I find myself turning to John 14:1-3 more and more these days as a counterbalance to the supply of bad news available through the news services on a daily basis. This is how these three verses read:
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
In the sixth verse we find a qualifier; a verse that tells us who it is and who it is not that the Messiah is coming back to receive unto Himself. This verse, in fact, is one that offends many people in our world today because it contradicts the beliefs of many religious organizations and their leadership. Jesus said this:
…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Today, this is seen as rather narrow-minded. I agree. It is absolutely narrow-minded, but with every right to be. Many claim to be a messiah; some even say they are the Messiah. Yet, none of them proved to be God walking in the sandals of a man. None of them carried the authority Yeshua did, and, none of them rose from the dead. Yet, Yeshua did, and it was witnessed by hundreds of people. He has the right to be narrow-minded because He is the only One that was, and is, GOD.
This is the message that the House of Blessing missionaries are passing on every waking hour of every day. The responses coming in by the hundreds, often thousands, and on a weekly basis are genuine. Where are all these believers? They are scattered everywhere, just as the early Church was scattered. We find the same in other locations in this world. Wherever the followers of Jesus grow in number, they scatter and touch the lost wherever they happen to end up.
NOTE: Photos used do not necessarily connect to the stories shared in this blog. Some do and some are from current files of the news coming out of the Middle East.
In the Middle East, the chaos is so great, that many millions have been misplaced. It is the same with the Christians. Some of the Christians have managed to get out of the Mideast, many have not. The Christians have moved from their homes, either because they have been bombed out, forced out, or they just left out of fear for their lives. There are no accurate numbers for those who have lost their lives, but, just in Syria alone, some human rights organizations number the dead at well over half a million since the Syrian Civil War began. There are many thousands of Christians that have either been casualties of war, were murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ, starved to death, or died from exposure to the elements.
To many, an update like this is depressing to read, and so may be avoided. This however, is the reality on the ground today in the Middle East, and since they are our Christian brethren, we must not abandon them in their plight. The importance of our involvement with these missionaries doubtless will not be fully known until we have all arrived in the presence of our Messiah Himself.
This last week has once again seen partial ceasefires begin, fail, and begin again. Many people were killed while trying to access the free-passage corridors. Some of the terrorist entities were not on the same page, as far as the corridor provision was concerned, and took advantage of the opportunity to ambush unprotected civilians. Some of the militants went as far as to burn empty buses that had been assigned to transport civilians out of eastern Aleppo. U.S. ambassador Samantha Power said following the siege of eastern Aleppo, that there have been “many, many reports of people being pulled off buses and disappeared, whether into conscription or into torture chambers or killed outright.” The UN however doesn’t know anything for sure because it has not been there.
According to Pastor R, at least one large group tried to escape north in the direction of Turkey but didn’t make it. They were caught by Hezbollah and it’s not clear what has become of them. In the middle of all this are the House of Blessing missionaries. They intervene in any way they can, but the supplies are so meager that the best they can do is give them the Good News of the love of God expressed through the Messiah, Yeshua. As said earlier, the response has been enormous, and will continue to be so.
Fatwa (who stepped in to take leadership of the Widow Sisterhood when Mufidah was injured) was able to minister healing to fifteen badly injured people. Each one was also led into the Kingdom of God, through the Blood of Jesus. Mufidah, although still quite weak, was able to minister the same to another eight. God is good! The communion services which Hafezah has been leading had at least 1,100 people attending this last week. What a miracle this continues to be! The Lord used Sister Sarah to bless at least 220 with her miracle testimony and teaching. God is using this wonderful woman who experienced such grief when her three children were blown to pieces by a bomb. God has taken what the enemy intended for great evil and has turned it into a blessing for many hundreds of people since!
The winter weather is continuing to add to the great challenges the people are facing. Well over 400 tents have been blown down. Many of them have come down repeatedly and are difficult to keep fastened securely. The missionaries are well experienced at this by now and are doing everything possible, but sometimes, the only thing that can be done is squeeze more people into the already very crowded tents. Without some shelter, it is almost impossible for people to be able to survive. It is now very wet, muddy, windy, and cold.
The greatest miracle witnessed in the last few days is the fact that in the middle of all this great chaos in northern Syria, HOB missionaries were able to bring at least 700 more souls into the Kingdom of God! Bodily healing is a great miracle to witness but the spiritual turnaround through the sacrifice provided by the Lamb of God, is the greatest of all!
