For those who pay attention to world news, you will be aware of the continuing conflict in northwestern Syria. Recently, I mentioned that there was talk of another ceasefire of some sort, but as most expected, it never really came to fruition. The bombing campaigns have only escalated instead.
I received two calls from Pastor R in the last few days. In both calls he described the fact that people are very fearful and more and more are having to run for their lives. There is a continuous flow of people being severely injured, or killed. The House of Blessing missionaries are doing everything possible to treat the wounded, and of course help the people bury their dead.
In Pastor R’s second call, he told me of a bombing that took the life of four of the HOB volunteers. Classes have been held in the Idlib area of NW Syria and although I don’t know the total number of students that the House of Blessing School of Ministry presently has enrolled all across the middle east, there were 500 of them that were directly affected in this last incident. The explosion was near enough to take the lives of four HOB men who were preparing a meal for the students. The names of these four men are Abu Nihad, Ahmed, Maroof, and Fathi. One moment they were preparing the meal, the next, they were in the presence of the One they were serving.
As the carnage of the bomb explosion unfolded, most of the students joined another mass of fleeing civilians. An additional 40,000+ people joined the ranks of the 700,000 who had already recently fled the area and did what they could to find whatever shelter they could under trees or caves up against the border between Syria and Turkey. Of the 500 students, 450 joined the fleeing multitude and 50 stayed to help treat the injured and bury the dead. It is tragic that another four HOB leaders were lost, but we do thank God that the building that had the students in it was not directly hit.
It is hard for many of us who live in relatively safe areas to imagine terrible events as what the people in northern Syria continue to endure. This civil war has now been going on for eight years! But, the HOB missionaries continue ministering to the needs of the people with whatever they have to help them with. One thing that war always brings about, is an openness to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus. Over 300 new names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life since the last Mideast Update. These are people reached among the 700,000 who are trying to survive along the border of Turkey.
In other areas, the work of God’s Kingdom continues as it has been. Folks meet to celebrate communion by the hundreds wherever they are able to. Much prayer goes up every single day as the many hundreds get prayed for. Pastor R has a group of about eight men who help him with this. Pastor Farid has his miraculously healed children helping him pray for the great number of people who line up for their prayers. And God answers their prayers!
As the Lord provides finances, the House of Blessing reaches out as far as they possibly can. Due to gifts from God’s people, another ½ truckload of wheat was purchased and distributed among the refugees needing it the most. As finances are available, more Bibles are purchased, as are other critical supplies.
The greatest need of all of course is for people to pray for each and every missionary, volunteer, and the untold number of believers in the HOB underground. All are expecting the imminent return of the Messiah, but all also know that a major war is becoming more of a threat every single day. They live for “just one more soul”, as should you and I. I read a powerful exhortation written by a man who described a thought I have often had myself. He said:
“One more turn.” Heavy words on his heart, mine, and many others of those who are Watchers of the times. The writer added, “Soon, the earth will have turned on its axis one last time before everything changes. One last sunrise, one last night. And there will be no going back. No more days of blissful ignorance. No more moments to ignore God. All who are left will be forced to deal head on with the Bible’s claims and the reality of a world where everyone is their own god. You have never known darkness and terror like this.”
Most of the non-church world is aware that the world is facing an apocalypse of biblical proportions. Yet, most of the Church world is oblivious—at least in the West. In fact, most people tune out any news that isn’t positive. God’s watchmen have now been warning for years that we are at the end of the age, but the warnings are scoffed at, or they are totally ignored as crazy talk from religious fanatics. Yet, the darkness is already showing itself. We must make the most of the daylight we still have. As Jesus said, night comes when no one can work!
Please keep all of the House of Blessing in your prayers. The threats against Israel will inevitably lead to major war, as the Bible has foretold. Israel has a history of preempting threats when they know they are coming. These threats are today very vocal to the entire world and Israel’s leadership is not deaf. Israel’s military does not want war, but they are not afraid of war. When the real conflict breaks out, it will affect the entire Middle East, and eventually, envelop the rest of the world. Millions of souls are at stake.
Thank you all for your prayers and your financial support. For those that would like to contribute to the work of the House of Blessing, please find the convenient PayPal button on the home page of this website. Thank you! All funds coming into this site go to the House of Blessing missionaries.
Forever in His Service,