I would like to begin this update by saying thank you to the many readers who have followed this story, some from the very beginning of this project at the end of March 2012. It has been an incredible saga, a story that can only be told in its fullness when we find ourselves in the presence of our Messiah, Jesus Christ.
I also want to thank all those who have given as the Lord has laid it on your hearts. For many, it has been done sacrificially. The Bible tells us that detailed records are kept in Heaven and one day soon, the books will be opened. God records both our attitudes and our giving as He has prompted us while on this earth. There are many Scriptures having to do with our sharing with those in need. One that is rather pointed is found in Matthew 25:35-40:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)
Then in Luke 6:38 we find these words:
Give and it shall be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it shall be measured back to you. (ESV)
One additional passage I would like to share today is found in Proverbs 19:17:
Whoever is generous to the poor, lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (ESV)
In my weekly call this morning from Pastor R*****, I found that House of Blessing was hit particularly hard again this last week. In one of the mission locations in Iraq 25 missionaries and believers were gathered together when they were attacked. All 25 lost their lives. One of the men was able to leave a small note on site before he died, telling what had happened. One of the Christian leaders found the note. Apparently, these folks were attacked by a combination of jihadists. Some of them belonged to ISIS, others were Iraqi soldiers, and possibly members of al Qaeda. As I have mentioned before, there are at least 30 terrorist groups roaming across Iraq and Syria.
Pastor R***** told me this morning that another 17 were martyred in Syria also. It is very difficult for those who do not live in such brutal and desperate circumstances to comprehend life as it has to be lived in the Mideast today. Yet, these missionaries and new believers face these circumstances day after day. They live trusting the Lord to give them one day at a time which they use to share the love of God with people who have never heard of any such thing.
The men as well as the women live entirely by faith. God supplies their food, clothing, Bibles, blankets, and mattresses through one means or another. Most often mattresses are shared with others so that everyone has a few hours to sleep with at least a little bit of comfort.
During the past days, as many supplies as possible were shared with everyone possible. Many Muslim people learned the real reason for the season of Christmas. Many hundreds were reached across the Mideast as a result of the gifts that were given out. The Widow Sisterhood that we’ve written about so often is also still ministering with great effectiveness. Even though over 20 of them were murdered just recently, they keep right on serving God. Of the hundreds they have reached in the last week or two, a great many of them were as near as 15 minutes from death as the widows helped them pray for forgiveness of their sins. As they did, their names were recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we will meet every single one of them very soon in the presence of the Messiah.
There are continued miracles happening every single day as well. Quite a number of the new believers who were injured were prayed for and God healed them. Others went home to be with their loving Creator.
As I end this short update, I would ask for continued earnest prayer for all of the House Of Blessing missionaries, of which there are just over 500 right now, and the many thousands of new believers. There is always a need for more Arabic Bibles. There is right now also a great need for coats, blankets, and mattresses. There are still coats that can be purchased for $5 each. About $2,550 came in last week toward this need. Praise God for His continued blessing. Roughly $3,000 is needed to purchase the balance of coats available. There is a storm coming in by Wednesday this coming week and many of the missionaries, widows, and orphans do not have winter coats, nor do they have any way of getting any without outside help.
Thank you for your prayers and support for this mission. May God richly bless each one.