In Fallujah, Iraq, another 240 souls were reached. There are a great many civilians again that have lost their lives this last week. There are always HOB missionaries and new believers included in the number of dead. The most heart-wrenching is always the children. Always more children that have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sister Fatima was able to serve communion to at least 800 people this last week. I can’t even imagine how they manage to pull off such miracles…but then, it isn’t Fatima, or those aiding her that are doing this, but God Himself. In the middle of chaos, killing, death, sickness, and every form of evil, He gathers His own together and anoints them with power and wisdom from on high! He heals, strengthens, and gives hope that cannot be found on this earth. God is good!!
In the city of Mosul, Iraq, Akram and Mustafa and those working with them continue giving every ounce of their strength to the work of the ministry. Here also, the numbers of the dead include many missionaries and new believers. Sadly, there were 140 of them! But, they are now in the presence of their Lord and Master and they will never suffer again.
Again, the greatest miracle of all, is the salvation of souls. In the Mosul area this last week, there were over 1,800 reached! Think about this…One thousand eight hundred brand new believers. These are people who were facing an eternity without God. Now, no matter what happens to them, they will spend a glorious eternity walking and talking with the very One that created them! What a miracle!
The 56 widows that are going through a restoration are all gaining in strength and gradually being freed of the fear and effects of the horrors they went through while in the captivity of ISIS. As “worthless” sex slaves, they endured things that most cannot even imagine. God however has brought them all together, and in an environment of grace, love, patience, and the love of God flowing from the people who are giving of their own lives to care for them. There is a financial need however to keep them supplied as they are completing the course set out for them. As with the other 26 widows a few months ago that went through the same, the Lord will restore them and use them to minister to women who have gone through what they have. There are no official numbers of how many there are, but the number is greater than we could imagine.
At this point in this update, I would like to pass on the testimony of something that just happened that is hard to even imagine. The reader might remember that there was a crucial need to bury 170 corpses that were quickly deteriorating and were starting to be consumed by animals. The Lord made it possible for HOB to rent a tractor once again, and as they were digging the big holes for mass burials and began to move the bodies, they found three that were miraculously still alive. These three had been lying with the dead, looking to be dead themselves, yet they had somehow survived no less than 5-7 days without any food or water. A human can survive quite a while without food but three days is the normal limit that a human can survive without any liquid. Not in this case! These three have now been put under the care of Sister Mufidah. They are in poor condition and have lost a great deal of blood, but are alive! God never does anything by accident, nor is it just chance with Him. Let’s see what it is that He has in mind for these three souls!! I don’t have names for them yet, but God knows who they are. We can pray for them now.
In closing, as you know, Pastor R has been praying for people by the hundreds every single day for a long time now. The people have nothing to put their hope in, but they know that a man of God lives in their midst, and so they don’t mind waiting in line for long periods of time, just for a chance to be prayed for. The other day, 25 of these poor souls collapsed while standing in line. The HOB missionaries working with Pastor R took the fallen ones and put them in a special location and gave them some bread and tea. This seemed to revive them enough temporarily until they could be helped more. These folks are now under the care of HOB and we pray that they will be back on their feet soon. These 25 are likely a good example of the condition most of these refugees are in at this desperate time. I am told that some of them are so desperate for food that they are trying to eat dust off the ground just to try and stay alive, but there is so much chemical residue everywhere, the little bit they have taken in has either killed them or made them gravely ill. This is the true situation on the ground in much of the Middle East today.
I want to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I also want to thank you all for your prayer and financial support. Every prayer makes a difference, and every donation makes a difference. Our God has been multiplying the finances, food, medicine, clothing, and His Word. As a result, there is a great multiplication of the souls saved. For those that have not had a part in this humble ministry, I would urge you to keep your spiritual ears open to the leading of the Spirit of God. Time has almost run out. The “Times of the Gentiles” is almost at its end. I pray that each one that reads these updates will be able to stand before the One that bought our freedom with His own Blood, and give a good account of what we have done with what He has blessed us with. Most of us are free, we are well supplied, and have had time, lots of time to be part of what God is doing on this earth today. If you haven’t, today is a great day to begin.
For those that ask on occasion, the best and quickest means of getting finances to the field is through PayPal, using my e-mail address. It is then in the hands of the HOB missionaries within a day or two at the most. This ministry does not have overhead like many ministries do. Virtually everyone is in the field and all are living totally by faith. There are no salaries, whatsoever.
In His Service,
House of Blessing; 3206 SW 45th Street; Redmond, Oregon USA 97756