two days ago I received an excited call from Pastor R***** early in the morning hours saying that he was sure I would like to get this update and apologizing if he had awakened me. He then told me that the widows had been set free! Your prayers were heard, your prayers were answered! The jihadists had taken the women into the corner of a bombed out building. There they humiliated them by taking most of their clothing and tying them up hand and foot. Without going into detail, the women were repeatedly beaten, abused, used, and their lives threatened. They were repeatedly told they would have to recant their commitment to Jesus Christ and return to the ways of Muhammad and Islam. Every inch of their bodies was beaten, leaving them covered with open wounds. During their captivity, they were given very little food and the little bit of water offered to them was filthy. But, not one of these women bent to the will of their captors! The power of the Holy Spirit carried them through the entire ordeal, even knowing that without a direct miracle, they would soon die.
After they had been in captivity for several days, they could hear a vicious battle break out between their ISIS captors and Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers. The battle ended, but the women’s captors did not come back. Hour after hour they waited, not hearing anything. After many hours had passed, they heard a large crowd fleeing past where they were tied up. As the people ran by, the women cried out for help. Eventually someone heard their cries and found them. These folks were not Christians but recognized what had happened to the women. They cut the widows’ ropes, and gave them food and water. Then, by the strength the Lord gave them, these six women made their way back to where Mofidah and the other widows were ministering. They are now receiving medical treatment, food, and comfort. Pastor R***** told me they would spend a few days to recuperate and then go back to sharing the Good News with as many as they can.
It may be easy to read this account. It feels like a story because it is not something happening directly to us personally, or someone we are acquainted with. Sometimes it is good to put ourselves into the story, as if we were the ones this has happened to. If we can really do this, it begins to become a little more real. Then it is not so much of a story, but a real event that has happened to real people–people who are our brethren!
There may be skeptics who think that reports such as these are exaggerated. We must remember that we are now in the most explosive time of harvest in the history of the Church and stories such as these are numerous. In the last couple updates I mentioned that the Islamic month of Ramadan was about to start. It is now about a week into Ramadan and the harvest of souls being brought in is absolutely stunning. The House of Blessing missionaries have decided that this year they would all invite a family at a time to break bread with them, and then share the good news of God’s sacrificial love for them. Even though Ramadan is a month dedicated to prayer and fasting, most Muslims do not fast every meal. So, the opportunity is made to invite a new family in every day. Most of the families are quite large and when the patriarch of a family is reached, the whole family follows in their footsteps. HOB missionaries have been doing this all across the Middle East this Ramadan season and in just the first five days of Ramadan, there had already been several thousand who asked for God’s forgiveness and accepted Jesus Christ as the true Messiah and Lord of their lives! This is the case in all areas where HOB has missionaries. House of Blessing presently has over 400 missionaries, besides the “Widow Sisterhood” headed up by Mofidah. She presently has about 125 widows working with her. Mofidah continues ministering to the wounded as she has been for many months. She has a strong group of women who she has trained to work with her and then the balance of the widows go from home to home, tent to tent, sharing the love of Christ with anyone that will listen…and they do listen! And they are being reached by the thousands!
The Scriptures speak of the “Early Rains” and the “Latter Rains” of the spiritual harvest. The Early Rains happened during the days of the Early Church. Now, the Latter Rains are being poured out in the closing moments of the Church Age. Time is literally running out for this Age.
The Scriptures teach us to be aware of the times we are living in. Jesus told His disciples that the world would be caught unawares but His followers should never be caught off guard! This is one reason we should pay attention to Bible prophecy. We are commanded to do so!
We are now very, very near the time of the beginning of the “Great and Terrible Day of the LORD”. Most of the world is aware that we are nearing the Apocalypse, or what the Bible labels the “Great Tribulation”. Jesus instructed us to work while there is day because night comes when no man will be able to work. This is why it is so very critical that we link our arms and hearts with our Christian brethren around the world. We all have the very same call to fulfill the Great Commission given at the outset of the Church 2,000 years ago. We have missionaries giving their lives for the Gospel. Many of us have never experienced persecution as others have, but we must be just as obedient and committed to serving the Lord of the Harvest! Will we respond if He asks the extraordinary of us?
This may be the last Ramadan before the Church Age is over! Although none of us knows, it is very possible! There are only three weeks of Ramadan left. Why so much emphasis on Ramadan? In the last three years, this has proven the most fruitful time for sharing the gospel with Muslim people. Many whole-heartedly are praying and fasting, yet not realizing they are praying to the false god, Allah. Many thousands have had their prayers interrupted by the Almighty God Himself by Jesus revealing Himself to them in dreams and visions!
Thank you once again to the many who have been so committed and faithful to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of this missionary outreach! Please note the mailing address below.
House Of Blessing / P.O. Box 2093 / Redmond, OR 97756