As I write today’s update, I am thinking of the arrangements being quickly made by the House of Blessing missionaries to make the most of the opportunities that will come up in just a few short days. The annual Muslim Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, begins August 19th and continues through August 24th. The special day of sacrifice, called the Eid al-Adha, varies depending on the location on the globe, but in the Mideast is on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. All Muslims from around the world are required to participate in the sacrifice an animal on the day of sacrifice to cover the sins of the past year.
The time of the annual Hajj and the month-long observance of Ramadan have proven to be very fruitful times for the HOB missionaries. Great effort is put into these times because the hearts of Muslim people are often more open during their times of special fasting and religious observances. Many Muslim people report having dreams in which the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, interrupts their religious observance in order to show that He is a much different person than what is taught by the Qu’ran. There have also been countless stories of groups of Muslims running across Bible studies being taught by HOB teachers as they were traveling through on their way to Mecca. In one of our Mideast Updates, we relayed an account of a group of Muslim sheikhs who, after listening to HOB teachings for a couple days, asked help so that they could pray the sinner’s prayer for themselves. All 100 of these men and their families were then baptized in water, and after their baptism, they decided there was no need for them to travel to Saudi Arabia to participate in the Hajj. What a great miracle God performed that day. But, that day was not so unique, God has continued to touch the hearts of millions of Muslims who just needed to be exposed to Truth that they had never heard.
What is generally done by the House of Blessing in preparation for these events, is that as many Bibles as possible are gathered, along with teaching materials which are mass copied for distribution to those who are going to do the evangelizing. Also, HOB tries to provide means for the missionaries to have at least one meal a day available to keep up strength for their long 20 hour days of evangelism and ministry.
Of course, while this is going on, the day to day ministry to the many refugees will continue as usual. There are always casualties requiring burial. Many refugees are sick, injured, and starving. The HOB missionaries do whatever they can to alleviate the pain, suffering, and desperate need for food and water.
One change this week is that the several thousand new believers reached in the Daraa area recently, have been transported to the Idlib area. Most of the missionaries have also gone back to where they had been ministering before the Daraa emergency situation developed. All of these new believers are continuing their studies of the Bible they had started while still in the Daraa area. The large scale meetings they were having near the border with Israel and Jordan are now continuing in the north. It is a great blessing that the HOB teachers have the opportunity to see these folks through to a greater understanding of what it really means to be a Christ-follower. Just as in the early days of the Church, the community of believers gather together as often as they can order to worship God, fellowship with other believers, and give support to one another.
Pastor R told me that Sisters Mufiedah and Fatwa are continuing their meetings with the 1,500 or so that were reached with the Gospel after 20 dead were raised back to life. Sister Sarah also continues in her work as she met with a separate group of about 800.
Another good report that Pastor R was able to share with me is that brothers Omar and Radi are nearing their release from the hospital at the time of his call to me. For those that may not know, they were two of three leaders that were shot when a group of ISIS militants opened fire with machine guns on a large group of new believers. Seventeen were killed on the spot, and many injured. Sadly, brother Naquib, the third leader, passed away due to his injuries but is now in the presence of his Lord and Master, Jesus.
Another good report I received is that Sister Fatima is once again back to training the 44 widows whose husbands had died in an earlier attack on a group of gathered HOB leaders. These widows have the goal of taking the places of their fallen husbands. The combined group of 88 children who lost their fathers are now also being taught full time by Sister Miriam and her helpers. This is due to the funds which were made available by folks, just like you. The House of Blessing is very grateful!
Wherever the House of Blessing has missionaries, whether in the Kurdistan area, Iran, Iraq, Syria, or other locations, preparations are being made for the great evangelism effort just days ahead. It is the same with the many sheikhs whom HOB reached and are now part of the HOB community of believers. These former Muslim sheikhs are preparing to lead Muslim seekers to the real Truth…the Truth of the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I believe there will be a great number reached during the days of this year’s Hajj. Let’s ask God for a multitude of souls reached! God will answer that prayer! There is no question if it is His will.
Pastor R told me that the people lining up at his tent for prayer seems to only grow. He, and those helping him, pray for no less than 600-700, if not more, every single day. Although exhausting for him, he wouldn’t have it any other way. It is an opportunity for God to touch hundreds of lives every day!
In closing I would like to share something that has been on my mind for some time now and was confirmed through a video I remembered seeing not long ago. I believe something that is sadly lacking in the ministry of most churches in the western world today is a genuine “urgency” about the times we are living. A few days back, I watched a short video clip put together by American Pastor, John Kilpatrick. In this video he shared what the Holy Spirit had spoken to his heart one day during his prayer time. I won’t transcribe all that was communicated in the video but I would like to share some excerpts because they fit so well with the work of the House of Blessing missionaries every single day, and their recognition of our times.
Pastor Kilpatrick shared what the Holy Spirit said: “I have many ministers and they are speaking on My behalf, but what is missing is the URGENCY in their voice. Many churches are really cognizant not to offend and they’re really careful as they get up to preach to people. Everybody leaves there feeling really good. Preachers refuse to preach on the coming of Jesus Christ. Where is the Urgency?? …
Pastor Kilpatrick went on to say…”If we don’t tell people what they need to hear, God is going to hold us accountable and their blood will be on our hands. Whenever we preach, we need to preach with an urgency in our voice, that we need to be right with God if anything should happen to us. There are things in motion right now that may change our nation (or world) almost overnight, and for me to stand here like everything is alright, I CAN’T DO THAT! The politicians maybe can do that and lead you to believe that everything is going to be okay, but in the house of GOD there has to arise a siren that says…ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION! Things are changing, and they’re changing quickly!…People who aren’t even scripturally literate are trying to answer for what is going on in the world and they’re missing it by a million miles and God is saying to the preachers, “GET UP AND TELL THEM!…”
The House of Blessing missionaries are well aware that “life” might be here today, but it might be gone tomorrow. This is the reason for their urgency. People are dying around them every day. They don’t even know if they will live through the day. They are also watching the preparation for war escalating. The so-called “Arab Spring” began over seven years ago but the threats of much greater wars are imminent. In his phone call to me this week, Pastor R said it is quite obvious in the Middle East that war with Iran is unavoidable and it is coming very, very soon. Everyone knows it. He added that war, when it breaks out, will drive people to needing spiritual answers. These are answers that God’s people can provide. War, as horrible as it always is, will bring in even more of the harvest!
One day very soon, the last Gentile of the Age of Grace will be reached and the Great Tribulation will begin. For those of us that are believers, this is the greatest time in history. We need to recognize it for what it is and make the most of it while there is still an opportunity to do so. If we were running a race, we would recognize that we are running the very last lap of the race and we would be pulling out all the stops and running as hard and fast as we possibly could! So, RUN folks, RUN!! The finish line is within eyesight! We’re going HOME soon!
Forever in His Service,
NOTE: For anyone that has had the Spirit of God touch your heart to help in the ministry of the House of Blessing, please use the PayPal button provided on this site. 100% of all funds that come in go directly to the work of the missionaries. Thank You!