As we find ourselves at the end of June 2017, the Muslims of the world have come to the end of the month of Ramadan. For the House of Blessing missionaries, it is time to regroup, recoup, and ask the Lord for His guidance for the days ahead.
Much prayer has gone up from around the world for this year’s harvest during what has proven to be a very opportune time every single year. God has answered those prayers in His own sovereign, spectacular way! A great month of harvest has just been completed, but, as is always the case, this will become the foundation for a harvest of even greater proportion as each of the new followers of Jesus Christ reaches their families, close relatives, and friends. The many thousands will become tens of thousands. Some may scoff and say, how can this be? Something as great as this would be broadcast to the entire world if it were true! Well, eventually the world will know, but right now it is of great importance for these new believers in Messiah Yeshua to begin learning the great truths found in the Word of God, the Bible.
The latest report I received from the different locations where House of Blessing missionaries are located is that another 3,500 people were reached with the good news of Jesus Christ in the last few days of Ramadan. These all prayed the sinner’s prayer and have been baptized in water as is taught in the Scriptures.
In the West, we hear of many mega-churches where there are thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of church members. But in the Middle East, God has moved in such a powerful way that tens of thousands of new believers have been added to the many hundreds of thousands that had already been reached in the last five years by HOB missionaries. When I think of the logistics of such a thing, it is mind-boggling. But, to the God who created the entire universe, it is just as He has planned for this day and hour. Prophecies given by Old Testament prophets foretold this story thousands of years ago. Now we are seeing it happen before our very eyes. What was it that the prophets predicted so long ago? Here is one Old Testament reference:
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and also on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29
This has certainly been happening today. The Middle East is only one part of the world that is being upended this way, but no other place on earth has been visited by the Spirit of God more than the Mideast. The Apostle Peter referenced this same Old Testament prophecy on the Day of Pentecost when 3,000 souls were reached. The prophecy goes on to predict cosmic signs along with the great spiritual move of God. These are the additional words that Peter quoted, also directly from the Old Testament:
I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. Acts 2:19-21
This is referring to some astounding signs that God is sending so that mankind will take notice. Many have scoffed, but scoffing is the last thing anyone should be doing today. The signs of the imminent return of the Messiah have been building ever since Israel began to gather again as a nation. These signs, or warnings, are building to a crescendo that will be hard to dismiss. The series of six “Blood Moons” on Jewish feast days that were witnessed in 2014-2016 were not meant to set dates for anything specific, but were rather intended as harbingers. This was also the case with full and partial solar eclipses that happened on strategic dates directly tied to the Jewish nation. Now we have a rare full solar eclipse coming in August 2017, that is called the “Great American Eclipse”, an eclipse that will affect no other nation other than America. It will cross the entire North American continent, starting at the Pacific coast in my home state of Oregon, and after crossing the entire nation, will make its exit to the Atlantic Ocean from the State of South Carolina.
Throughout history, blood moons have always been recognized as warnings of war for the nation of Israel. Solar eclipses have always been a warning to the Gentile nations of trouble ahead. The signs ahead will be very clear warnings that mankind is entering a time like none other in its history.
At the same time, the work of the evangelists and teachers continues. As Omar and Same continued with their preaching and teaching, another 900 souls were added to the thousands already reached in their area in the last month. Although the emphasis is never on the numbers of people reached, it is a staggering number of salvations in such a short time! The Spirit of God is speaking through His ambassadors with great power and authority.
This is being seen through the ministry of Sarah as well as the numbers of people she is ministering to each week is growing. Thousands have heard her testimony and have not only been comforted but have been brought to their own personal walk with God.
Mufidah, Fatwa, and the widows working with them have again been used by the Lord to minister healing to those with some of the worst injuries. Many of these are soldiers. Since Mufidah has been called into her specific area of ministry, there have been many soldiers who have been healed. Some were not, but all were reached with the Gospel and have become followers of Jesus, even if it was only moments before they passed into eternity. In the last few days, between the two of them, they ministered to 44, all of them deciding to become followers of Jesus Christ.
Pastor R’s specially trained twelve men were able to lead 400 more into the Kingdom of God in the last few days before the ending of Ramadan.
In Fallujah, an additional 320 bowed their knees and asked Jesus to become their Lord and Saviour. There are more and more hopeless people who are turning to Christ, the only true hope for mankind. In a part of the world where Islam is embroiled in more and more conflict and the killing of their own people, the message of God’s love and forgiveness is offering never before experienced hope. Experiencing the assurance of eternal life in a kingdom of true righteousness and justice is also something these folks have never heard about.
The struggle with what is left of ISIS terrorists and their hold over the last 100,000 civilians continues, but news from Akram and Mustafa adds another 850 new believers to the astounding number of people already reached this past month. These 850 are from outside of the area under the control of ISIS. You might remember that among those trapped and being used as human shields are 85 HOB missionaries. There is no news getting out from this area. We don’t know if they are dead or alive. Their commitment was to reach as many of these 100,000 as possible before losing their own lives for their faith. Incredible people, these sold out servants of the Most High. We know that God is watching every movement made by these folks, so let’s pray for them…in real earnestness as we would pray if these were our own family members.
One piece of news that was rather shocking is that 20 of the 56 women that had been captured and mercilessly used and abused by ISIS terrorists for two years are now part of the group of missionaries imbedded in the remaining trapped population. How great is their love for the Lord and for those without hope in Mosul. In order to pray for them effectively, we may need to imagine ourselves trapped with them. How would you pray?
Miriam and the other 35 widows who had escaped ISIS are part of the group of HOB missionaries serving alongside Akram and Mustafa. They are all doing a good work as they share Jesus with all that will hear their testimony.
More news has come from the HOB missionaries in Kurdistan and Iran. In the last few days of Ramadan, 210 more were reached in Kurdistan and 150 more in Iran.
The House of Blessing communion services continue throughout the Middle East, with almost 2,000 believers meeting just with Hafezah and those working with her. This number is always multiplied many times over when accounting for the same kind of celebrations going on in many other locations. God is good!
Among all these glowing numbers, we don’t want to ignore the losses that were suffered. Well over 200 of the family of believers were lost this past week, including some HOB missionaries. They are all in the presence of the Lord today.
After a month of very little sleep and much hard work doing the work of the ministry, the missionaries will try and recuperate. Now comes the task of teaching all of these new believers, helping them get grounded in their new-found faith. There are never enough Bibles but previous study materials will be mass-copied for classes that will be set up wherever it is possible to do so.
The situation in the Middle East continues to be very dangerous, especially for Christians. Everyone talks “peace”, but we know that that will never really come about until the Prince of Peace is here. Conflicts continue to escalate between all the major players. We know war is coming, not only because of what we see unfolding on the ground, but also because it is so well detailed in the Word of God. As Christians, we can’t stop the world from hurtling toward the Apocalypse, but we can Keep Looking Upward as we touch the lives of those around us with the love of God.
I want to once again thank everyone who has faithfully prayed and supported the House of Blessing. We’re very near to the return of our Lord and Master now. Let’s finish well!
For those that would like to help the House of Blessing financially, please use the PayPal button provided. There is always a great need for Bibles, medicines, wheat, and other general necessities. 100% of donation money is jused for the work of the missionaries. Funds generally are in the hands of the missionaries within 2-3 days of the funds having been sent.
Forever in His Service,