As we come to the end of July, 2022, the situation for inhabitants of northern Syria—especially the refugees, is becoming increasingly difficult again. Turkey’s Erdogan has pushed for several years to establish and enforce a 30 km “buffer zone” just below Turkey’s border with Syria. Over the past 11 years of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has often sent military forces into the area to attack Kurdish forces. Turkey (and a few other nations) view Kurdish fighters as belonging to a terrorist organization. By attempting to dislodge or clear these forces out from the unofficial buffer zone, scores of refugees have been killed or injured. 

It appears that Turkey’s Erdogan, even before the tripartite meeting between Russia’s Putin, Iran’s Raisi, and Erdogan in Tehran a few days ago, incursions by Turkey’s military had already picked up again. Both the Syrian and Russian military forces have also resumed bombings around Aleppo and Idlib after several months of relative quiet. Although I don’t have numbers to report yet, Pastor R told me in his last phone call that refugees are again having to run for their lives. Both Russia and Syria have sent military forces to attack rebel forces entrenched in their strongholds for years. The issues between the Syrian government and the rebel forces, as well as claims made by numerous terrorist organizations are too complicated to explain in this short update and of course have little relevance to the updates which center on the missionary work of the House of Blessing. Suffice it to say, the bombings have begun once again and as always, there is always a cost in human lives, human misery, and displacemen of refugees. From Pastor R’s report, at least two families including their children were just killed and over 100 families were forced to run south from the border. I am sure there will be more to report as time passes. 

Now, onto the House of Blessing…

Pastor R thanks everyone for their prayers for the men who had been attacked and shot by ISIS militants recently. Four of the five men have been released from the hospital and are back ministering to the refugees. They healed up much quicker than expected, especially since some of the bullets had lodged in vital areas of their bodies. At least two of the men had taken bullets that nearly hit their hearts. One of these men, Hassan, succumbed to his injuries and passed away while in the ICU.  He is now in the presence of the Lord and we pray that the Lord will comfort his family and loved ones.

There was quite a celebration when Suleiman and the four remaining missionary men were released from the hospital. God provided the funds to cover the cost of their hospital care and even provided some extra to purchase some more truckloads of food, including a truckload of spinach. With the supplies of wheat, spinach, and other things, the missionary leaders were able once again to distribute to a great many desperate people. Of those who reported in, at least 2,000 families were supplied with wheat, spinach, oregano tea and of course teaching from the Word of God. The harvest continues! 

Pastor R was kept from praying for the many people who come to him for prayer. He was restricted for three days by order of his doctors. They saw he did not have the strength and told him he had to rest for three days and gain his strength back. When I spoke with him, he was back praying for them and encouraging them as normal. He continues to need our prayers as he really is not healthy. But, God’s grace is sufficient. God answers prayer and keeps him able to continue his work until his task has been completed. We pray that the day will come for all of us and SOON. We know of course that the return of Jesus for His own will come at His perfect time. 

As our world continues to swirl around a demonic vortex of confusion and deception, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, the Finisher and Perfecter of our faith. He will carry us through whatever tomorrow brings. He has promised to do so!

Thank you all for your prayers!

Forever in His Service,

Jake

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