As I write this update today, I have many things running through my mind. There is the news of the past few days, telling of unfolding world shaking events; there are the increasing attacks on Christians around the world; and there are the stories of great faith and perseverance of true believers in Jesus Christ who have gone through unimaginable horror, yet persevered. I would like to touch on each of these in today’s Mideast Update.

For the past three weeks I have been especially blessed and encouraged because of the miraculous story of a large group of sheikhs that became believers in Jesus Christ after listening in on a Bible teaching about the Blood of Jesus. It only took hearing some simple truths that most of us take for granted; simple doctrinal absolutes of Who Jesus really is, and why His Blood has the power no other blood in the universe has.

Since their commitment to Messiah Jesus, they have been studying diligently and learning as much as they can so that they can reach out and teach their own groups of Muslim followers the truths that can only be found in the Word of God. A number of these men were head sheikhs and with such a high position in Muslim communities, have a considerable following and great influence among the people. The volunteer missionaries of House of Blessing teach long hours a day in order to mentor the new believers. They all understand the shortness of the hour we live in. From the reports I have received, it has been a glorious time.

Yesterday, I received a call telling me of a tragedy that had just unfolded. A number of the new believers from this group of sheikhs were gathered together and after having been taught for several hours, they were finishing up with their study of Part 9 of “The Blood of Jesus” at about 8:00 in the evening. As they began to head home, fifteen of these men were ambushed by ISIS jihadists, who then proceeded to execute them. Some were outright shot to death, and others beheaded. Most of them, if not all, had crosses carved into their faces with knives. We in the West are not used to this kind of brutish savagery…and all in the name of religion–in this case, in the name of Allah and his prophet Muhammad.

It was Brother Omar who got the news first and went to see for himself. When he passed on the tragic news to Pastor R, Omar was overcome, saying no one should ever have to come across a scene like what he had just witnessed. He openly cried as he described it. Omar and Adel, who he works with closely, were not shaken in their faith, but were hit hard with the vicious slaughter of these new brethren. It is our job as their brothers and sisters in the Lord to stand with them by earnestly praying for them.

I am reminded of a passage of Scripture that I have referred to before in these updates quite often in the past many months. It is found in Hebrews 11 and reads in the New King James Version of the Scriptures this way:

…others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better of us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (verses 36-40)

This Scripture goes on to say:

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. (chapter 12:1-2)

These first two verses of chapter twelve encourage each believer to make sure that all priorities are set in order. It is Messiah Jesus whom we are serving, and He did not stop short of paying the ultimate price for our freedom. We must therefore live for Him until He removes us from this earth, by whatever means that may be.

During these last few days, Sister Mufidah and “The Widow Sisterhood” also took a heavy loss. The widows have been working in the northern areas of Syria and Iraq. As most readers know, the widows work in areas where there are great numbers of wounded and dead, mainly from explosions of bombs, missiles, or mortars. As they check bodies for those who might still be alive, they never know when another bombing is on its way. Over the past months, quite a number of these widows have lost their lives while trying to save the lives—and souls, of the injured and dying. Eight more of these brave women were killed in the last few days. This bombing run also killed a great number of civilians, including some children with whom the widows had been sharing Bible stories. The great chaos that is sweeping over the Middle East is such a tragedy. The incessant bombing, not only by NATO coalition members, but also Bashar al-Assad’s military, as well as the more recent involvement of Turkey’s air force, and now the heavily armed Russian military forces are adding to the numbers of dead, injured, and displaced. Iran’s military involvement is also increasing as they join forces with Russia and Hezbollah, allies of Assad.

This last week, about 160 souls were reached by Mofidah’s widows! I don’t have a number for those that were reached by the other missionaries in Iraq and Syria, Kurdistan, or Jordan this week. The numbers are not always available, nor are they of the utmost importance. In both Kurdistan and Iran, the HOB missionaries have been working slowly, carefully and methodically. In most areas the believers are meeting secretly, and in hundreds of locations across the Mideast. I did get the report that HOB missionaries saw 15 families reached this last week in Iran. Because of the large size of families in this part of the world, this can be a substantial number of new believers. Praise God!

As I have shared before, there is now so much killing and chaos in the Mideast that people quite often actively search for the missionaries–not just for help with food and supplies, but because they are becoming ashamed of Islam. They see it for what it really is, and they know that much of the rest of the world sees it as well. They have nothing whatsoever left to live for unless someone can shares Truth with them that is beyond what they have been taught all their lives through Islam. This is where the missionaries provide the answer they are so desperate for. In the months past, the UN had been supplying ,at best, about 45% of the most basic food needs of the refugees, but that seems to have disintegrated. HOB has stepped in, buying wheat by the truck load as the funds are available. By helping to keep these desperate people alive, the door opens easily for sharing the true love of God with them. How often will a person share their last piece of bread with a stranger? How often does the hated infidel share wheat with the ones that are committed to killing them? This is the result of the love of God changing a person’s nature. Hallelujah! And, it was Jesus who commanded us to feed the poor!

