As we find ourselves in the last days of February, 2021, most of us are already looking forward to spring. That is certainly the case in the Middle East, especially in the northern areas. I spoke with Pastor R just prior to the arrival of a snow storm and the House of Blessing missionaries were doing what they could to prepare for it and helping as many of those around them as they could.
Because they knew the storm was coming, HOB procured ten tractors and worked night and day, digging trenches for water run-off and burying as many of the dead as possible. It’s a huge job, considering that HOB is embedded with at least 169 of the refugee camps. Just the job of burying the dead involves hundreds of corpses, but they need to be gotten into the ground. There is no help coming from government sources, nor is there any from the UN. The tractors are also being used to help drive large tent stakes deep into the ground to try and stabilize them before the onslaught of the storm.
While all this is going on, the truck loads of wheat, beans, lintels, and other bulk supplies continue to be distributed. The missionary teams are also continuing to distribute the special tea mixture to refugees by the hundreds. Even though the missionaries are having to deal with hundreds of the dead, the effectiveness of the tea cannot be denied. Many who were at death’s door have recovered and are able to join in as volunteers to help others. The approximate numbers from the last report received from Pastor R are below. Keep in mind that these numbers do not represent the entire HOB community of believers. These are just the ones that usually report in.
Omar, Sami, Mussa and their helpers were able to help over 900, most of them being reached with the Gospel. They also had 160 dead to deal with in their location.
Mufiedah, Fadwa, Sarah and their helpers were able to reach about 500 women with the Gospel, praying for their sick, and sharing the special tea with them. The dead in their location needing burial numbered 60.
Adel, Abed and their volunteers ministered the Gospel and then prayed the sinner’s prayer with 150. They then distributed the tea to as many as possible. The dead in their location numbered 10.
Ibrahim and Abram and their team shared the Good News of the Gospel to many hundreds and then prayed with 420. As the other teams did, they distributed the tea mixture and helped stabilize tents and help bury their dead. There were 20 dead needing burial.
Sahbander and Mortadah have had a very hard go of it for a long time but were able to reach 15 families with the Gospel and provide them the special tea mixture. The dead numbered 10 in their location.
Fatima, Mariam, Hafezeh, and Ferial and those helping them are continuing with their communion services and are mixing the tea into the communion. All of them are continuing to offer this at least five times a day to between 15-20 each time.
Again, this is not a full accounting of what all is happening throughout the HOB community of believers but it at least gives the reader a sampling of what is happening.
Regular readers of these updates will remember the story of Pastor R’s 2 kilograms of rice which was prepared and then given out one spoonful per person. You’ll remember that each person was miraculously touched by the Spirit of God. Starting with over 500 people the first day and then right on through seven days in a row, each person was healed of any ailment they had, they experienced a supernatural joy of the Lord, and each person was totally satisfied as if they had eaten an entire meal. Pastor R told me that this miracle is continuing to happen just as it did the first seven days! How long will this go on? Only God knows! That 2 kilograms of rice has gone a very long way, indeed!
Do you believe in miracles? I hope so because those that are experiencing them will never be the same. Some of the greatest miracles seem to happen during some of the most desperate circumstances. Pastor R tells me that many of those who asked for prayer were literally on death’s door but God intervened. Praise God! Needless to say, there is great rejoicing and there is an abundance of praise and worship being offered to the Lord of Heaven! The rejoicing is so great that there is little care for what the weather is bringing upon them. They know God is in their midst.
I am sure the reader will also remember the story of Na’matte. If not, you will find the story in the Mideast Update dated January 15, 2021. Sister Mufiedah has found one of the HOB missionaries that has asked for Na’matte’s hand in marriage. As a result of this union, the three boys are back with their mother and are being welcomed by their new dad. I know many of us would say this sure happened fast, but, Mideast culture is not Western culture. Mufiedah felt that God intervened in a quick way for this young mother and her very unique circumstance with a dedicated Christian man who was quite willing to become an instant dad for three very needy young boys and their mother. God is good! We will continue to pray for the Lord’s complete healing for Na’matte. Pastor R asked me to thank you all for your prayers for Na’matte and the tragic and difficult situation she and her little boys were in. God heard your prayers!
As I come to the conclusion of today’s update, I would like to share some thoughts author Jonathan Cahn had written in his devotional, Book of Mysteries. He pointed out another multitude of tent dwellers. These tent dwellers were the Israelites and they were traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Israelites, as our HOB brethren, were also in a desert. Then there is yet another much larger multitude of tent dwellers, the people of God and they are scattered across the entire world. The thing we learn about tent dwelling is, it reminds us that everything is temporary. Everything in this life is! It doesn’t matter if we live in a literal tent or happen to live in houses built of wood, brick, or stone and set on a concrete foundation. They are all temporary. Houses get washed away or knocked down by storms all over the world every single day of the year!
This world is not the place we are going to stay. This is just the place we are traveling through. This is not our home. It’s the tent world and we are all just camping. Everything in our world is changing; politics, national leadership, the economy, all of our personal circumstances and situations, our experiences, and every stage of our life. They are all tents. Most of us live in one house and then eventually move on to another. Our childhood was a tent in which we dwelt and then we moved on. Our good times, our bad times, our successes and failures, our problems, our joys and sorrows, our adulthood, and our old age…they are all tents. Even our bodies are tents. They are constantly changing, and they are all in the process of deteriorating. The increasing frailty we experience is a powerful reminder of how temporary our earthly journey is. We are tent dwellers.
Where are we journeying to? For the child of God, it’s the journey HOME…the Promised Land…to Heaven…the place where we turn in our tents and exchange that which is temporary for that which is eternal; that which is corruptible to that which is incorruptible.
So…this means, whatever happens in this life, we need to remember that we are not home…we’re only passing through. Problems will pass and temptations will fade. So tread lightly! It’s not the scenery that will determine our lives, it’s not the circumstances. It’s where we’re going. We must keep our eyes focused and our hearts fixed on our destination…on the Promised Land. Until we arrive…we are just camping. We’re tent dwellers.
So, be encouraged and be ready. Our Messiah is at the door!!
Thank you all for your support and your prayers. God continues to hear the earnest prayers of His people and He answers those prayers! The needs of the House of Blessing are enormous but we serve a God who is able to multiply five loaves and two fish so that it feeds 5,000 men plus all the women and children. Now he has multiplied 4.5 pounds of rice to feed thousands, and He’s not finished…Praise God!
Forever in His Service,