I have found myself a bit brain-dead the last few days and so didn’t attempt to do any writing. I got a call this morning however that had such a tremendous effect on me, I decided I at least need to get an update out on the missionary work of House Of Blessing, and make sure it is today before I go to bed. After I got off the phone with the founder R*, whose name as you know, for his protection I have avoided using on line, I had a Scripture out of Psalms come to mind which says this:
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalms 116:15)
R* was more broken sounding than I think I have heard him to be over the phone during this entire last year in which he has called me nearly every single week with an update on the good things God is doing–as well as the tragedies—which there were a great many of. The first thing I noticed of course was his voice, which was unusually thick as he talked. It was obvious he was devastated about something. He then told me he had good news and also bad news. This I’ve heard him say numerous times before, but it had a deep grief imbedded in his words like I’d never heard before with tough news he needed to share. He first told me that the ministry itself was growing in leaps and bounds, with hundreds coming to a saving knowledge of Christ every day. This is a great miracle, as most of you know, considering the fact that he has been in the middle of Muslim areas that have no shortage of radical men looking for any excuse to murder. If no infidel is found, then they will kill a fellow Muslim for one reason or another—even if it is trumped up.
R* was over the border in Syria where he has spent a great deal of time in the last few months, ministering in one of the areas where there are huge numbers of refugees trying to stay alive, most having left their homes and living in the worst of conditions, just hoping to survive. As you may know, the news service has offered a number somewhere between 70,000-90,000 people now estimated to be dead as a result of the civil war in Syria. R*, having spent so much time there says it is three times that number. There are so many dead that they are lying rotting everywhere. The dead can’t be buried as quickly as people are being killed. This is the news that broke R* so badly, and affected me more than anything I have heard in a very long time.
Some of you may remember that there was a widow woman who had had the desire to sell her humble little house in order to pay for as many Bibles as possible. She said that there was nothing in this world that had any importance to her anymore and she would just as soon live in a tent as so many of the other people were having to do that she was sharing Jesus with. R* managed to talk her out of it for several months, but finally when the money just was not coming in to pay for the newly printed Bibles ready to be picked up, and by this time R* having already sold his own home for a previous batch of Bibles, he relented and she went ahead and made a quick sale—not for what it was worth, but for the cash she could get immediately.
The Bibles were paid for, picked up, and distributed to the thousands who so badly wanted them. These people, by the way, are sharing each Bible with 20-100 others. Can you imagine that? To make a long story short, this woman who was only in her 40’s, had given up every creature comfort in this life to further the Kingdom of her LORD. She had reached many with the Gospel of Christ since she found the Messiah for herself. Well, just before the weekend, she was found by one of the other pastors of House Of Blessing, mortally injured and just barely alive. She was only able to tell this pastor that five Muslim men had caught up to her (a traitor to Islam), and ripped her open with their knives. She then only had the strength to say, “Please tell Pastor R* to be very careful”, and she died right in front of the man!
I’m likely to be a bit more than a little candid, but rather blunt. I hope not to sound too harsh, but please forgive me if it comes out that way. I really don’t think I am going to edit anything I say because I’m afraid that some of the seriousness of it all might be lost. This incident really got to me. If some are offended, so be it, but please don’t be.
When this wonderful pastor friend of ours called and told me this story and asked me to pray for him, because he really needed a touch of God, I broke as well. I am a stoic old German but I couldn’t form any words with my mouth for a few minutes because I had to cry into my beard; in fact, I cried out to God most of the day because it has hurt so badly.
I know the murder of a man is just as tragic and sinful as the murder of a woman, but I am a man and there are some things that are normally hard-wired into a man by God that maybe women don’t totally understand because it looks like ego. It’s not ego. The few details I received with this call were enough for my own mind to present a picture of what happened to this woman. I have read a lot of history and it’s always been the same. The innocent or weaker so often bear the brunt of the cruel.
It is built into a man to protect women and children from the evil this world has to offer, and I know that R* would gladly have taken her place, if he had only had the chance. Over the years I’ve read many accounts of how God shows up on the scene when his saints are facing the very worst, and they become nearly oblivious to the physical circumstance—not that they don’t feel it. It seems that the LORD gives them a peace that goes way beyond the norm, and they are able to leave this world—not defiantly, but triumphantly through the power of the Spirit of God. Many have sung their way out as they were being burned at the stake. I’m sure this widow experienced God’s peace as well, no matter the extreme brutality and pain.