The chaos will continue to get worse until the Prince of Peace brings order to this dying world. As we see it today, World War 3 is coming closer every day. The fuse has likely already been lit but we don’t know how long that fuse is. It is amazing how convoluted the situation is becoming. There are dozens of jihadist groups, many of them fighting to destroy each other. There is also a coalition of nations claiming to be there to deal with the brutality and threat of ISIS. The NATO coalition is backing rebels in Syria who seek to depose Bashar al-Assad, the long-time Syrian dictator. While this is going on, Turkey has joined the fight—supposedly as a NATO ally against ISIS. Yet, the Kurds, who are also fighting against ISIS, are being viciously attacked by Turkey’s air force. The Russian Federation is also coming in with heavy forces and weaponry to prop up Bashar al-Assad. They have said they are also there to fight ISIS. Yet, they are also fiercely attacking the same rebels that the Pentagon is backing against Assad! Then there is Iran, which is also in the mix. Iran is also fighting ISIS, and is allied with Assad, Hezbollah, and Russia. While all this is going on, Iran continues to threaten the very existence of Israel and shouts “Death to America!” Hamas and Hezbollah are sworn enemies of Israel, as are most of the Middle East nations. Israel gets attacked by Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinians, and Iran is attempting to set up a beachhead in the Golan Heights on Israel’s northeastern border. Israel has always been able to control attacks from over the border from Lebanon or Syria with their own powerful air force, yet they are now being told by Russia to stay out of the skies of Lebanon and Syria. America, who has always been Israel’s ally, is also being told to stay out of Syria and Lebanon’s skies by Russia, is now turning its back on its little brother. And, this is all only scratching the surface of the mayhem in the Middle East!  Wars and rumors of wars!!

As I write this update today, I have many things running through my mind. There is the news of the past few days, telling of unfolding world shaking events; there are the increasing attacks on Christians around the world; and there are the stories of great faith and perseverance of true believers in Jesus Christ who have gone through unimaginable horror, yet persevered. I would like to touch on each of these in today’s Mideast Update.

For the past three weeks I have been especially blessed and encouraged because of the miraculous story of a large group of sheikhs that became believers in Jesus Christ after listening in on a Bible teaching about the Blood of Jesus. It only took hearing some simple truths that most of us take for granted; simple doctrinal absolutes of Who Jesus really is, and why His Blood has the power no other blood in the universe has.

Since their commitment to Messiah Jesus, they have been studying diligently and learning as much as they can so that they can reach out and teach their own groups of Muslim followers the truths that can only be found in the Word of God. A number of these men were head sheikhs and with such a high position in Muslim communities, have a considerable following and great influence among the people. The volunteer missionaries of House of Blessing teach long hours a day in order to mentor the new believers. They all understand the shortness of the hour we live in. From the reports I have received, it has been a glorious time.

Yesterday, I received a call telling me of a tragedy that had just unfolded. A number of the new believers from this group of sheikhs were gathered together and after having been taught for several hours, they were finishing up with their study of Part 9 of “The Blood of Jesus” at about 8:00 in the evening. As they began to head home, fifteen of these men were ambushed by ISIS jihadists, who then proceeded to execute them. Some were outright shot to death, and others beheaded. Most of them, if not all, had crosses carved into their faces with knives. We in the West are not used to this kind of brutish savagery…and all in the name of religion–in this case, in the name of Allah and his prophet Muhammad.

It was Brother Omar who got the news first and went to see for himself. When he passed on the tragic news to Pastor R, Omar was overcome, saying no one should ever have to come across a scene like what he had just witnessed. He openly cried as he described it. Omar and Adel, who he works with closely, were not shaken in their faith, but were hit hard with the vicious slaughter of these new brethren. It is our job as their brothers and sisters in the Lord to stand with them by earnestly praying for them.

I am reminded of a passage of Scripture that I have referred to before in these updates quite often in the past many months. It is found in Hebrews 11 and reads in the New King James Version of the Scriptures this way:

…others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better of us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (verses 36-40)

This Scripture goes on to say:

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. (chapter 12:1-2)

These first two verses of chapter twelve encourage each believer to make sure that all priorities are set in order. It is Messiah Jesus whom we are serving, and He did not stop short of paying the ultimate price for our freedom. We must therefore live for Him until He removes us from this earth, by whatever means that may be.

