I am going to share a quick update on how our friend in Jerusalem is doing, and then add some comments of my own having to with our world situation and how we fit into it.
I get one or two calls a week from Jerusalem with an update on how things are going with our friend that heads up H.O.B. based in East Jerusalem. As I have made a practice of, I won’t use his name on the internet for reasons already stated. I not only get phone calls from him but also some e-mails. Some of these e-mails have photos of some of the people he has been visiting with and sharing the love of Jesus. Many don’t want their pictures taken, but some have allowed it. So far, I have been reluctant to put these on the blog due the the possible danger to them.
One of the things that was shared with me again yesterday morning was how so very many people are killed in Muslim territories. They are killed for all kinds of reasons, and the people themselves have no rights to demand as we do here in America. They are not allowed any. Life has no value to so many. It is hard for those of us that have grown up in a nation that was originally set up as a nation governed by the people and for the people. There are many questions being asked even in our own nation these days as to the rights of the people being taken away, but to this point, we are still quite free. How long that will last, only God knows. Our freedom seems to be slipping away way too quickly.
Yet, there are the people in the Middle East that live under circumstances that most of us can’t even imagine. The thing that really strikes me is the reaction from people that have lived in darkness all their lives when they are shown how much God really loves them. They latch onto that truth with everything they have, and they will protect it with their very lives. I’m reminded of the Scripture that says that we should be careful not to let anyone steal our crown. This Scripture has much to say that we are meant to understand, but people raised in Islam who have prayed the sinner’s prayer, and then begin to experience life that comes straight from the throne of God refuse to take a chance on losing it! They are very willing to die if necessary rather than ever give it up.
I was told the story of a lady named Sarah who recently became one of the many new believers in Jordan through the ministry of our friend. Allow me from now on to just call him H.O.B. This is part of the name of the ministry that he heads up. It stands for House of Blessing. Sarah is a married woman, who was raised Muslim from birth. She is married to a Muslim man that is away for another month or two for his work. She tells how her husband used to wake her up very early every morning and force her to participate in morning prayers. She used to have nightmares all of the time concerning these prayer times. She would see snakes all around her and because of that, had great fears of participating in the prayers. Since she became a believer in Jesus Christ, she has no more nightmares, and she loves her prayer time. Of course, she is praying to the real God now, and not Allah. Sarah now has great hopes of being able to share the love of Jesus with her husband when he gets back. She could use our prayers!
Each of these people have a story to tell, but a great common denominator is how sold out they are to their Messiah. They will do anything for Him. They consider themselves to have died to their old life and so don’t feel they have anything to lose if their witness to what God has done for them costs them their own physical death. They know where they are going.
I did learn a bit more from H.O.B. this morning. I have found that although his English is quite good, his accent still leaves me wondering about some of the specifics of what he has said. I asked some more specific questions this morning and this is what I learned: The large batch of Bibles that were taken to the people of Jordan were not taken across the border. H.O.B. told me that it is impossible to take a load of Bibles over the border. They can only be ordered through a company located within Jordan itself. There is a Christian printer within Jordan that is able to take a large order like the last one and with some time, have the order printed. I have photos that were sent with a number of vehicles being loaded with these Bibles, but the photos were taken within Jordan. From the printer, they are then driven to the different places where they get distributed. This means that it is not possible for any Bible company to deliver Bibles to H.O.B. for him to take over the border. It is not allowed. The only thing that works is cold hard cash.
H.O.B. needs to spend another large sum of money to supply all of these new believers with Bibles so that they can go out and share the good news. There are a whole lot of people ready to go out and do just that. H.O.B. tried to make a deal with some money changers that he knows and has used before for short term loans to buy these Bibles, but this time they wanted a $3,000 fee to loan $30,000 for 30-40 days. That is some steep interest!! H.O.B. knew he could not used God’s money this way and so is continuing to walk by faith and trust God for something that neither he, nor the poor people over the border can possibly come up with. This is where the Christian community that has been blessed financially can really make a huge difference.
I also learned more about some of the areas H.O.B. has been ministering in. He has been going over the border in the north. If you look at a map of Israel, he has been going over the border in the extreme north where Israel, Syria, and Iraq come together. One area that he has been teaching is where an entire mosque has been shut down. You’ll find that story in earlier posts. This town that had the mosque is where the mullah became a believer and then was beaten to death for sharing with his people how he had found the real Messiah. The believers in this town are now receiving instructions from the Bible and being prepared to carry this ministry on. The mosque is shut down but will in time become a Christian church.
One of the other locations H.O.B. has been going for the last few weeks is in an area that now has over 100,000 refugees that have come in from Syria, to escape the atrocities there. A great many of these people have now found Jesus as well, but they like so many others are dirt poor. They have nothing! What they had, they left in Syria.
H.O.B. told me this morning that 22 Arab nations are open to the Gospel of Jesus through the people that have found the Lord in the last few weeks. They all have contacts, including in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, U.A.E., Yemen, Bahrain, and many more Arab as well as Muslim nations. They just need Bibles!
