As I was gathering some thoughts to include in the first update of 2022 for the House of Blessing, I thought of the Apostle Paul and how his life as a missionary began. Most of us know the story of Saul of Tarsus and his encounter with Jesus Christ on the Damascus road. In Acts 26, we find the account of Paul’s defense before King Agrippa. Contained in verses 16-18 we find the commission given to Paul by Jesus. This is how it reads in the New King James version of the Bible:
“But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now] send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Although there was only one Apostle Paul, the commission he received was essentially much the same as the Great Commission left for the followers of Jesus in Mark 16. What is it that Paul was called to, and by extension, all of us?
- To be a minister and witness of things we have seen and things Jesus is yet to reveal to us.
- We are sent to open people’s eyes
- To turn people from darkness to the Light
- Free them from the power of Satan so they can serve God
- Show them the source of forgiveness of sins
- Teach them about the inheritance they will receive together with all of God’s people
This means that in a very real sense, we are all missionaries. Our world, as we begin the year 2022, is spinning out of control. Some may not agree but in my opinion, what we once considered “normal” is not coming back. Depression, anxiety, desperation and fear are at epidemic levels all around the world. As the darkness becomes more and more pronounced, we, the Blood-bought people of God, must let our lights shine. You may think you only have a small candlelight, but, It doesn’t take much to light up a dark room!
Arise, shine: For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you…Isaiah 60:1-2
In spite of the fact that there are those who say that there are many roads to God, Jesus said there is only one. His words to His disciples were, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” There is no one else. Was Jesus narrow-minded to make such a claim? Absolutely! But then, He has the right to be. He is GOD, and there is only one Almighty!
The House of Blessing missionaries share the Light of Jesus, in a world that is primarily Muslim. Speaking of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world as the as the Lamb of God, has cost thousands of HOB missionaries their lives over the past decade. Yet, the message continues to be shared with the masses and thousands continue to find Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
The commitment of the HOB missionary is just as described in Philippians 1:19-21:
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
I was able to speak with Pastor R for a few minutes and he told me that he had had laryngitis, therefore the delay in his last call. He had also had a fever of 104 f / 40 c. Thank the Lord, he is now doing much better. He said he is very blessed with the excellent care he is being given by his two nurses and his two assistants.
Ministry by the HOB missionaries has continued right through Christmas and New Year’s all across the Mideast, and in all of the HOB communities of believers. All are sensing that time is extremely short, with the end of the Age of Grace soon to come to an end. Every morning is seen as an additional gift of time in which to share the love of Jesus with a dying world.
After Omar, Sami, Mussa, and their volunteers had been sharing the love of God with about 850 families by sharing food, mattresses, clothing, food, rebuilding about 350 tents, burying their dead, and of course the Good News about Jesus, some of the team had caught colds and developed other flu-like symptoms. As a precaution, they separated themselves into three groups and quarantined themselves for seven days. During this time they have all been taking the Oregano mixture that has proven so effective against the winter sicknesses and are also getting some much needed rest.
Other teams of missionaries across the entire Mideast are continuing also just as they have been. Many hundreds of families have again been helped with food and other supplies and a great harvest of souls has been netted. We’ve heard it said that hell is expanding itself in our day, but at the same time, the Kingdom of God is growing exponentially! God is good!
I would like to share one last Scripture as I conclude today’s update. It is found in Hebrews 12:1-2.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Thank you all again for your prayers and support. Only in eternity will we all see what God has done through each and every one of you who has responded to the tug of the Spirit of God. The entire community of the House of Blessing appreciates both your prayers and support very much!
Forever in His Service,