For those who have not been living under a rock, they will have noticed that we have been experiencing one of the most unusual years ever. Fires that have devastated huge areas of Australia, South America, Siberia, Africa, and many other locations— particularly since 2017—have only gotten worse, the fires of 2020 being the very worst of the worst. But it is not only the fires. The world is experiencing devastating floods, famines, pestilences, wars, threats of wars, inner city violence and seemingly unbridled lawlessness. The riots—just in the United States alone in the last few months—has amounted to infrastructure damages totaling billions of dollars. And with a very crucial and contentious presidential election coming up in just a few days, much more rioting and violence—if not something even much worse, is being expected and prepared for. Then, of course, there is the COVID-19. No matter if we view the true seriousness of the virus as misrepresented, exaggerated, or manufactured mutating evil, the entire planet has never been affected to such an extent by a so-called pandemic.
With all of these things unfolding and much more coming every day, it seems, many of God’s faithful people have grown discouraged and weary. However, we need to stay faithful and keep moving forward with whatever task God has individually called us to. Our loving Father has promised to carry us through right to the finish line, and truly, we are right at that finish line, right at the very end of this present age. The writer to the Hebrews well understood and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit had this to say:
Therefore do not cast away your confidence which has great reward. For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, but if anyone draws back, My soul, has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of them who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:35-39
I wonder if we sometimes think that people in the mission field are immune to discouragement. That is absolutely not true. They get tired, worn, often battered either by hunger, sickness, the elements, or often the physical abuse from those who hate the message they are sharing. Missionaries, just like other people, get sick, discouraged, and become exhausted. They also often go hungry, are cold, wet, and don’t get near enough sleep. Often they must wonder if the rest of the Christian world forgets about them. So, we must pray for them, and pray for them often.
I spoke with Pastor R just a few days ago and he had finally received a report from the front lines of the House of Blessing mission field. You might remember that Pastor R had a chance to come back to Jerusalem for some badly needed medical attention and had not heard from the field for a couple weeks or so.
It seems that the COVID-19 virus continues to claim many victims. Whether it is the virus itself or just the fact that it is complicating other medical issues like the flu, or other illnesses, many are losing their lives, especially the elderly. One of the reports just in tell of how Omar, Sami, and Mussa, along with their team of missionaries, were able to reach 880 with the Good News of the Gospel. Of these, 62 lost their lives due to sickness, possibly the virus or complications involving the virus. 28 of these who died were women and 34 were men. These of course all needed to be buried as quickly as possible. There were also seven missionaries shot dead by Hezbollah militants as they were preaching to the people.
Additional reports came in from Adel and those working with him, bringing at least an additional 250 souls to the feet of Jesus. There were a number of these who were also quite sick and went into the presence of Jesus in a very short time after praying the sinner’s prayer.
One very good report given to Pastor R had to do with Amir and the others who had bombed Pastor Farid’s house–killing his entire family, and then had attempted to do the same to Sister Fatima’s place in which many missionaries had gathered. An earlier update told how, with the exception of the ring-leader, all had repented of the evil they had done and committed their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Pastor R was told that 250 of their family members have since been reached with the Gospel and are serving Jesus! There is no minimizing the terrible tragedy of the deaths of those who were caught off guard by these men while they were still serving the evil one, but what a turnaround of events when they met Jesus! And, it is still happening…
In Western Iran, the HOB family of believers is still facing very serious problems with the virus. At the same time that whole families are becoming infected, other families are experiencing supernatural healing. Their situation has been very difficult for months and months now. Let’s keep bringing them before the Lord in prayer. This virus needs to be totally defeated in their community of believers! It is not known by most people, but the news services from within Iran have under-reported the death count of the virus within Iran by at least 2/3. Iran was hit very hard, and continues to have a high number of virus infections.
Regular readers might remember that both of Pastor R’s assistants, Yousef and Raddi had needed to take some time off. They have now however come back to their post, even though Pastor R is not there at this time. They are regularly praying for about 250 people every day that line up waiting for their turn. How amazing!
One last thing to share this week has to do with God’s miraculous provision. Enough funds came in to allow the House of Blessing to arrange delivery of 1 ½ truck loads of wheat sacks. These were divided up and distributed to three of the most desperate locations. HOB was also able to order the printing of another 500 Bibles. Praise God! I remember the Lord promising 8 ½ years ago that every single Bible donated would bring fruit, in fact, much fruit. God has kept His promise and He will continue doing so. He is GOD!
Pastor R is slowly getting stronger. He has been able to get medication for chronic issues he has had for a long time and it has also been possible for him to get some therapy. God is good!
Wintertime is once again coming to the refugee camps. Pray that clothing, mattresses, firewood, medicines and other necessities can be found to help the people survive the winter weather. Pray, pray, pray! And, all donations coming to this website address go 100% to the House of Blessing. For questions about donating, feel free to email me. Thank You!
Forever in His Service,