It has been about two weeks since I wrote the last update. The deadly attack on the HOB School of Ministry about three weeks ago had left most everyone that was connected with it in shock. It was not the only attack of its kind that the House of Blessing has experienced over the years but, nonetheless, a very hard one to bear.
The House of Blessing is grateful for all your prayers and your support, especially this past three weeks. The Lord has stepped in and intervened as only He can. I am reminded of the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. In Genesis 50:20 we find these words by Joseph to his brothers who had sold him into slavery:
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
In Romans 8:28 we find these words:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Many of the things we experience in life as believers are hard to bear and most often, we don’t understand the sense in it all. Many times we even question God, wondering where He was when it was all coming down on our heads. God, however, doesn’t miss a thing and, whether we see it or understand it, He is weaving all things together for His perfect sovereign plan to be fulfilled.
Once again, three weeks ago, it seems that lives fully committed to serving God were cut short. We wonder how this could fit into God’s plan. What could have been accomplished if they had been allowed to complete their schooling and join the ranks of the HOB missionaries. To many, the gospel is a waste. Even the life of Jesus is seen as tragically “cut short.” Just think what He could have accomplished if He had lived longer. We have young people who commit themselves to Christian service and people wonder why they squandered their lives when they could possibly have achieved great things for the betterment of mankind. The fruit of the kingdom however is not usually visible to those outside of it.
There are many historical biographies of missionaries who had committed themselves to a lifetime of service in Christian ministry but had their lives cut short—many of them very early in life. David Brainard who had committed himself to living in the forests among the native Indians of the American Northeast. His health deteriorated and he died at a young 29 years old. He only had a handful of converts to show for his time among the natives. Yet, his diary was read by others and they were inspired to go into mission fields. Another young man, named William Borden, graduated from Yale before going to Egypt as a 25 year old missionary. He died of cerebral meningitis within weeks of arriving. History now records thousands who were moved to action by his eternal values. Of course, then we have the example of Jesus Christ. His ministry only lasted a short 3 ½ years. What more could He have accomplished if He had lived longer? In God’s plan, 3 ½ years was what was required, and the Kingdom of God today continues to grow exponentially. Did David Brainard minister long enough to accomplish God’s purposes? Did William Borden? God’s answer is, yes and yes! How about the 28 HOB missionaries whose lives were cut short by ISIS militants on May 25th? It is a tragedy because 28 widows and 81 children were left behind, but was God on holiday when this happened? Where was God when over 5,000 of HOB missionaries have been martyred in the last ten years? They have joined the ranks of the martyrs under the Great Altar of Incense before God’s throne. Soon, the prayers of these martyred saints will be mixed with hot coals from the Altar and thrown down upon the earth and God’s vengeance will poured out as He judges a wicked, murderous Christ-rejecting world.
To you and I, we have times of feeling weak, worn out, insignificant, and often powerless to change our circumstances or of those around us we love, but God would remind us that though “small”, with the Spirit of God within us, we have a huge, mostly unseen, impact. The world can’t see the value of our commitment to the Lord and often, neither can we. Yet, God takes what may seem “wasted efforts”” in the eyes of the world and accomplishes things beyond the greatest of mankind’s achievements because of their eternal value. Don’t be discouraged if your faithful service to God has unapparent results. Little is much when God is in it!
Onward with the House of Blessing…
It was just a couple weeks ago that an urgent update was sent out asking for special prayer. Many of the HOB missionaries were being plagued by fear and discouragement. In this update the need of the 28 widows and their combined 81 children was also put before you. In response to your prayers God in His mercy touched the hearts of the missionaries and although, some had doubted their ability to go on as they had, their hearts have once again been encouraged and they intend to finish what God has called them to.
About a week ago, 20 of the 28 widows have decided to take the places of their murdered husbands and are taking the same Bible School courses they had been. The remaining 8 have taken on the responsibilities of caring for the 81 children while their mothers are studying and being trained. These women have great courage. Please pray for them!
Also, the Lord made it possible for Omar, Sami, and Mussa to purchase supplies for all the widows and children, including tents, blankets, mattresses, and other necessities. They were also able to order two truckloads of wheat sacks, ½ load of beans, ½ load of tomato puree, ½ load of olive oil, and ½ load of rice sacks. They were also able to purchase 200 Bibles.
The HOB missionaries were able to travel to at least 20 refugee camps and on the celebration of Pentecost Sunday, provide a feast in each camp for the most needy. In each of the camps, people came in great numbers. As they ate what was provided, God multiplied the available food. The more people came, the more the food multiplied! As a result of this, a great many learned what the celebration of Pentecost Sunday was all about. The harvest of souls on that day was very great! This work continued many days afterward. God is good!!
Supplies were also distributed among the HOB leadership so that they could help as many families as possible. Reports came in from several areas telling of at least 400 desperate families who were helped. Almost all of these were also reached with the Good News of the Gospel.
If I were to be able to put everything into words that is happening behind the scenes today among the House of Blessing community of believers, it would make for a very long update! The harvest today is coming in very quickly. Time is running out for the Age of Grace. Jesus is coming SOON!
Please continue to pray for Pastor R. His battles with headaches and pains in his stomach continue. We would all like to see him totally healed of all this, and only God really knows what is going on with his body, but it is our task to keep lifting him up to the throne of grace. God has given him the strength to continue this long and He will meet his needs until his task has been completed. That is the case with all of us. Take heart, my friends! God is in control.
Forever in His Service,