It seems every year goes by a bit faster than the one before. I am having a hard time getting my head around the fact that we are only days from the end of 2022. Amazing! But, here we are. One thing that gives us great hope is the fact that the Lord has brought us that much closer to His return, and our call HOME. Soon and very soon—and the timing will be perfect because it has been in our Father’s hands all along, and He is perfect!
In Galatians 4, we find these words:
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Galatians 4:4-6
The fullness of time is a theme all the way through the Scriptures. There has been a “fullness of time” for everything. God, who abides outside of time, sees the past, present, and future all at the same time. He is however not only Omniscient (meaning He knows all), He is Omnipresent (meaning He is present everywhere at once), He is also Omnipotent (meaning All-Powerful). There is no one else like Him; never was, nor ever will be. For the true believer, the understanding of this is especially liberating. “In the fullness of time” can also be applied to our individual lives. This goes along with the Scripture that says, “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called to His purposes.” How is this possible? It is because we are in the hands of the One, not only who died to free us of sin, but also never takes His eyes off us because He has promised to bring us through life in this fallen world and into the promises of our inheritance in Him. How can we possibly lose?? No matter what things look like, fellow sojourner, trust Him and His unfailing promises! You were picked by Him to live in this day and time. It wasn’t by a cosmic accident. God’s sovereign hand was in it!
The comments above must be meant for someone reading this update today because my preliminary comments were going to go in a different direction entirely. God knows…!
Now to the House of Blessing…
The reader might remember that I had asked special prayer for the HOB missionaries because another threat has made itself known again. Turkey’s President Erdogan has initiated “Operation Claw Sword” which in simple terms is designed to clear the border between Turkey and its southern neighbors, Syria and Iraq. Erdogan says he intends to clear out the terrorists but also open the way for refugees to repatriate back into their original homelands. Millions of refugees have been located in Turkey for over a decade now. Where would they go, considering the chaotic conditions in Syria and northern Iraq is a good question? That’s a good question. The area Erdogan wants cleared out is basically occupied by the Kurdish people and of course their military. The Kurds have no official land of their own, even though they number in the millions. There are of course also large numbers of refugee camps to the south of the border with Turkey, consisting of those who chose to stay just south of the border, either by force or choice. Most all refugees were driven to where they are due to the Arab Spring which began nearly 12 years ago.
The largest city in Syria, Aleppo, is located roughly 30 miles (50 km) south of the border with Turkey. Both Aleppo and Idlib City have experienced a great deal of violence between Syrian forces, Turkish forces, Russian military forces, and innumerable rebel groups, Islamic insurgents, and militias. Bombings of civilian inhabited areas have been frequent, as have chemical weapons attacks, resulting in large numbers of dead and injured.
In my last conversation with Pastor R, he told me of two HOB missionary men, Ali and Hasan, who were next to a building when a helicopter gun-ship opened fire on them. Not only were the HOB missionary men killed, but also three other people; one man and two women, who were talking with them. One minute they were alive and conversing, the next they had crossed into eternity. Ali and Hasan will never suffer again, but what was the condition of the other three at the time of death? Only God knows.
Because a life can be snuffed out so quickly, the HOB missionaries continue to work day and night to reach as many with the Good News of the Gospel as they can. Not only does no one know if they will be alive at the end of the day, but the human race itself is facing the end of the age. Some might argue the fact, but all we need to do is look at how Jesus described the culmination of events we would see just before His return. Everything He foretold is happening right before our very eyes. Some of us need to wake up!!
The missionary teams continue to share what supplies they have. Most of the time it is some Oregano tea mix. But, they share the medicinal tea and spend at least ½-1 hour in each family tent before moving on to the next. Much prayer over the family members, many questions answered, and many praying the sinner’s prayer. God is good!
Readers will remember the story of the woman Sara and her full-term baby who had succumbed to cholera. The story which you can find in our November 22, 2022 update, told how the missionary women laid hands on her and prayed over her right in front of her husband, other family members, and a couple dozen or so mourners. Seeing Sara and then her full-term baby delivered totally healthy after being dead for hours and even a grave already having been dug, has brought at least 55 families to the feet of Jesus already. That number will grow!
Once again…”in the fullness of time” God fulfilled what He had intended for that date and time, since before the foundations of the earth were even laid. That is our GOD!
The missionary teams visited and prayed with at least 1,700 tents full of people since our last update. We have heard tell how hell is enlarging itself these days, but we’re also hearing how the kingdom of God is growing by leaps and bounds! Praise God!
Pastor R continues to struggle with physical issues but never stops praying for those who come to him. And, God continues to sustain him so he can continue. Please continue to pray for him, all of the HOB missionaries, and the large House of Blessing community of believers scattered all across the Mideast. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!
The need is of course great. 2,000 Bibles are needed and supplies of all kinds. The majority of the refugees have little. HOB is doing everything it can do to supply them with essentials and of course the Word of God. It is bearing much fruit!
Thank you for all your prayers and those that were able to help HOB meet at least a portion of the great need represented among so many. Only God is big enough to meet such a vast need but we pray and trust Him to make the way. We serve an awesome God!
Forever in His Service,