Before I get into today’s Mideast Update, including another miraculous story of God’s grace and mercy, let’s look at a passage of Scripture in the book of Romans:

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth. And their words to the ends of the world.” Romans 10:14-18

One thing that is so amazing to me is how many people respond to the Good News of the Gospel, becoming believers and followers of Jesus Christ, in some of the most dangerous regions of the world. This includes the Middle East. 

Today’s update includes the continuing story of how the power of the love of God reaches the hearts of some of the most desperate people and changes their direction from having been hired murderers to followers of Jesus Christ. In two previous updates, the story was told of a man named Mahmoud who was reached with the Gospel after he had fatally stabbed a House of Blessing missionary named Rabha. As the story continued, a few of Mahmoud’s accomplices also became followers of the Messiah; then the man (whose name I found out was Talat) who had hired them to find Omar, one of HOB’s leaders, and either capture, or kill him was reached. Along with Talat, his four wives, eight hired men, and a doctor also committed their lives to Christ before Talat passed away from injuries he had received from an IED he had stepped on just days earlier. 

Now… Part Three…

After these events, Sami determined he needed to find the rest of the men who had been hired to murder Omar. Word came that the remaining nine men were holed up in a cave. Sami took Mahmoud and two other men and after about half a day’s walk, found them in the cave. When they stepped into the cave they found all the men sick, some of them violently ill. Some of them had the stomach flu, others intestinal flu and suffering with diarrhea, and the rest were said to have other serious medical issues. These men were in such bad shape that not one of them was capable of leaving the cave. When Mahmoud saw the condition they were in, he told Sami they should just leave them there to die. Problem solved! But, Sami looked at them through the eyes of Jesus.

Sami said that he figured that the Lord had slowed the men down so that they could not get to Omar, but now it was time to share the Good News of God’s love with them. God had not sent Sami and the others to condemn them to death but rather to share life with them. Jesus taught us to love our enemies! He then asked the men to go out and gather anything edible they could find in order to make a soup. Upon searching, they managed to find a couple onions, some spinach leaves, a couple apples, and a little rice and a few scraps of bread. 

They put it all together into a soup and heated it up over an open fire. After praying over the soup and asking the Lord to allow it to begin healing the men, Akram told the nine sick men the story of how their boss, Talat, had become a believer in Jesus Christ just before he passed into eternity. They were most shocked at hearing this story because they knew Talat quite well.  He then told the men, “Now it’s your time; it’s your day. You can live or die—with Him as your Savior, or alone! You choose!”

After hearing the plan of salvation explained to them, they asked how they could also be saved and each one of them was prayed with individually. The men then began to eat their soup and a little bread that Mahmoud and Sami had found. Within minutes, their bodies were strengthened and they began to feel better. They then asked if there was any way that they could be baptized. Because there was not a lot of water around, Sami and his helpers were only able to pour a little water over the heads of each man, but in faith, the best they were able to, they baptized each one of the men. The last I know of this story, the nine men were all still weak but gradually on the mend–all because of the grace of God and the love of Jesus demonstrated to them by the HOB missionaries. These men also expressed a desire to ask Omar’s forgiveness but that won’t be possible until Omar is back in the area. In the process of this whole story unfolding, Mahmoud, who himself had been a murderer and had experienced God’s wholesale forgiveness, saw the deep love of God in action—even with those that he thought were unsalvageable. God is good!

In all other areas the work of the House of Blessing missionaries and volunteers continues. The bloodshed continues and the seasonal weather is becoming more harsh so Mufiedah and the Widow Sisterhood are nearly overwhelmed with well over 600 that they are trying to aid. They also pray for hundreds and share the Good News of the Gospel to any that will listen. Others of the missionaries continue burying the dead and still others have been helping refugees rebuild over 500 tents that collapsed in the bad weather. 

Pastor Farid and those helping him continue praying for hundreds of people a day, as does Pastor R and those who work with him. The Lord continues to touch the people, not only by answering prayer for physical needs but also by providing encouragement and hope in a place where hope is very rare. The communion services which are attended by the hundreds also bring much encouragement, hope, and spiritual refreshing. 

The situation across the Mideast is not getting better. Chaos is spreading within several nations by way of protests and riots. Government forces, like those in Iraq and Iran, are responding with lethal force. There are some reports of as many as 800-900 or more protesters having already been shot to death, just in Iran. The same chaos and turmoil is found today in many countries around the world. The signs of the times are obvious. The build-up for a major war in the Mideast is becoming more obvious every day as well. The United States, Iran, and Israel are gearing up for something major. Great days of trouble are ahead as the human race finds itself on the very precipice of the end of the age. The return of our Messiah is very, very near. 

As has become traditional with the House of Blessing, as the missionaries share the Christmas story throughout the refugee camps, they try to meet as many of the physical needs as they are able. Blankets, coats, mattresses, wheat, and Bibles are all a great expression of the love of God to the refugees. Pastor R has asked if there would be those who might be able to help with this effort again this year. Please find the convenient PayPal button on the home page of this website. All funds go only to the missionary work of the House of Blessing. Thank You!

Forever in His Service,

Jake Geier      


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