I would like to begin today’s update with a passage of Scripture from Acts 4.
29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus”, 31 and when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:29-33
I am a bit late getting this update out and so will get right to it. Pastor R called me and gave me the basics of another spiritual adventure our Brother Suleiman and his sons experienced a few days ago. The reader may remember that Suleiman and his sons had been affiliated with the ISIS (Daesh) terrorist group before finding Jesus Christ as their Savior. The latest incident once again involved a group of 35 ISIS militants who caught Suleiman and his sons preaching and teaching about Jesus. Again!
The militants forced Suleiman and his sons to go with them to an undisclosed location. They then began to try to bring Suleiman back into the ISIS fold. When he refused, a “discussion / debate” began between Suleiman and the leader of the militants. Of course, the militants were armed and made sure there was no way of escape for Suleiman and his sons. According to the details I received, this back and forth debate went on for most of three days.
In the meantime, three of the 35 militants got violently sick. Eventually, the leader of the militants asked Suleiman if he ever prays for the sick. Suleiman said, yes, he does. He was then asked to pray for the sick men. As Suleiman approached the sick men, he began to pray in the spirit. The militant leader immediately asked him what language he was praying in because he couldn’t understand it. Suleiman explained that this was a language given by the Holy Spirit. He then continued praying for the men.
It didn’t take long and the sick men began to recover. The Holy Spirit had obviously touched and healed them. The recovery was so obvious that the entire group of militants was shaken to the core. They had never seen anything like it in their lives. The end of the story was that every single one of the militants bowed their knees before Jesus Christ, asked His forgiveness for their sins, and asked Him to show them a new way to live. They were then baptized! Isn’t God good?
I appears the leader of this group of militants was their head-sheikh or Imam. Since they had all become followers of Jesus Christ, he decided to close his mosque. No longer would it be used as an Islamic house of prayer but rather to learn about the Good News of Jesus.
As it turned out, this Imam and his followers had the means to purchase two truckloads of wheat to distribute among the HOB community of believers and the refugees they were embedded with. What a blessing…again! We serve a great God!
The missionaries then went out and went to individual families and blessed them with food, both with wheat, and also from the Word of God. They also distributed their special Oregano tea mixture.
- Suleiman, his sons, and volunteers blessed 320 families with food.
- Omar, Sami, Mussa, and volunteers: 240 families
- Mufiedah, Fadwa, Sarah and volunteers: 250 families
- Adel, Muhammad and volunteers: 85 families
- Ibrahim, Akram, and volunteers: 230 families
- Sahbanber, Mortidah, and volunteers: 85 families
There are of course many other missionaries that I do not have the names of who are doing the same as those listed above.
Communion celebration services continue as they have been wherever they are able to gather, usually in groups of either 25 or 30 at a time. This happens about five times daily in order for all those wanting to, to be able to participate.
Pastor R has been praying for 8, 10, or 12 people at a time–as he has the strength to do so. Please keep him in prayer. He continues to have physical challenges but God is sustaining him. He feels very blessed to have his two nurses helping him as well as his assistants.
In conclusion, please continue to pray for the safety of the missionaries as they continue to bring in the harvest God sends across their paths. The HOB missionaries feel like they are racing against time. Major war is threatening all around them and they know it is not a question of “if” but “when”. Bombs being dropped by aircraft have once again become a major factor. This was how brother Mussa lost his entire family recently.
I will leave you these verses in closing:
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Forever in His Service,