Many Christ-followers today are asking the question: “How long O Lord?” Those who have been watching, have seen the signs of our Messiah’s return increase in number and intensity. Some days our faith is strong, other days, not so much. All of us are susceptible to getting discouraged or despondent at times, but we don’t need to stay in that condition. God’s word is true and He promises to keep us in the palm of His hand. A worship chorus I have become familiar with just recently is based almost word for word on Psalm 13. The words go like this:

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? 

How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul

And have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Consider me, and answer me, 

Oh Lord my God, how long? Oh, how long?

But I have trusted in Your steadfast love

My heart will rejoice in Your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,

Because He has dealt bountifully with me!

My Mideast Update is rather short today but I wanted to make a couple quick comments first. Quite often in my conversations with Pastor R, the conversation drifts to the soon coming of the Lord. Lately however, there has been an added intensity to the knowing that we are very close. Yet, as much as we are aware, the events of life, the hardships, the trials and tribulations we go through tend to grind us down. The answer is always the intimate communion we can have with our Lord and Savior. He has promised to strengthen us, guide us, protect us, and lead us all the way to our eternal inheritance in God’s Kingdom. He has not promised us a life without problems, in fact, He said that in this world we would  have trials and tribulations, but He also said to take heart, because He has overcome the world. Psalm 34:19 says that the righteous will have many afflictions but the Lord would deliver us from them all. Even when we walk under the shadow of death, He walks it with us. Praise God!

As you know, two of our HOB brethren had to be taken to the hospital due to the brutal beating they had to endure. After a couple days in the hospital, Omar and Sami have been released and are recuperating within the HOB community. 

I was sent photos this week of the mass burial of the 28 students that were shot to death by ISIS militants a few weeks ago. I have included these two photos below. The photos show the 28 bodies of the slain missionaries wrapped for burial. Also the large crowd of believers that gathered for the burial. Many in this crowd helped in digging this very large mass grave. Sad day as these men were much loved by the House of Blessing community.

The intensive classes being taken by 100 students are being put on hold temporarily. The cost of providing two meals per day is a bit more than HOB can handle right now. As God provides, the classes will resume as they were.

In other news, the various teams of missionaries are sending two or three missionaries to share the Gospel with individual families. It is not unusual for them to spend considerable time with these families so they can share the Gospel, answer questions, and of course lead them to the feet of Jesus. Of course there are almost always sick ones to pray for. Since the last update a few days ago, several hundred families have been reached in this way. The harvest keeps coming in. 

Thank you all for your prayers! God answers! Very soon we will all be part of that great gathering in the presence of our Messiah, Jesus! 

Maranatha,

Forever in His Service,

Jake  

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