Here’s some of what hit me today. When Anne and I were in Jerusalem in March 2012, we got our first taste of the deep commitment of these people who are involved with House of Blessing. The cab driver who we became friends with told how he took trips into the West Bank in order to take food and supplies to some of the destitute widows, most of them Palestinian women. On one of these trips he had been caught helping these widows and would have been killed if he had not managed to excape the thugs that caught him. His expensive taxi was stolen, leaving a hefty balance owing which insurance would not cover due to the fact that no insurance company will cover vehicles driven out of the Israeli areas and into the West Bank. He wrote it off to the cost of being in ministry to the Jesus the Messiah.
A question: Why would this widow woman who owns a humble little house sell it just to make sure that 2,000 or so Bibles are purchased to give away to people belonging to the very religion that spawned these men who brutally murdered her? She had no Social Security available to her as most do here in America when she got old, nor food stamps, or any of the plethora of government relief programs people here in the US depend on. She was content to live in a tent as most of the others in her area had to try and survive in. She herself said that this world had nothing to offer her that mattered to her.
More questions: Why would a man who had at one time inherited great wealth, take the next two and a half decades and spend it all for the sake of the poor—Israeli or Arab, and then to fund House Of Blessing? Why would he, after having spent it all, take the last thing he owns, which is his own humble house in Jerusalem and do a below market sale in order to buy another batch of 2,000 Bibles or more? What is it about the things that the world offers us here in our affluent society that robs us of our commitment to a God who we readily admit is Holy and calls for us not to love the world nor all the trappings it has to offer? Am I saying that we should give our all and live in tents??? Not at all!! Yet, most of us can’t spare God a handful of minutes each day just to commune with Him, either by reading His Word or prayer. Most of us are also so self-serving with our money and material goods that we readily ignore the needs of those who are so desperate in this dying world! We say, “Well I didn’t hear God speak to me!” Problem is, God would probably need to drop an asteroid in our back yard before we would notice that He had said anything because we are not intimate with Him to hear Him. Doesn’t the Word say that God speaks in a still small voice??
We are hooked on so many TV programs, sports to no end, the outdoor life, fishing and hunting, our “rights” to have time for our Sunday drives exploring God’s wonderfully created earth, and everything else imaginable, that God barely gets the crumbs of our left-overs.
Even when we do consider something God may ask of us, we are so worried about giving to a ministry that doesn’t meet our scrutiny or qualifications—often because it is not a religiously recognized entity, that we end up turning God down on something that He has laid on our heart to do! We are worried that we are going to get shafted over some money! That sounds absurd to me because I know that every time I go to a bank to borrow money to buy a house I am going to get shafted for so much money over the term of the loan that I must be crazy to even agree to the terms!! It is the same way when we buy our fancy vehicles, or any of the other things we purchase as we max out our credit cards. Do we really think that we aren’t getting cheated by dealerships, manufacturers, more banks, etc. in order to get our vehicle?? How many of us think we are getting a good deal with the tax money we blindly make available to our governments?? And we are afraid to take a chance on an underground ministry that is reaching people in an area where infidels are beheaded, or if lucky, mowed down with machine guns? How shallow of us.
Forgive me because I can’t expect other people to feel the same about this particular ministry as I do because I was the one that went to Jerusalem with my wife and had the connection made that God promised my Anne and I. Yet He has asked me to help this man and the ministry God has tasked him with. Many of God’s people are spread over a number of very good ministries with their support–as we ourselves are, and we all need to follow God’s leading on where we should spend our money, but let’s make sure that we don’t make the mistake of fearing to take a chance on something that God is mightily using. H.O.B. is desperate for funds because the ones that have been blessed the most on this globe most often give the least! The support money is not even for food, nor a dime of overhead; it’s not for anything but BIBLES!! Everyone that is part of the House of Blessing lives totally by faith—with their substance, and their very LIVES!
As I have said numerous times, I have spoken with this man of God and found God’s Spirit confirming to me again and again and again that he is the real deal—just as God promised in His Word to do. He even answered my prayer to confirm his legitimacy by several other people from different parts of the world. God’s Word also says we would recognize those who have the Spirit of God in them.
Today, I can’t even describe the deep pain I am feeling for what I heard. It was gut-wrenching and I was sick and am still struggling with the reality of it all. I knew I couldn’t possiblity know the half of what really happened even though my imagination pretty much presented me an accurate picture.
