It has been about three weeks since I posted a House of Blessing update. I was aware however that after Pastor R had his second surgery he was going to take some time to recuperate by putting his responsibilities into the hands of capable HOB leaders, to give him the opportunity to spend time purely studying his Bible and communing with God. I have now received a call from him and, as you would expect, it was really good to hear from him. He is back ministering to people and advising his leadership. Having just restarted meeting with the HOB leaders, he did not have an abundance of details but shared what he had been made aware of.
One of the exciting events was the graduation of the 280 former ISIS (Daesh) militants who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Lord a few months ago. Along with these were another 200 other students who had also been reached with the Good News of the Gospel. The graduation became a celebration of the great mercy and goodness of God. There is only one God who can truly claim to be the Almighty and it was He who joined the human race in the form of the man, Jesus Christ, in order to pay the ultimate price which was necessary to redeem mankind from certain eternal destruction. It was Jesus whom the apostle John said was the Creator of all things. And it was Jesus who died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice—the Lamb of God—so He could offer complete forgiveness and eternal life to all of mankind, free for the asking! It was this same Jesus who forgave the sins of all 480 of these men and now they are going out to complete their part in the Great Commission–all through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Praise God!
Pastor R also had a second good report to share concerning the latest 17 Hezbollah militants who bowed their knees before Jesus and accepted Him as their Savior. The reader might remember the story as it was told in a previous update how Mufiedah, Mustafa, Ali, and several others had been caught sharing Jesus to a gathered crowd. They had been abducted and taken to a cave where they were tied up and severely beaten. Eventually they were left tied up and under guard for the night. The next morning the Lord intervened and the men humbled themselves, and in time saw the desperate sinful condition they were in and prayed the sinner’s prayer, repenting and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Pastor R shared that since that happened, the HOB missionaries went with them and helped them share the story of Jesus with their 17 families. Every family member followed the lead of their husbands/fathers and also became followers of Jesus. The harvest of souls today is truly amazing!
Pastor R also had some difficult things to share. Bombings have begun once again in Idlib and among the reported 56 dead were 25 children. Two families from the HOB community of believers were killed. This included one family of 8 members and a second family of 20 members. All lost their lives. House of Blessing missionaries have by now buried them. Unfortunately, people in war zones have become well acquainted with such tragedies. Two of the HOB leaders we have mentioned often, Adel and Abed were shot while ministering to people. Both men have severe injuries and are in grave condition. No additional information was available at the time of Pastor R’s call. Please pray for these dedicated servants of Messiah.
In other news, Omar, Sami, Mussa, and those ministering with them were able to share the Gospel with 820 families and lead them to Jesus. Mufiedah, Sarah, and Fadwa and their volunteers were able to do the same with 450 families. All families received the special Oregano tea which has helped so many sick with viruses, the flu, or other ailments. Ibrahim, Akram, and their volunteer helpers were able to do the same with an additional 150 families. Pastor R also received word that Sahbander and Mortadah in western Iran were able to bring an additional 85 families to a saving knowledge of Jesus. That’s 1505 FAMILIES! It is hard for us in the West to imagine this great a harvest, but God’s arm is not short and He is the One who draws souls to salvation. All across the Mideast, HOB missionaries continue preaching, teaching, and praying with all who come to hear the Good News and God does the rest.
In other areas, communion services continued to be held wherever it was possible to do so. Because of the sicknesses going around, some made communion available to about 30 believers five times a day, others limited the groups to about 25. All made communion celebrations available five times per day. As it has been for years, these celebrations are special times of praise, worship and great thanksgiving for God’s mercy and goodness.
The House of Blessing saw a very large harvest of souls as they shared during Eid-al-Adha and the annual day of sacrifice that all Muslims participate in. Multitudes of people recognized that Allah and his prophet were imposters and submitted themselves to the one and only true God and Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The HOB community of believers is now doing all they can to follow up with the thousands that have joined the ranks of the true believers in Jesus.
The situation for the refugees is of course desperate as it has ever been. Hunger is great and life is very difficult for these folks. The House of Blessing continues to distribute food as they are able to purchase it. As they demonstrate the love of God, the people are quite willing to hear the real story about who Jesus is–in contrast to what Islam has taught them from birth.
In closing, please continue to keep Pastor R in prayer. Although he feels that the surgeries he has had seem to have been successful, he still does not feel very well. He mentions it, not as a complaint, but just as fact. So, we will continue to hold him up before the Lord in prayer. Thank you all for your prayers and support. The work continues 24/7. More Bibles are needed and of course there are always other supplies needed. As I have mentioned on a number of occasions, the UN is no longer doing a lot for most of these people. HOB however is well known all across the Mideast for the work of love they share with the people, whether it is food, help with the sick, burying their dead, and of course sharing the Good News about Jesus.
Soon the days of the Gentiles will be complete and we will gather in the presence of the One who loved us so much that He gave His life to set us free. What a great gathering that will be!!
Forever in His Service,