As the nations of the world are continuing to struggle with the COVID-19 virus, so are the people in the Middle East. The hardest hit are always those who have the least at their disposal to fight the virus. This is especially the case among the multitudes of people who have been displaced. Large numbers of the displaced live in bomb-damaged buildings and tens of thousands are living in tent cities or even caves. Because so many people are crowded together, diseases, whether caused by viruses or bacteria spread very quickly. In such locations, it is difficult to even determine exactly what a person is suffering from–especially during flu season.
The House of Blessing missionaries have had serious bouts of their own with the COVID-19 virus. They have lost some of their missionaries to the disease and the process of burying the dead, whether part of the HOB community or not, has been a continual reality. Yet, the missionaries continue to share the Good News of the Gospel to all who will listen and they continue to pray for those who request prayer–and they come by the hundreds.
One of the things I’ve been privileged to share over the years through these updates, is when God intervenes and provides special miracles. I am well aware that we in the western world are not accustomed to seeing many miracles, but in places where God’s people are experiencing some of the most trying times, the miracles are much more in evidence. In the House of Blessing community of believers, where they do not have a ‘Plan B’ or ‘Plan C’, they lay the situation before the Lord and trust Him for His intervention.
I am reminded of the story of the floating ax head in the Old Testament. It went like this:
1 The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, “The place where we’re staying is too small for us. 2 Let’s go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some logs and make a place for us to live there.” Elisha said, “Go ahead.” 3 Then one of the disciples asked, “Won’t you please come within us?” Elisha answered, “I’ll go.” 4 So he went with them. They came to the Jordan River and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the ax head fell into the water. He cried out, “Oh no, master! It was borrowed!” 6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed Elisha thye place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the ax head float. 7 Elisha said, “Pick it up.” The disciple reached for it and picked it up. 2 Kings 6:1-7
Many people read this story and say it can’t possibly be a real story. It has to be symbolic because an ax head will not float. And, throwing a chunk of wood into the river over the spot where it fell in is certainly not going to make the iron buoyant! But then there is GOD! Others say that miracles don’t happen in our modern era. But then there is GOD! Many don’t believe that God speaks to individuals today. Wrong!
Now to today’s special story…
Just a few days ago, while Omar, Sami, and Mussa were in prayer, the Lord spoke to Omar and gave him some instructions. He gave Omar specific ingredients to put together and give to those who were sick. Those who were ill ate and drank what was prepared for them and by the seventh day, they were back on their feet and without any symptoms of their disease! This has now been done with hundreds of the infected and it is continuing to work.
Some of you undoubtedly are wondering, “So…what are these ‘special’ ingredients??”
Omar was very emphatic about what the Lord told him to put together. He was to take 20 grams of Oregano, 2 tablespoons of red dust, a clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mix it all together and eat for 7 days. Two hours after eating the mixture, they were to drink a cup of hot oregano with thyme as a tea.
One question I had was, what kind of red dust are they using, and I can’t really answer that. Here in Central Oregon where I live, we have a red cinder rock which can be found as a dust, but I’d be reluctant to try and swallow it! It is used here to spread on icy roadways. Maybe, the Mideast has a natural red dust that is not found in other locations. I really don’t know.
It is important that the reader knows that neither I, nor the House of Blessing, claims that this is a world-wide ‘cure’ for the COVID-19 virus. This is however something that God has apparently given as a special gift to HOB with which to minister to the needs of the suffering people in the Middle East.
This story does remind me of Sister Mufiedah and the special mixture of ingredients that God gave her to use for treating people with war injuries–especially where there is no accessible medical help available. The Widow Sisterhood still uses the same mixture today and God has blessed them in its use.
People may ask, if God is God, why doesn’t He just heal them all outright? I don’t know. He is sovereign and will do what He does and how He decides to do it because He is the only one who knows the end from the beginning. He will do what He does so that all things are completed as they are meant to be completed. Our job is to trust Him and obey. This is how we exercise our faith. He is after all, the Almighty, and there is only one!
I have a copy of a book that was originally included in the original King James Bible but is not included in the regular protestant Bible today. This book was called 2 Esdras (Second Book of Ezra, or, the Ancient Apocalypse of Ezra). It has some fascinating content in it including some conversations that Ezra the scribe describes having had with God. I have included one of these short passages for today’s update.
And He said to me, “In the beginning, before the land of the world existed, and before the winds ever blew, before thunder or lightening existed, or Paradise was founded, before the beauty of the flowers was seen, and before the powers were established, or the numberless armies of angels were gathered, before the height of the air was uplifted, before the measures of the firmaments were named, before the chimneys of Mount Zion were hot, before the present years were sought out, and before the deeds of present-day sinners were conceived, and before those who have gathered for themselves the treasures of faith were sealed, it was I alone who considered and made these things and through no one else but Me will they be ended.” 2 Ezra 6:1-6
I included this passage as a reminder that the GOD we serve is in complete control of all things—including all that is unfolding in our world today. Nothing is going to panic Him as if it caught Him by surprise! Many things don’t make sense to us today, but it all makes sense to Him. He knows the end from the beginning and He has every one of our days numbered as well. Let’s continue to trust Him, no matter what!
In conclusion, this is how Pastor R and the House of Blessing begins each new day. God continues bringing in an enormous harvest of souls. The people are looking for answers to life and what’s to come afterward. HOB missionaries are providing the answers and the people are responding. God is in control and He will guide the steps of all His people, at least, those who trust Him. The harvest of souls is nearly complete. Let’s all finish well.
Forever in His Service,