I am an American who has NO CONCEPT of what it is like living in a culture of pure religious hatred like what these people live in. I have been greatly humbled just to have the privilege presented by the God of all creation, to be able to partner with this man and his courageous crew of volunteers. They considered themselves to have died already when they accepted the Lordship of their Master. Have I? Have you?? Time is over folks. Whatever we’re going to do, we’d better do now because the books recording not only our actions, but our motives and attitudes as we “serve” our LORD, are about to be closed because this age is closing. I know I sound harsh and accusatory; please forgive me. I have become desperate to find a way to help reach these people. Please try and put yourselves in their place! How did it happen that you and I live here in America instead of Syria? Only God knows, but I know that our blessings have a heavy responsibility attached to them.
I know my wife and I have obeyed what the LORD has asked of us to this point, but we am asking Him once again what we should do next. I only ask you to pray and make sure you do what it is that the LORD of all lays on your heart. Another 2,000 Bibles are ready to be picked up and there are probably 100,000 people that are anxiously waiting for this most valuable possession so they can learn about this God that does not require murdering infidels to please Him; in fact, loves humanity so much that He submitted to being murdered Himself so that mankind can be presented with forgiveness free of charge—just for the asking.
Once again, I will remind those of you who have read earlier reports about H.O.B., that God promised me that every single Bible would not only bear fruit, but would bear MUCH fruit! This is exactly what has happened to this point since last early April since the first amount of money came from here toward these Bibles. Many tens of thousands have not only found hope; not only walked away from a demonic religion, but became blessed believers in the Almighty God and Messiah who walked on this earth 2,000 years ago and is now about to return.
As said already, TIME HAS RUN OUT! Our often aloofness to what is happening in another place on earth beyond our limited circles is evident in many more ways than just money. It shows in how little influence God has in our lives. I really don’t want to be legalistic with any of my comments, but is Jesus really LORD in our lives and in our home or not?? I happen to love sports, TV, going to a movie on occasion; I love the outdoor life, fishing, and many other things, but can’t we limit our “worship” of the god of entertainment and materialism enough so that God can get a word in edgewise with us?
It is inconvenient for many of us to spend more than a couple hours every two to four weeks with other believers! We don’t want to have more than one church service a week anymore because we feel it has become a ritual of religious habit or program–and maybe it has, but what have we put in its place, “Survivor”? Or maybe several hours of video games, or who knows what?
It is the last chance we have to get real, as well as honest with our God. He knows it all anyway! In a time when the return of the LORD is so very imminent, wouldn’t it be the prime time to take stock of our lives and our commitment to the One that gave His all for us?
God has put so very many warnings in His Word that tell us His ways are higher than our ways. He has also put so very many scriptures in the Bible telling us that we MUST be ready for His call home–in fact, looking for it! The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13 is pointing out some very heavy things! In short, how many of those who claim to be Christ-followers have settled into a commitment of mostly show—if that. We are represented well by the five virgins who had let their oil run dry and so missed the call of the Bridegroom when He came to steal the Bride away! Don’t let that be YOU!
In conclusion, one thing that was said by R* when I was talking with him today is that he now sees my prediction of Syria falling this year—2013 was likely accurate. He said that he can see it happening. This will only be a part of a much greater series of events. It also means that our opportunity to make a difference there is running out, and very quickly!
I have hundreds of news articles stored on my computer that show just that. Is it worth sacrificing a latte off and on or even an expensive dinner? Can we spare the price of a $15.00 Bible some other way? Most of us are so used to the benefits of our materialistic society that we can’t even see how selfish we have become. We pleasure ourselves in every way possible. God will hold us accountable because we are not alone on this planet.
If God does not speak to you about the House of Blessing, Jerusalem, please ask Him where you can make a difference. It’s our last chance to do so. God did not bless us as much as He has so that we consume it all on ourselves. I know I likely sound like I’m begging people to get involved, not only in prayer—and believe me, they need a whole lot of it—but ask ourselves to “fast” a bit of our tendency to spend on every conceivable comfort or gadget we can think of. I guess I really am begging this time. I am overcome! Think of our brothers and sisters over there who are praying that God would lay it on the hearts of someone with the means to help them provide Bibles, LOTS of Bibles. How can we go wrong? It is even tax deductible. Soon there will be a provision on this blog-site to donate directly on site, but I have not been able to accomplish this yet. So, for the time being, this is how to donate to H.O.B., and it will be deposited into a Stateside account which then is immediately available in Jerusalem to H.O.B. Send to:
H.O.B. CITY OF JESUS MINISTRY; 3206 SW 45th St.; Redmond, OR 97756
Thank You from myself, as well as R* and his entire volunteer missionary team!
KEEP LOOKING UP! THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS IS AT THE DOOR! Jake