As most know by this time, the death toll from the great February 6 quake is inching closer to 50,000 every day. The latest count I have been able to find is 47,244. That is a combined death count between Turkey and Syria. At least 164,000 buildings were destroyed. Many of the House of Blessing missionaries have joined those trying to locate the rest of the dead under the rubble.
Suleiman, his sons, and those working with him, uncovered the bodies of 8 girls, 14 boys, 18 women, and 34 men just prior to my receiving Pastor R’s call. Suleiman asked for prayers. He said there is no describing the gruesomeness of what they are having to pull out of the rubble. Not only are the bodies torn apart in the rubble, but because of the amount of time that has passed, the bodies are decomposing. The men have been working about 20 hours per day.
The work is also very dangerous due to the many aftershocks. Some of these aftershocks are quite strong and can cause additional collapses of the already badly damaged structures. Again, the prayers of God’s people are very much appreciated!
In addition to the search for the remains of trapped casualties, Suleiman and those working with him were able to distribute mattresses, blankets, wheat sacks and other supplies. With the teams of missionaries, including Mufieda, Sarah, Fadwa, Adel, Muhammad, Ibrahim, Akram, Sahbandar, Mortadah, and the large number of volunteers helping them, HOB was able to supply (or at least partially supply) about 20,000 refugees with some life-saving necessities. As I explained in my previous update, supplies coming into Syria from other nations around the world are not getting to the northern parts of Syria. Independent journalists on the ground report that the Assad regime takes complete control of all incoming aid and refuses to distribute anything to the northern part of the nation because the rebel forces are located in the north. This leaves millions of refugees without the aid they need. As the Lord has made it possible, the House of Blessing has distributed as far as their supplies will reach. God has been merciful and the supplies have often been multiplied. Praise God!
In my last update, I mentioned that Sami and Mussa finally succumbed to the cholera virus. Their bodies have been buried, but the real Sami and Mussa are now with their Lord and Master, Jesus! Omar is still quite sick with cholera and is now in a clinic. Let’s pray that he will finally be able to overcome the disease.
Pastor R said that the Lord has done an amazing thing for him. The Lord has given him a special anointing of Holy Spirit “fire” as he prays for the many who seek him out. He meets with 8-10 groups a day asking him for prayer. He has prayed God’s encouragement and Holy Spirit anointing on them and told them to go minister to the people even if they have no supplies to distribute. He is telling them, if they don’t go, who will? It sounds like they are being sent out just the way the apostles Peter and John went out on the day of Pentecost. When the lame man called out to them, they told him they had no silver or gold to give him but they carried the power of the Name of Jesus with them. With that power, the man was healed and we know the rest of the story we have read many times in Acts 3.
Pastor R said these are times of great fear for the people but it is also an excellent time to minister the eternal truths of God’s Word to the people. There is only one answer for our fallen world, and that is God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the one and only true Messiah! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Thank you all for your prayers and support for the House of Blessing.
Forever in His Service,