I thought of a couple passages of Scripture as I prepared to write this short update. The first is found in Psalm 27:
The LORD is my light and my salvation: Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD that I will seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple, for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:1-5
Also, a short passage in the Book of Philippians:
According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20-21
Something that the House of Blessing missionaries have learned well is that no one is guaranteed the next moment. It is a lesson that those in less volatile areas around the world would do well to keep in mind. We read passages of Scripture that speak to the fact that our God has His own in the palm of His hands, but, that does not mean that we are exempt from all trials and tribulations in this temporary life we live on earth. Jesus said that we would always have trials and tribulations while here but told us that He has overcome, and so shall we. Our task is to keep trusting Him and following His lead. He will bring us home at His perfect time.
Regular readers have hear the name Mussa for many months. He has worked with Omar and Sami for a long time. Pastor R called me to let me know that Mussa received word that his entire immediate family had been killed in a bombing in Aleppo. Mussa’s wife (in her 50’s), his father (approximately 79 years old or so), four children (the oldest 15), were all in their house in Aleppo when a bomb of some type hit the house and all were killed. HOB then sent some missionaries with Mussa to go and retrieve whatever they can locate of the bodies so they could properly bury them. I can’t imagine digging what’s left of my own family members out of a building having been blown up by a missile or bomb, can you? Mussa needs our prayers for the comfort only God can give.
In spite of the daily challenges experienced on a daily basis by the HOB missionaries, often suffering heartache and tragedy beyond the common suffering due to lack of food and clean water, etc, the work of evangelism continues. Even though Mussa and those helping him have left to bury his family, teams like Omar and Sami, Suleiman and his sons, Adel and Mahmoud, adel and Akram, Ibrahim and his team, Sahbander and Mortidah along with their missionary team continue to minister to the needs of the masses. Many hundreds of entire families were ministered to. Even though there is no food available at this time to distribute, the missionaries are distributing their special mix of Oregano tea as they share the Good News of the Gospel. There is an uptick of flu, viruses, and other illnesses, and the Oregano tea continues to bring healing relief to large numbers of those suffering. And, more importantly, many continue to respond to the free gift of salvation offered through the Blood of Jesus.
Pastor R told me that the classes being taught to the new believers are continuing and doing well. That is encouraging and God will bless these new students of God’s Word. HOB continues to supply two meals a day to all of the students until they graduate.
On a political note, on July 19th, in the meeting between the leadership of Turkey, Russia, and Iran, Turkey’s president, Erdogan, has been given the responsibility of distributing the wheat being shipped out of Ukraine. HOB is praying that wheat and other food products will still be available to distribute among the refugees with this change. They have asked for your prayers concerning this issue. To this point, HOB has usually been able to purchase loads of wheat when the funds were available.
Another crucial prayer need is for the protection of the missionaries. A major Mideast war has been threatening for several years but it appears to be imminent. It is not a question of “if” but, rather “when”. When it does break out, it will be extremely violent and the dead will possibly be counted in the tens of thousands, or worse. This is not hyperbole.
Thank you all for your prayers and support for the House of Blessing. Please continue to keep Pastor R in your prayers. He is very reluctant to speak to his own needs, but he is not in a very good physical condition. He, as well as the rest of HOB is dependent on our prayers. Thank you!
Forever in His Service,