In Luke 10, we find these words:
1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves…” Luke 10: 1-3
As of today, about a third of the Muslim month of Ramadan has passed. The work of evangelism by the House of Blessing missionaries has followed much the same pattern as described in the passage of Scripture above. Although there are still large gatherings, and will be more before the month is over, most of the sharing of the Good News of the Gospel is being done by small teams going from tent to tent in the refugee camps. About one hour is being spent at each tent. A limited number of Bibles are available but each Bible is distributed so that it can be shared by groups of new believers. Also, using teaching materials available to the HOB missionaries, they are able to share the Good News of who Jesus really is, the true story and meaning of the crucifixion and His resurrection, as well as His imminent return as Messiah and sovereign GOD / KING over this fallen planet.
Pastor R said the harvest truly is great and every hour tents full of people are coming to recognize Jesus as Savior and inviting Him to be Lord in their lives by praying the sinner’s prayer. This is happening all across the Mideast with each of the main HOB leaders sending out small teams of two or three in every direction. I won’t go into the individual statistics in this quick update but just from the leaders that are regularly able to check in with Pastor R, nearly 600 families have been reached with the Gospel since the previous update.
Pastor R told me the story of an incident that happened in the last few days. I pass this story on to you as accurately as I am able:
As I understand it, Sisters Sarah and Fadwa were approached by a man who begged them to come and pray for his wife whom he said had been sick for a while and was now dying. The missionaries have learned to include prayer in everything they do and this was no exception. Being convinced that God had something to do with the man finding them, they went with him to his wife. As soon as they saw her, they knew he had told them the truth. Indeed, she was at death’s door. Sarah and Fadwa then prayed for the woman and in a little while she began to show some life. They then gave her some of the Oregano tea mixture HOB has been sharing with many thousands of refugees. After she had been able to drink it, they prayed for her again. As they did, the Lord totally healed her and set her free of whatever it was that was killing her. The husband of course was stunned and visibly shaken when he saw what happened. He said he had never ever seen anything like this in his lifetime!
After celebrating his wife’s obvious healing, he asked if Sarah and Fadwa would consider praying for four men that he knew who were also very sick. Instead of the two women going, this time they asked Omar and Sami to go to see the men.
Omar and Sami went with the man to see his four friends and sure enough, they were also very sick. As they began to talk with the sick men, asking them some questions, they learned that they had been sick for several weeks. They had not been able to sleep; they were having horrible nightmares; and they were afraid they were going to die. They then said that they had done terrible things and wondered if God could ever forgive them. When Omar questioned them about what they had done, they said that they had killed a number of HOB missionaries, and they had done it for sport. They were seen as heroes by their Muslim friends because it was only infidels that they had tortured and killed. They said that they had also beaten and raped one of the HOB missionary women. It was after they had done these things that their sleep became torturous and, whereas they had been seen as heroes to their Muslim friends, they were now seen as total losers. Omar asked them how many missionaries they had killed and they ashamedly told him that they had killed 16 of the missionaries. As more and more details were shared, it was revealed that the woman that they had beaten and raped was Sister Sarah. Regular readers of the Mideast Updates will likely remember the terrible trauma Sarah went through and her difficult recovery process.
The men again asked, “Would God forgive men like us, who are guilty of such gruesome things?” Omar and Sami, having had to deal with many situations very much like this, said that God will forgive but their repentance must be a 100% repentance because they are dealing with the one and only real GOD, and He knows all hearts. They must recognize this and if their repentance is genuine, God will forgive them and help them become new creations just like the Bible says. Omar and Sami then led them in the sinner’s prayer and God’s grace once more set the lost on a brand new path. Then they prayed that the Lord would heal them. And He did!
The next step was for Omar and Sami to speak with Sarah. It was a good thing that Sarah had asked Omar to go in her place. When she was told the whole story of what the men had admitted to and all else that had transpired, she said, “If these men have honestly repented before God and He has forgiven them and set them back on their feet, who am I to withhold my forgiveness from them. Let the past stay in the past and let this be a new day.” Grace received and grace given!
For those of us in the West, we might not be able to capture the significance of a story like the one above. Murder and rape are wrong, no matter where in the world it happens. In the West, we have laws that put people like this in prison. In other cultures, this is not necessarily the case. Islam, for instance, allows—and often encourages— rape and murder (and more) of infidels just because they do not adhere to the Muslim faith. This is why the men were seen as heroes among their friends. This is how these men were raised to believe. This is only a sample of how twisted religious theology can get when a belief system is inspired by demons. The Bible warns us of “doctrines of demons.” Islam is not alone when it comes to false and godless teachings.
In conclusion, thank you all for your prayers and support of the House of Blessing. God has chosen to connect people from around the world in this ‘end of the age’ evangelistic effort. It is no coincidence or accident that any of you have been drawn into this great harvest effort. Praise God!
Forever in His Service,