The more we see the world situation deteriorate, the more we look forward to the return of our Messiah and King, Jesus! Those of us who are familiar with the things that Jesus told His disciples were coming in the future—particularly the convergence of events at the end of the age, are also familiar with Jesus’ statement, “When you see these things beginning to come to pass, stand and look up, for your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). Praise God! It is a comforting thought for all of us as true believers and followers of Jesus; but it must be especially comforting to those who live in the harsh circumstances of the refugee camps in the Middle East.
As is the case every year, wintertime is a very difficult time for refugees, especially in the tent cities. This year, of course, in addition to dealing with the typical flu, winter colds, respiratory ailments, and viruses, there has been the outbreak of cholera that has been referred to in previous updates. As great as the effort was by the House of Blessing missionaries and all the volunteers who joined them in cleaning up the old open toilet pit areas and building new portable toilets, much of the groundwater and even some streams have been contaminated. Vegetables that happen to be growing wild could possibly be contaminated. Many have lost their lives all across the Mideast due to this plague. HOB missionaries and volunteers continue to do their best in getting the dead buried as quickly as possible.
A few of the HOB missionaries have come down with cholera as well, including Omar, Sami, and Mussa. They had very high fevers for a short time but the men seem to be getting better. Thank the Lord their fevers have come down considerably. Pastor R told me that there are an estimated 7,000 refugees suffering from cholera in Syria, of which at least 100 have died.
The missionary teams continue to help the refugee families rebuild their tents when they collapse from the weather. There are also always mattresses, blankets, clothing, and other items needing to be dried when there is enough sunshine to do so. There is of course always a need for replacements of many of these items as they get ruined. Surviving under these circumstances is not easy. These folks really need our prayers.
Many of the refugees are trying to go back to their original homes. If they find their homes at least somewhat habitable, it is a definite step-up from living in the tent cities.
Pastor R continues praying for all that come to him. The hospital that he is in is still without heat and so his situation is pretty miserable as well, but in over 10 years of fellowshipping with him over the phone, I have never heard him complain about anything.
I asked Pastor R how things are in the Kurdistan areas in northern Syria and Iraq. He said that there are always reports of clashes with the Turkish military, and lives are lost, but he said Turkey likes keeping things at a “cold war” status. With all of the conflicts heating up more and more around the world, it would not be a big surprise for things to heat up again between Turkey, Syria, and the Kurds.
Please keep the House of Blessing in prayer and as I receive more news, I will share it in another update.
Forever in His Service,