It is an amazing thing to behold. A Scripture I have used again and again is Joel 3:14 where the prophet says, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. For the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” As the turmoil and chaos increases in our world, greater numbers of people search desperately for an escape from the madness. Jesus warned of what was to begin after He ascended back to His Father. He warned of many who would rise up spouting every conceivable deception—whatever would serve to enslave mankind—especially religious deceptions that would steer people away from the Truths left with the Apostles to deliver the world. Jesus also warned of wars and rumors of wars that would increase until His return. The original wording describes a violent, murderous brutality, especially right at the end of the age. His warnings also included pestilences, famines, plagues, and economic collapse that would bring a yoke of bondage on humanity. He went on to predict geological changes to planet earth and extreme volcanism and great earthquakes that would come. Jesus also warned that there would be great cosmic signs and threats in the heavens, becoming so visible that men’s hearts would fail them for fear. Jesus also told His followers that they would face hatred and persecution because of their faith in Him. He said many would be martyred..
All of these things have been happening for the last two millennia, just as Jesus said they would. But in our day, the “fig tree generation”, we have a convergence and all the signs have escalated. For those that are aware of Bible prophecy, it is easy to recognize that our Messiah’s return truly is imminent.
It is the convergence of events all around the globe today and the fact that the Good News of the Gospel that has been taken around the world that has the multitudes in their valley of decision. The only hope mankind has comes from the Creator Himself. It was He, who showed up in a man’s skin and provided the way of forgiveness and hope that is not available by any other means or through anyone else. This is the message of hope, and it is the message being preached by God’s faithful missionaries all over the world, including the missionaries of the House of Blessing.
The work of a true missionary is not easy work, especially in war-torn areas where there are millions of displaced citizens living as refugees. An added problem over the past months has been the COVID-19 virus. Quite a number of those within the HOB community of believers became infected and some died. Most were older people. But, the task of sharing the good news of the Gospel continued, and goes on today, regardless.
As always, there is genuine interest when the true story Jesus Christ is told. It is a much different narrative than what is taught in Islamic theology. It is however the Truth that sets people free, and in Muslim lands where this Gospel has not been heard before, once people hear, they are quick to respond. They gladly come and bow the knee to the true King of the Ages.
Since the last update, a short report has once again come in from the regulars we usually hear from. Omar, Sami, and Mussa, along with about 310 HOB missionaries were able to reach about 1,200 men who committed their lives to Jesus and prayed the sinner’s prayer. Mufiedah, Sarah, and Fadwa, together with 70 female HOB missionaries reached about 450 women who also gave their lives into the hands of Jesus. Adel and Abed, along with their missionary volunteers shared the Good News with hundreds more, with about 125 committing themselves to Jesus.
The work of the missionaries continues in many other areas also but I do not have reports to share, other than the fact that Pastor Farid and his family continue to pray for long lines of at least 120 people or so per day. Pastor R is limited in his strength because he is still recovering but he has still been meeting with about 40 per day. God continues to be faithful and touch many lives through the prayers of these men of God.
Along with the positive news of the hundreds reached with the Gospel above, there were at least 50-60 who had died of the virus. Most of the dead have now been buried. Thank God that they are now in the presence of Jesus and will never suffer again.
Because of the effects of the virus, the size of groups meeting together have been limited. There have not been any House of Blessing School of Ministry classes held for a while. This however has now changed and Gospel Education classes have begun. There are six groups to begin with, each group with a main teacher and three assistants. Each group consists of 40 students, totaling 240. I have listed the names of the teachers and assistants below for those who like the names before them as they pray for them.
Teacher: Nam Muhannad
Assistants: Ramiz, Jalal, Mouayed
Assistants: Ameer, Majed, Youssef
Assistants: Aseel, Gassan, Diab
Assistants: Yazen, Belal, Jaffar
Assistants: Wessam, Chader, Majddi
Assistants: Ishmael, Fayez, Aamer
Pray for these folks and their students will be much appreciated. The course will last 2 ½ to 3 months. The teaching materials used are much the same as the many classes taught in the past few years. The students come out of their intense time of learning with a strong knowledge of the basics of the faith and they are well able to share with others.
The classes are being held in bombed out buildings and so there is no cost for use of the space. HOB has however estimated that it will cost about $600 per day to provide the students and teachers at least a little something to eat during their 8-10 hour of study each day. HOB has been able to raise a little money but most of these folks have nothing. Pastor R is trusting that the Lord will help meet this need.
In other areas, communion is being celebrated as it is possible to do so. These groups are still fairly small, but there are about five gatherings each day, with about 15-20 in each group. God is faithful and continues blessing those gathered with His Spirit and power. These are great times of refreshing for all that come.
The HOB community of believers in western Iran is still experiencing some of the most difficult times. The Iranian economy is in shambles and the virus is still running rampant in many areas. The HOB community gets up each morning trusting that the Lord will carry them through whatever it is they have to face. Jesus taught us not to worry about the future. One day at a time is enough to be concerned with, especially during hard times.
I was sent an article by the BBC by one of HOB’s prayer warriors a few days ago. The article provided some pertinent information about the true situation in Syria. The civil war in Syria began early in 2011 and is still not totally over. Many hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. Additionally, there are an unknown number of people who are listed as missing who will likely never be found. There are many mass graves that have not been found yet, and only God knows how many bodies they contain.
At least ½ of the total population of Syria has been displaced. That is about 13.2 million who have either been displaced within Syria itself or in other countries. The BBC article estimates that of the 6.6 million displaced into other countries, most of them are located in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. We know of course that many have also migrated into Europe.
The executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, David Beasley, in an interview made the comment: “ The whole world is facing crisis unlike anything we’ve seen probably in everyone’s lifetime. But, quite frankly, what’s happening in Syria is unprecedented. It’s the worst of all storms coming together…” Mr. Beasley also said that most of the 11 million or so people still in Syria are in great need of aid. At least one million of these are severely food insecure, with many already starving to death.
Anyone that has studied history of course knows that in most dictatorships, there are a few powerful people at the top who are doing quite well for themselves. It is the civilians who suffer, and the most vulnerable are the children and the old.
In the middle all that is going on, we find the HOB missionaries. Through the generosity of those who have given so generously, truckloads of wheat, lintels, beans, and other foods have been purchased and distributed to the starving. The generosity and love of the House of Blessing has become well known. And, thousands of these who have been helped have been quite willing to listen to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Multitudes of these have enthusiastically prayed the sinner’s prayer and joined the family of God. This is what the work of the HOB missionaries is all about—souls. And, we can help them!
In closing, please do pray earnestly for the House of Blessing. They need prayer and they need support. There are a great many more HOB missionaries than the ones I usually write about in the updates. The last time I asked Pastor R, he told me that HOB had well over 2,000 missionaries and they were serving an underground family of believers that number well into the hundreds of thousands across several nations in the Middle East. God is good!
Forever in His Service,