I was very glad to hear from Pastor R a couple days ago. Many have asked about his status. It appears that the results of his surgery are so far proving to be positive. He is however still in the hospital as the hospital staff is tending to his many other wounds received when he, Youssef and Rahdi were initially attacked. He has been fighting a low grade fever due to some infection in these wounds. He is being given some potent antibiotics to help him fight the infections. But, as always, he is upbeat and knows that it is only because of God’s sovereign will he is still here. Apparently, he has not completed his course yet.
An interesting part of today’s storyline involving Pastor R’s stay at the hospital is what is happening while he is there recuperating. He told me that he has had the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with two of the nurses. Both of them have now become believers and are making it a point to take good care of him!
But, the story continues…
I wrote about Youssef and Rahdi’s widows that were abducted by a group of Hezbollah militants, along with their five young children. Pastor R told me that one of the widows, Nevean’s father, a man named Muhammed and some others came to see him in the hospital. Muhammad, as a very committed Muslim, was very angry upon his arrival. He demanded to know exactly what had happened to his daughter. It took a little while to calm Muhammad down but in time Pastor R was able to share with him the eye witness account he had been given of the abduction.
Of course, the subject of Nevean’s belief in Jesus and He being the true Messiah came up. Pastor R told Muhammad that no matter what happens, his daughter and her good friend Sherin and their children are in the hands of Jesus. They could not be in more capable hands, no matter where they were. even iff they were to lose their lives, they would instantly be in God’s heaven. In time, as Nevean’s father was able to digest what Pastor R shared with him, his anger began to subside. He then began to ask questions about Nevean’s belief in Jesus and why she believed He was the true Messiah. Muhammad then asked Pastor R to help him understand God the way he did. So, for over the next six hours or more, Pastor R shared the Gospel with him. After listening for those many hours, Muhammad decided it was time for him to become a believer and follower of Jesus for himself!
Pastor R then added as he told me the story over the phone, that those who had come with Muhammad were his wife, two more daughters and at least a couple more young men. They all prayed the sinner’s prayer and became followers of Jesus that very day! Pastor R had a few Bibles with him at the hospital and sent a couple home with Muhammad and his family when they left. Before leaving, Muhammad asked if he would be allowed to come visit him at least one more time in the hospital. Pastor told him he would always be welcome, and come as often as he liked.
After I had scratched a few quick notes down of our phone conversation, I asked Pastor R if there had been any news of Nevean or Sherin but he said no one had heard or seen anything of them to this point. Please continue to hold these brave servants of the Lord and their children up in prayer.
As has been the case at other times, Pastor R has been able to have HOB leaders come into the hospital and plan the work of the ministry of the House of Blessing. He has gathered with as many as 25-30 men. As always, no matter what difficulties have presented themselves, the work of the missionaries continues. While in the hospital, as usual, there are always at least one or two male missionaries who sleep in the same room as Pastor R, just to make sure someone does not come in with the intent to harm him. It has happened before.
Through the generosity of God’s people, HOB was able to purchase 1,000 Bibles and another truckload of wheat sacks. These are being distributed to the most needy, as the Gospel is shared from tent to tent.
Omar and those with him were able to reach at least 250 entire families with the Gospel and also share their mixture of Oregano tea with them. To this day, it is still doing wonders with people suffering with all kinds of illnesses. It’s one of God’s many mysteries!
Mufiedah and her crew were able to share the Gospel of Jesus and pray with 180 families. Ibrahim and those ministering with him did the same with an additional 85 families, providing them some food and also Bibles. Adel and Abed another 60 families and in Western Iran, HOB leaders Sahbanber and Mortadah, along with their workers brought another 25 families into the Kingdom of God. Communion services are continuing wherever they are able to gather. This of course includes Hafezah and Feriel who are gathering with at least 30 believers at a time. They do this five times a day to make access for as many as possible. The same is being done with Fatima and Mariam. They gather with about 25 at a time and also offer communion services five times per day. There are of course communion celebrations all over the Mideast. I only get word of a few of them. It is the same with ministry teams. HOB has at least 2,000 missionaries, all of them living by faith.
Before finishing our quick phone call the other morning, Pastor R told me that the classes for the 480+ former Islamic State militants are going very well. Mass copies are continuing to be made of teaching materials that have been made available over the past few years. These men are very serious in their studies. I was told that they are being instructed up to 12 hours per day. That sounds like a group of very committed men! Praise God for His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and the power of the Blood of Jesus to change hearts!
God is good!
In closing, please continue to pray for the work of the House of Blessing and support as you can. The needs are enormous, but so it the harvest. The people are being reached with the love of God by the multitudes!
Forever in His Service,