During these last few days, Sister Mufidah and “The Widow Sisterhood” also took a heavy loss. The widows have been working in the northern areas of Syria and Iraq. As most readers know, the widows work in areas where there are great numbers of wounded and dead, mainly from explosions of bombs, missiles, or mortars. As they check bodies for those who might still be alive, they never know when another bombing is on its way. Over the past months, quite a number of these widows have lost their lives while trying to save the lives—and souls, of the injured and dying. Eight more of these brave women were killed in the last few days. This bombing run also killed a great number of civilians, including some children with whom the widows had been sharing Bible stories. The great chaos that is sweeping over the Middle East is such a tragedy. The incessant bombing, not only by NATO coalition members, but also Bashar al-Assad’s military, as well as the more recent involvement of Turkey’s air force, and now the heavily armed Russian military forces are adding to the numbers of dead, injured, and displaced. Iran’s military involvement is also increasing as they join forces with Russia and Hezbollah, allies of Assad.

This last week, about 160 souls were reached by Mofidah’s widows! I don’t have a number for those that were reached by the other missionaries in Iraq and Syria, Kurdistan, or Jordan this week. The numbers are not always available, nor are they of the utmost importance. In both Kurdistan and Iran, the HOB missionaries have been working slowly, carefully and methodically. In most areas the believers are meeting secretly, and in hundreds of locations across the Mideast. I did get the report that HOB missionaries saw 15 families reached this last week in Iran. Because of the large size of families in this part of the world, this can be a substantial number of new believers. Praise God!

As I have shared before, there is now so much killing and chaos in the Mideast that people quite often actively search for the missionaries–not just for help with food and supplies, but because they are becoming ashamed of Islam. They see it for what it really is, and they know that much of the rest of the world sees it as well. They have nothing whatsoever left to live for unless someone can shares Truth with them that is beyond what they have been taught all their lives through Islam. This is where the missionaries provide the answer they are so desperate for. In the months past, the UN had been supplying ,at best, about 45% of the most basic food needs of the refugees, but that seems to have disintegrated. HOB has stepped in, buying wheat by the truck load as the funds are available. By helping to keep these desperate people alive, the door opens easily for sharing the true love of God with them. How often will a person share their last piece of bread with a stranger? How often does the hated infidel share wheat with the ones that are committed to killing them? This is the result of the love of God changing a person’s nature. Hallelujah! And, it was Jesus who commanded us to feed the poor!

The chaos will continue to get worse until the Prince of Peace brings order to this dying world. As we see it today, World War 3 is coming closer every day. The fuse has likely already been lit but we don’t know how long that fuse is. It is amazing how convoluted the situation is becoming. There are dozens of jihadist groups, many of them fighting to destroy each other. There is also a coalition of nations claiming to be there to deal with the brutality and threat of ISIS. The NATO coalition is backing rebels in Syria who seek to depose Bashar al-Assad, the long-time Syrian dictator. While this is going on, Turkey has joined the fight—supposedly as a NATO ally against ISIS. Yet, the Kurds, who are also fighting against ISIS, are being viciously attacked by Turkey’s air force. The Russian Federation is also coming in with heavy forces and weaponry to prop up Bashar al-Assad. They have said they are also there to fight ISIS. Yet, they are also fiercely attacking the same rebels that the Pentagon is backing against Assad! Then there is Iran, which is also in the mix. Iran is also fighting ISIS, and is allied with Assad, Hezbollah, and Russia…

This chaos is going to continue until the day that the real Prince of Peace comes back and sets this world straight. Until then, our job as true believers in Jesus our Messiah is to complete the work that He has us here for. Let’s share the Good News of God’s love and Free Gift of Salvation with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else the Lord brings across our paths.

Thank you all for your prayers for the House of Blessing and for all of your financial gifts. All gifts sent to this website go to the work of the HOB missionaries. Please find the convenient PayPal button for gifts that you might want to send. May the Lord bless you all abundantly!

Forever in His Service,

Jake Geier

House of Blessing;   P.O. Box 2093;   Redmond, Oregon USA 97756

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2 thoughts on “MIDEAST UPDATE 10/3/2015

  1. hi, when i read that story of missionaries in syria and irak, i feel scare, this world is horrible, i realize my worries are unfair, and i’m asking my self if i’ll make it throw the times that are coming, am i enough close to God to stand when it will be hard for christian here too in France. this is scary, may God save us and come back soon, amen.

  2. Many people are asking the very same question these days. We hear these stories. We see the photos, and wonder when it will come to our own door. Our hope and trust however is in the One who promised to carry us through. Throughout history we read of people that have endured very difficult things, yet, the grace that God gave them for their trials was always sufficient. Always! This is the promise our Master has made to us, and He will never fail. Never!

    Keep looking upward! We’re going home SOON!

    Jake

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