I am very grateful for those of you that have taken this challenge on and have helped. Every dime goes into getting God’s Word to these people. H.O.B. never asks me for money, nor does he ask me to ask anyone. He has made it clear that he lives by faith, and he knows that God will always fulfill His promises. For us, it is an opportunity to help someone that is willing to put his life on the line. We aren’t able to go where he goes. All he needs is money to buy the Bibles so he can distribute them. As these people are sent out, a great multiplication will happen. Eventually, the work will be able to be funded through some of the Arab countries due to the great wealth in many Arab hands, but that is not yet available yet.
H.O.B. also appreciates the prayers of everyone who has decided to add him to their prayer list. So far, the Lord has kept him alive, in spite of the many deaths not long ago. I asked him how it is possible that no more lives have been lost in the last three weeks. He told me that he has kept them from going out very much. He wanted to make sure they were well taught first. Due to the fact that there is still a need for more money to make a large order of Bibles, he is going to extend the teaching time over the border for a week or two. Once the Bibles have been ordered of course, there is some time needed to get them printed. Please pray. We have an opportunity to affect the lives of nearly every Muslim nation on earth by taking part in this work. H.O.B. knows of no one else that is going in over the border into Jordan and providing Bibles to these people. What an opportunity it is. He also has 45 different villages that he has on his schedule to visit. He is going in specifically to see which ones have openings to be able to do the same thing he has been doing in the other locations these last few weeks.
He has asked for prayer in another area this morning. It turns out that he had to visit his doctor this last week due to a heart issue he has. He deals with a lot of stress and his heart does not handle it well. Let’s pray that the Lord sets him totally free of this. We know that the enemy of our souls hates us believers with a hatred we can’t even fathom. He would love to stop this man from what he is doing.
Thank you for hearing me out on this. I hope the update helps those that have been helping H.O.B. out, either by prayer, finances, or both.
My prayer is that we get hold of how crucial our time is in history. We are the generation like none other. Much of Christianity has gotten way too comfortable. So much so that the driving force in our lives is our own comfort. We don’t like to be inconvenienced, and we certainly don’t like to take money that we could spend on ourselves and send it to God knows where. Yet, real Christianity has always been a life of sacrifice. If it isn’t, we are missing the boat. Anyone in true Christian ministry pays a price, because it is something that goes cross-grain with our culture. Our society is changing, and the change has not been good.
I cannot help thinking of how selfish I myself can be. I like my own space and my own time! Sometimes, I feel I have earned it. Other times, I have just taken the great freedom I still have and have holed up because it is simpler than not doing so. Then I hear of people like these overseas, and I have to take another good look at myself and have to see that some freedoms are not meant to be taken–not if we have any intention of serving a living God who has such a deep and great love for the human race. I can be quite selfish in the fact that I know my relationship with my God is in tact, and I know where I’m going to go when I die. Because of this, I can be quite effective in culling out any activities that take away from my free time. It’s also easy to ignore the great financial needs present everywhere. There is not a one of us that can meet every need. Nor is there a one of us that can participate in every good work that God is doing on this earth today. But, it is well worth the effort for us to prostrate ourselves before our Master and ask Him if there is something that we should be doing that we are not. It is very easy and convenient to live a silent witness for the Lord. Yet, even though not many have been called to be evangelists, we all have opportunities to get involved in other people’s lives. It can get messy, no doubt. But, isn’t that what it is really all about anyway? The people of the early church were very dedicated to serving God, and they were also very committed to each other. The last day’s church is being called to do the same thing. Yet, for those of us that don’t face any persecution, we don’t seem to have a great desire to put ourselves out in any way we don’t have to. I’m guilty of this myself, way too often! Yet, I know that I cannot live the last part of my life out that way. I must be about my Father’s business! How about you? It means that we have to discipline ourselves a bit. We are part of the last day’s church. God caused us to be born at the time we were born. It was His purpose, and there is no purpose more important than fitting in with what He wants out of us. What do you think?
I don’t want to go further with this today, but if I can, let me ask you to join me in re-examining ourselves and what our true status with our coming KING really is. Are we content to just sit on our laurels and happily live out a life of little more than satisfying every selfish desire we have? Will we allow our Lord to challenge us to go a bit beyond our comfort zone? I hope so because the opportunity to do exploits for our God will pass us by. I know I don’t want my legacy to be one that shows a man that found a comfortable way to live his last bit of time on this earth doing nothing! I have to refuse the temptation to do nothing! I hope you all feel the same way.
Jesus said that we must work while it is day. Night is coming when no man can work! So, let’s get to work! God made us all with at least one talent or gift. We must use it! Jesus had strong things to say about those that hide their talent and refuse to put it to use. There are those that are called to do very great things, like Billy Graham. If he had done any less, it would have been a great spiritual tragedy. For most of us, most of the world will never know what we have done in the Lord’s Name, but He will! He will also know if we just sat on it because we were just not inclined to inconvenience ourselves. It would be an insult to the KING of KINGS who died so that we could live, if we did not at least live the life that He died to provide for us! Most of us say that we would gladly die in His Name, but the greater question is: Will we LIVE for Him?? Let’s do it. Time as we know it is almost over. None of us knows the day or hour of the Lord’s return, but Jesus said we would be well aware of the season. The season has arrived, and His call could come at any moment.
Keep Looking Up! Don’t forget to pray for H.O.B. Thanks.