As nearly the entire world is having to deal with the Coronavirus, so is the House of Blessing. In every nation of the Middle East that the HOB missionaries are ministering, there are numbers of the missionaries, volunteers, and many of the HOB community of believers that are struggling with the disease. Just a few of the names that we have become so familiar with over the past years are: Sami, Omar, Musa, Mufieda, Fatwa, Sarah, Taher, Shaher, and Adel. There are of course a great many more. There is no number available for how many of the HOB community itself are afflicted right now.
In my latest phone call from Pastor R, he let me know that he now also has the virus and has in fact, had it for several days. We pray that the Lord might limit the effects on him–especially in light of all the things that he has gone through in the past.
Although Omar, Sami, and Musa have come down with the virus, the 350 missionaries that they oversee are continuing to minister to the multitudes. Since the last update, these 350 have been able to reach about 2,500 refugees with the Good News of the Gospel.
The same can be said of Mufiedah, Fatwa, and Sarah. Although they have all three come down with the virus, the 135 working under them were able to reach about 750 with the Gospel.
Pastor R told me that Adel also, in spite of having the virus, is overseeing 30 who have been able to reach about 250 in the last few days.
Others like Hafezeh, Fatima, and Mariam continue to have communion services for all those who so desire. Because meeting in large groups has become so dangerous, Hafezeh has been limiting her groups to 20, but she has been doing this five times every day. Fatima and Mariam have limited their groups to 15 at a time, but they have also been holding five communion services per day.
In Western Iran, Sahbander and Mortadah’s HOB community has gotten hit very hard. They had already had dozens succumb to the virus before the last Mideast Update and as of this update have at least 120 of their community sick with the virus. On a good note however, three of the families who had been very ill last time, including about 36 people in all, are now free of the disease.
With the virus having taken such a strong hold of the populations of the Mideast, the constant warring between different factions has lessened some. The reprieve, unfortunately, will only prove to be temporary.
Of course, as always, the needs of the House of Blessing are great. But, we trust the Lord of the Harvest to meet these needs as He sees fit. I am reminded of a passage of Scripture written by the Apostle Paul in which he said:
10 How grateful I am and how I praise the Lord that you are helping me again. I know you have always been anxious to send what you could, but for a while you didn’t have the chance. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; 13 for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. 14 But even so, you have done right in helping me in my present difficulty. Philippians 4:10-13
In conclusion, please keep the House of Blessing and all of their thousands of missionaries, volunteers, and the great multitude of underground believers belonging to the HOB community of Christ followers. Thank you all.
Forever in His Service,