I titled the previous Mideast Update, “Racing to the Finish Line,” and it truly is a race. Our world is in trouble but we serve Someone who is greater than the world or its problems. It is He that put us on this earth and it is He who chose the slot in time for us to be here. He has made it possible, through the power of His Spirit within us, to live in such a way that our lives have an eternal effect. It is easy, especially in the materialistic West, to get self-absorbed and forget what this short life as mortals on this earth is all about  Too many of us are fooled into thinking that we really don’t have any effect on anyone. But this is never true. Our lives are like a little stone tossed into a pond. A ripple starts immediately where the stone hits the water and it radiates out in all directions. We affect folks around us whether we intend to or not. This is why the Bible reminds us to “redeem the time.” God has allotted each of us a certain amount of time, and He is the only one who knows the date that time comes to an end.

Statistics tell us that 15,000 people are born every hour of the day, an average of 250 every minute. We are also told that 6,316 die every hour, which computes to 105 people dying and passing into eternity every single minute. These statistics serve as a good reminder that we humans are fragile, and life as we know it is very short. Who knows if the next person to leave this earth is the one who lives next door, or maybe even in your own family? We need to stay available to the guidance of God’s Spirit at all times and not miss the opportunities He provides.

The Bible teaches us to live one day at a time, yet it also instructs us to live our lives with eternity in mind. As children we rarely think of eternity but the older we get, the more often it crosses our minds. What most of us do not realize, or maybe refuse to acknowledge, is the fact that in God’s timeline there is a moment when this age comes to an end for everyone. The Bible tells us of a “terminal generation,” a generation which God interrupts to bring man’s efforts at ruling this planet to an end.  He then sets up His Kingdom in its place. We are that generation. Ignoring or denying the fact won’t change its reality. So, how then should we live?

The Apostle Paul put it like this:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 10:24-27

For the House of Blessing missionaries, there is no distraction from materialism, and neither do they have to deal with the world’s entertainments. The goal of life in the Middle East is to just survive. For the followers of Jesus, the drive in life is to touch one more soul and introduce them to the One who died for them. In a place where there is little respect for life and the prevailing religion is lifeless and brutal, the message of God’s love and the offer of forgiveness for sin and eternal life in God’s Heaven brings hope where there is none. These people see death every day and it is brutal. God has placed the House of Blessing into this time period and multitudes continue to be reached with the Gospel. Soon, the Days of the Gentiles will come to an end…so, it truly is a race!

The House of Blessing was blessed through gifts sent from people like you, to be able to purchase 1,000 Bibles and they have been able to distribute them across the Mideast to the many locations where the HOB School of Ministry is now completing another training session.  We often write about HOB teachers like Sami, Omar, Radwan, Nader, Abed, Shah, Bandar, Mourtada, Sarah, Mufiedah, Fatwa, Adel, and many more. But, these are just the ones we’re most familiar with. HOB now has well over 2,000 trained missionaries and as the classes come to completion, there will be quite an army of newly trained missionaries joining them.

The group of 70 sheikhs recently reached with the Gospel that we have mentioned often, are still taking classes as well. Forty of these are meeting with about ten men each from their own mosques in the evenings and are teaching them for 4-5 hours. This is after they have spent 6-8 hours in the Bible school classes during the day. Some of the head sheikhs that have been believers for a longer period of time were able to purchase some Bibles on their own and they are passing them on to newly reached sheikhs who they are teaching. It is an amazing testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit how these men, many of them well educated, are studying the Bible and memorizing verses of Scripture so that they can carry on the work of the Great Commission. There is great enthusiasm to learn, and their bravery and courage to put themselves in harm’s way to share the truths of Jesus is amazing. Pastor R has described them as “lion-hearted!”

Fatima and her helpers have been able to hold communion services three times a week. They share a meal, spend much time in prayer, and then share communion together. Reports are that the attendance for these special times of refreshing is high. For most believers, this is the high point of their week.

In the northern part of Syria, Mufiedah and Fatwa are going to be able to start training new students as well. They had held off for a while due to the great turmoil in the area. They have also been given some of the Bibles to distribute. Also in northern Syria, Sisters Hafezeh and Feriel have been holding special communion services again. They have been having gatherings of 450 or so.

In spite of the many School of Ministry classes being held all over the Middle East, there are still huge numbers of people waiting in line to take the Bible classes! Even with the numbers of House of Blessing instructors, there are never enough for the amount of people being reached. But, that is a good problem! So, we pray for more workers in the harvest.

All of this report has been pretty positive this time and it may seem that everything is going smoothly, but there is no “smooth” or “normal” in the Mideast today, and it is getting worse. I would refer the reader to the series of articles located on this website under the title “All Eyes on Israel,” Parts 1-4 for a detailed explanation on what is unfolding in the Mideast. As the work of the missionaries continues, people are still dying of starvation, sickness, disease, and exposure…and, winter is on the way. Some are killed by bombs, missiles, or artillery, and others are murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ. There is an ongoing need to bury the dead, including some from the House of Blessing community of believers. Seven of the new converts lost their lives within the last few days. Please keep these Believers in your prayers! They depend on our prayers and support. And, God does answer prayer! Multitudes of the refugees have no shelter at all. There are not enough tents for everyone, so many try to find shelter under trees. Those that manage to find a cave to hole up in are some of the more fortunate ones. These are facts that Pastor R passed on to me in a call this morning.

Some of the HOB brothers were especially burdened for the masses of people who were starving to death.  They took up a collection from among their own communities of believers. Most of the gifts were small, but after they completed their collection, they were able to put together enough finances to purchase a full flatbed truckload of wheat sacks. They were able to feed tens of thousands of refugees with this wheat, and of course, that opened the door wide to share with the people about the love of God! It has a wonderful effect every time!

Pastor Rashid is still healing. Flesh and skin are growing back. The special machine that had been attached to his foot to cleanse the blood has now been removed and the healing is working on its own. Please continue to pray that God will heal him totally.

In conclusion, most of us have heard of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and his brutal murder in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Many in the West are shocked that something so brutal could happen to a known journalist in our day. Many refuse to believe that it even happened. But the reality is that an untold number of HOB missionaries have suffered deaths at the hands of Islamic militants in ways just as savage and sadistic. I hear people say that this is not true Islam. Yet, we would not be able to convince our HOB missionaries that this is not Islam. They have seen it and experienced it all across the Muslim world. Muhammad was a brutal man and his ways were passed on through his writings in the Koran. It is only the love of God that can defeat this kind of demonic ideology. It starts by earnest prayer for our brethren.

We also have the opportunity to help them financially. The House of Blessing sends their heartfelt thanks to all who have taken their needs seriously. The harvest time during the Age of Grace is nearly over. If we desire to be part of what God is doing in the Mideast, we should do it now because major times of war are well on their way. And, one day very soon, the Age of Grace will have passed. A PayPal button has been provided for those that would like to help the work of the House of Blessing missionaries. 100% of the funds go to the missionaries. There is no paid staff. All live entirely by faith. Thank you!

May the Lord bless you all abundantly,

Forever in His Service,

Jake Geier    


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