Lately, every time I get ready to write a House of Blessing Update, I wonder if the Mideast will erupt into a large scale war before I can even finish the update. War has been expected in the region for several years. The Middle East became embroiled in the so-called Arab Spring and Syria’s civil war which has now gone on for over seven years, but there are greater conflicts on the horizon; conflicts for which the Scriptures provide a stunning amount of details.
As I write this update, journalists have plenty of military maneuverings and skirmishes to report on, but although the threat of a major regional war is greater than ever, it has not broken out yet. The current massive build-up of air, land, and water weapons of war does not look like the typical show of military muscle between opposing forces. Rather, it looks like the preparation for something major. This particular build-up has to do with Bashar Assad’s plan to clean out the last of the approximate 50,000 rebel forces in the Idlib area who have vowed to fight to the finish. With this much military concentrated in one area, however, the chances of the conflict quickly escalating are high. The likely outcome is the subject of an article in process of being written which will be posted soon.
The House of Blessing missionaries know that they have to be prepared for anything. But, what preparing of any real substance can anyone do that is living in refugee tent cities? The HOB community of believers knows that the best preparation is to stay in communion with the Lord of the Harvest. God is never caught off guard by anything and He has promised to never leave or forsake any of His people. His Spirit is always present for wisdom, guidance and direction, and for protection from the evil one.
Although I don’t know the full results of the work of evangelism during the week’s observance of the Eid al-Adha, I do know that preparations are being made for many of the newly reached believers to take the House of Blessing School of Ministry courses. These classes continue for about 10 hours per day and will go for 8-10 weeks until completion.
Below is a partial listing of HOB instructors, provided so people who pray for the House of Blessing can lift them up specifically. These are names that Pastor R gave me over the phone and then I received confirmation by email from Jerusalem.
(Note: Some readers might notice that I have received a couple corrections on the spelling of a few of the names).
- Brother Sami and four co-workers are team teaching 50 new believers.
- Brother Omar and four of his co-workers are teaching 65.
- Brother Radwan and four co-workers have 40 new students.
- Sister Mufedah and six sisters are teaching 80 new believers.
- Sister Fadwa and six sisters are teaching another 70 new believers.
- Sister Sarah and eight co-workers are teaching 120 new believers.
- Sister Fatma is continuing in her training for ministry of the 44 widows
- Sister Mariam is continuing to teach a children’s version of the training to the 88 children of the widows.
- Brothers Nader, Abed, and four brothers are teaching 60 new believers.
- Brothers Shah Bandar and Mourtada have 70 new students.
- Former Head-Sheikhs Mufleh, Shaher, Taher, and Radi bought Bibles for the 70 sheikhs who were reached among a crowd of over 600 new believers early in the Muslim observance. These sheikhs represent over 20,000 men who attend their individual mosques. These men will receive special intensive training by the other former sheikhs so that, as soon as possible, they can go back and reach their own congregations as so many others have already done.
I have been told that once again, mass copies have been made of the teaching materials that have been used in the past. As more Bibles can be purchased, they will be distributed to as many of the new believers as possible. Most Muslim people have never seen a Bible and so have nothing to compare to the Quran which they have been taught from their whole lives.
I have received numerous inquiries about Pastor R’s physical condition. His temperature had been so dangerously high that he was constantly feeling cold. The brothers around him finally insisted that he must go to the hospital. The doctors found that the blood flow in both of his legs was so poor that very little fresh blood was getting to his feet, therefore not enough to clear out the infection. It was confirmed that he still has a gangrene infection. The open wound is in his left foot but I’m told that the right foot also has very poor blood flow. The doctors have proposed surgery which will involve inserting balloons into his veins to open them up for better blood flow.
Please pray that this goes well and he can be back out of the hospital in short order. He resisted going in as long as he possibly could.
Please also pray for these faithful missionaries, the School of Ministry instructors, and the entire HOB community of believers. There are at least 2,200 HOB missionaries scattered throughout the Mideast nations, including western Iran. Pray especially for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit for all of them, especially with the threat of a major war. One thing I have been told, if war breaks out, even more people will turn to the real Messiah. War brings great trauma, fear, and tragedy, but also brings people to a point of desperation to be properly prepared in case of death. I hate to think that the West may need to become that desperate so that we also are truly prepared!
Thank you from the entire House of Blessing for your prayers and also for your financial support. Every single dollar goes to the work of the missionary work of the HOB.
Forever in His Service,