I know that everyone is wondering how Pastor R is doing. I was able to get an update from Brother Talal but he said his condition has not changed. He is still in a coma and is on total life-support. My prayer, as well as yours I’m sure, is that God would either raise him up to where he can function normally again, or take him home to the Savior he served so faithfully, to hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Lord!” It is those same words all faithful followers of Jesus long to hear…and, SOON!
Although the HOB missionaries are struggling with grief over Pastor R’s condition, the work of evangelism continues, nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The “Widow Sisterhood” especially have grieved over Pastor R’s condition, pouring bowls of dust on their heads, as is customary in Mideast culture as a sign of humility and grief. Prayers continue for his restoration. One thing we know for sure, God is well aware and will do exactly what is in His eternal plan for Pastor R and all those whose lives he has affected in such a powerful way.
Brother Talal shared a wonderful story with me that I would like to pass on. As the HOB missionaries were going from tent to tent, including Sisters Fatima, Nofah, and Hafezeh, they came across a mother whose name is Jadeer (I hope I got the name right) who had her little boy with her, named Kasam. Kasam is 3 years and 8 months old. The mother brought him to the women and explained to them that Kasam was not able to walk, nor was he able to talk, in spite of being almost 4 years old.
The women then began to pray for him. They prayed and held him. Then they prayed and held him some more. This went on for a bit until someone decided they should try giving him one tiny sip of their special Oregano tea mix. They gave him a sip, waited a couple minutes and gave him another. At the seventh sip, they set him down and asked his mother, Jadeer, to call him. Lo and behold, he got up on his feet, walked to his mother and began to speak! It was a great time of rejoicing for Jadeer, for sure, but also for all who watched this wonderful miracle unfold before their eyes! Our Creator God, reached down and touched this little boy so that he could walk and talk. This of course brought great glory and praise to God!
Many of the missionary women are involved in teaching the young ones about Jesus and the life of being a Jesus follower. Children are so responsive! It is such a contrast to those who at young tender ages are taught to hate and kill! The teaching of the Word of God to all who gather goes on nearly all days and throughout many of the nights!
As one would expect, with all the turmoil going on in the Middle East, the needs continue to be very great. People are starving and have very little clean water. The House of Blessing was able (due to the generosity of supporters) to purchase and distribute another truckload of wheat, flour, and water and distribute as far as they could. The refugees are desperate and always grateful for what they receive from the HOB missionaries. As always, the Good News of the Gospel is shared and eagerly received by a great many. Just for perspective, Brother Talal said that the number of Muslim people who have responded to the Gospel and accepted Jesus as their personal Savior since this phase of the House of Blessing ministry began, stands roughly at 750,000 (that they know of). That is a demonstration of the greater miracle than any physical miracle that has happened through the ministry of the House of Blessing in the past 11+ years that I’ve been associated with the ministry. We as Jesus followers plant the seed, whether by word, or by means that God directs us to use, and GOD Himself brings the harvest. What a harvest He has brought about! Praise Him forever!
Just a thought in closing that I received while having my devotions today. We speak of the priceless free gift that we have received through the sacrifice of Jesus the Lamb of God. It is a reminder to us of the parable Jesus told of a man who found a field with a priceless treasure hidden in the field. When he found the treasure, he sold all he had in order to purchase the field. The question could be asked, what did the man pay for the treasure? We might respond by saying, he gave everything he owned to obtain the treasure. Yet, he actually paid nothing for the treasure. He gave everything he had for the field, but obtained the treasure for free. We know that the treasure represents Salvation, Eternal Life, and of course all God’s blessings that come with it as a package deal. There isn’t one of us who can “merit” or earn this “treasure” by our self-righteous life, our religiosity, or anything else we might think would be of eternal value. Salvation is the treasure beyond price and yet given freely to all who freely receive it. This treasure is so great that if you truly receive it, if you realize what you have, it leads you to do everything you can, to use everything you have, and to give everything you can give in response to having found it. It causes you to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love others as yourself, and to forgive…as you’ve been forgiven. The recognition of this gift should cause a person to give just as we have received…freely…and make our lives a gift of real godly love, no matter if we think someone is worthy of it or not. We must live the one short life we have been given as a gift to a lost world around us. We must live a life that is of the utmost value and greatest of worth, and do it freely! This is the calling of all of God’s people!
In closing, because of the continuing events unfolding in Israel as I write this update, please hold our brethren in the Middle East, including in Israel, up in prayer. Lives are in danger all across the Middle East, and it is likely to get much, much worse. God’s prophets accurately foretold today’s events centuries ago. We must pay attention. Jesus instructed us to Watch and Pray!
Forever In His Service,