In my last call from Pastor R, he shared a couple of miraculous stories with me to pass on. But, before I do, I would like to refer to a Scripture found in 2 Peter:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

For those who have been reading these Mideast Updates for any length of time, you will have read many stories of God’s astounding grace and forgiveness. When we become true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, not only are our sins forgiven and eradicated from God’s record books, but we are also made joint-heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom of God. I am however afraid that many of us, particularly in the West who have been raised with a Christian upbringing tend to take this for granted. But, for those who have lived the kind of life that Islamic militants have been trained to live—many of them since early childhood, the extravagance of God’s mercy and forgiveness is recognized and highly cherished. 

As you might remember, just a short time ago, Pastor R, Youssef, and Rahdi had been attacked and severely injured by Hezbollah militants. After a short stay in the hospital, Youssef and Rahdi went back to the tent the three men had been staying in. Once again they were attacked by the same group of militants. This time, they shot both men to death, telling them that they had been warned and they ignored their warning. The next chapter of this story was when 20-30 Hezbollah militants abducted both of the men’s widows and young children. Neither Nevean, nor Sherin, or their children have been seen since. The story then continued with Nevean’s very angry father and family coming to confront Omar about what had happened to his daughter. After about six hours of talking, Nevean’s father, Muhammad, his wife, two more daughters, and a couple young men decided to turn their back on Islam and became believers in Jesus. This family went back home and even though suffering due to what has happened with their daughter and grandchildren, now had a living relationship with Jesus, the soon to return Messiah.

This brings us to the next part of the story…

It turns out that Muhammad, who is now doing quite well in his brand new walk with Jesus, knows Sherin’s father. He approached Omar and asked if they could go visit him so that they would be aware of what happened to her daughter and grandchildren. After talking it over, Omar agreed it would be a good thing to do. It took them about a six hour walk to get there. When they went inside, they found Nayef (Sherin’s father), Zuhra (her mother) and all three children tied up, hands and feet, and lying on the floor beaten and bloodied. After untying them and giving them some water, Muhammad and Omar were told that a group of Hezbollah militants had done this. All five of them had been severely beaten, tied up, and left to die, with no food or water. As they walked away, Nayef said that their captors had laughed at them as they left, knowing that they had sentenced them to a very cruel death. That had been 2-½ days ago. Muhammad and Omar had barely gotten there in time to save their lives. 

After giving them food and more water and attending to their wounds, Muhammad told them what had happened to Sherin and Nevean. After what the family had just gone through, hearing about the abduction only brought more tears. 

In time, Muhammad, along with Omar’s help began slowly tell Nayef and his family about Jesus. After a few hours of sharing with them, the entire family decided to become followers of Jesus as well. Omar then led them in the sinner’s prayer. It will be interesting to see how God uses these brand new followers in Jesus in the days ahead!

Pastor R then preceded to tell me the other story…

Sisters Mufiedah, Fadwa, and Sarah had been sharing Jesus and ministering to a multitude of people. As Mufiedah was doing so, she ran across two women lying on the ground motionless. Both women were pregnant. After checking for signs of life, Mufiedah was able to confirm that both were dead. She then got some help and both bodies were moved to an empty cave where they would bury them. 

As Mufiedah and her help were prepared to dig the graves, she heard a very distinct voice, seemingly coming right out of the air above her head, telling her not to bury them but to anoint them with oil and pray over them. So, she got the oil and after applying it to the first woman’s head, she began to pray over her. Mufiedah said it felt like electricity went through her as she laid her hands on the woman. It didn’t take long until the woman opened her eyes and sat up. This happened in front of a group of HOB missionaries and volunteers. After praying for the first woman, Mufiedah did the same with the second woman and she was also raised from the dead! Praise God that He still does miracles today!

At this time, I don’t know the status of their unborn children. This is something I don’t have an answer for but am hoping to find more out next time I speak with Pastor R. 

The work of the HOB missionaries continues day after day, just as it has been. Communion services continue in many places with 25-30 individuals at a time participating. Due to the large number of people that would like to participate, communion services are offered at five different times per day. 

HOB leaders Omar and Mussa were able to order two truckloads of wheat and some more Bibles. As usual, the sacks of wheat are distributed to as many of the most needy refugees as possible. The door then always opens wide to share the love of God with the people. The HOB missionaries go from tent to tent, mainly during the cooler parts of the day and on way into the early hours of the morning.

Pastor R is still in the hospital recuperating, but they have made arrangements for him to be able to do his paperwork and carry on the work of the ministry from right there. He is allowed to have as many visitors as he needs–within limits of course. 

Please continue to pray for the House of Blessing. The harvest of souls truly is great, and the hour is very late. Our world is changing much faster than most realize and the convergence of prophetic events are upon us that tell us the return of Jesus is imminent! 

Forever in His Service,

Jake

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