Today’s Mideast Update will be a short one but Pastor R has asked special prayer for the HOB missionaries, particularly in the northern areas up against the Turkish border. Many of you may not be aware but Turkey’s President Erdogan has indicated his intent to begin the ground phase of Operation Claw-Sword. He wants to clear the southern borders of fighters from affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PPK. He has been talking about this since June, 2022 but since the November 13 bombing on Istanbul’s iconic and crowded Istiklal Street, he has become obsessed with it. There have already been some air attacks but a ground force is soon to come. Erdogan’s intent is to clear the southern side of Turkey’s borders with both Syria and Iraq of all PPK fighters as well as an affiliate, the YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Unit).
Erdogan’s intent is to clear up to 30 km below the Turkish borders at least to the Euphrates River. Turkey’s attacks to date have mainly been aerial and artillery strikes, with both manned and unmanned (drones) planes being used. People have already been killed, including three HOB missionary women standing next to a building that was destroyed.
Turkey intends to remove the above militant forces, their families, towns, and infrastructure totally away from the border. This will also aid Turkey’s efforts to return refugees, and ensure Turkey’s influence to end the war in Syria. This will of course bring conflicts, not only with the PPK and YPK, but also Syrian military forces.
The innocents, as always, will pay the highest price. In driving out the militants Turkey says they are after, multitudes of refugees will find themselves in the crossfire, including the HOB missionaries and HOB community that is embedded among the refugees.
The work of evangelism continues, regardless of what tomorrow brings. Everyone knows that time is of the essence. Pastor R gave me a short list of results from the last week or so of ministry among the refugees. I won’t itemize them, but will share the approximate totals with you.
Nearly 2,000 family tents were visited. Each was blessed with some hot Oregano Tea Mix and generous quality time teaching from the Word of God. God again blessed and the harvest grew once again.
Once again we have come to the time of year when tents collapse or get blown down from the strong winds and rain. HOB rebuilt 110 tents already in the last few days. Soon, it will snow along with the rain, particularly in the northern areas. The HOB missionaries have made it a ministry for years to help people rebuild or reset their collapsed tents. It always presents opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus.
Pastor R asked me to mention that the House of Blessing would like to help as many as they can this year with blankets, clothing, mattresses, etc. Even though the Muslims do not celebrate nor believe the story of Jesus’ birth as told in the Bible, HOB is able to share it widely. HOB missionaries will be sharing the story of Jesus’ birth with as many as they can reach this year–of course, they always do! But, who knows how much time is left for this harvest of souls. We are to stay at it until we are called HOME!
There is also a need for Bibles, as always. Pastor R told me that in the camps HOB worked so hard to burn the old toilet pits and build new toilets, the missionaries and volunteers were working among about 200,000 people. Approximately 8,000 of those responded to the Gospel being shared with them and have now joined the community of Christian believers that the House of Blessing is doing their best to oversee. Praise God!
In conclusion, thank you all for your prayers and support for the House of Blessing. Keep the prayers going. God answers the prayers of His people. The needs are great, the dangers are great, but our God is sovereign and All-Powerful!
Forever in His Service,