As the world leaders meet to “solve” the world’s problems, and as high-paid political figures do their negotiating, the world continues to fall apart. For all of the peace proposals and supposed cease-fires, thousands of people continue to die. If they do not die from the bombing campaigns, they may be murdered by any one of the many Islamic jihadist groups in the area. If they do not die from missile strikes they may yet die of starvation.
Note: Photos in this article do not necessarily have to do with the adjacent narrative…
This is the first time in history that all of the things Jesus warned would mark the timing of the end of the age are in play at the same time. We are facing the very last of the “last days.” How long until the Bride of Christ hears the shout of the Messiah, along with the voice of the archangel, and the great trump of God to call us home, only God knows, but we know it is now very, very near. Paul writes of this glorious event in 2 Thessalonians 4:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
As I imagine this event, my favorite part of that passage is the last phrase: “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” The world in general is hurtling toward the prophesied Apocalypse, but God has promised that the Bride of Christ, the true Church, will be called up from the surface of this earth to meet our KING in the air. From there we will be ushered into Heaven itself for the unimaginably glorious festivities planned for those who have made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives here on this earth. For seven years these planned heavenly events will continue until the seven years have passed…the same seven year period of time that it will take for the Apocalypse to be completed. That will be the time when Jesus comes back to the earth, just as prophesied in God’s Word–not as the suffering Messiah as the world saw Him two millennia ago, but as the conquering King, God Himself. We, the true Church, will return with Him! So…comfort one another with these words!
For us in the West who have not experienced the turmoil and chaos that Christians in many other places on earth endure, the promise of the Rapture of the Church brings a great level of excitement and anticipation. But, for those who are going through the persecutions of this hour in the Middle East, this word of comfort brings another level of joy and anticipation at the promise that all will come to an end soon for those who are faithful followers of Yeshua!
The House of Blessing missionaries have been putting the commands found in Ephesians 5:15-17 into practice. The passage reads:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Pastor R has shared with me more than once how so many of the missionaries are really not sleeping much. They are out ministering to the needs of the people and sharing the good news of God’s forgiveness through the Blood of Jesus all hours of the day. Some of them only take one hour naps and then they are at it again. The reason? Because time is running out and people are going into eternity all around them. The Great Commission that Jesus gave must be completed.
The huge praise report that came in a few days ago of several truck loads of wheat being made available in several HOB locations through miraculous donations, has grown even greater. At last count, the House of Blessing missionaries were able to feed well over 140,000 people. Many of these would already be dead today if this had not come about when it did. The greatest miracle however is the growing number of people who have now also decided that the love of God and His free gift of salvation is too great to pass up. As of September 3, another 800 people in the Aleppo area had been led to the feet of Yeshua in prayer. In the Fallujah region, about 200 more had been reached and in Mosul, an additional 300. By now, I am sure these numbers have grown. The Spirit of God is moving over the entire region.
Sister Mufiedah continues ministering to the badly wounded and has been able to minister healing to another 18 of these people. Each of them has also become a follower of Jesus through the ministry of her “Widow Sisterhood”. Sister Hafezah was able to serve communion to another 900 people these last few days as well. What an amazing thing in the middle of such chaos! I am sure these numbers will rise as these new believers begin to join the others. Sister Sarah has been able to share her testimony and minister comfort and instruction from the Word of God to another 120 people in the last few days.
In Fallujah, many of the people are having to move from one place to another, just trying to stay alive. Nine more of the believers were killed these last few days. Sadly, another eight of the new believers lost their lives due to the war around Aleppo. Thankfully, they are in the presence of Yeshua today, but there is still the burden of grief for their families and friends.
Sister Fatima is still seeing to it that the 26 former captive widows are being ministered to in the Fallujah area. They are nearing the time when they will hopefully be free of the nightmares and healed of the many wounds they came with. They will soon be quite capable of ministering to others that have gone through similar suffering. God is good! Fatima also was able to serve communion to over 1,100 people these last few days. These special services have now been going on for months, but the Spirit of God continues to fall upon all in a fresh way each time. And, it seems that there is a special protection given to these communion services, so much so that the enemy has not been able to penetrate it!
The conditions in Mosul continue to deteriorate as a military coalition of several nations continues preparing for a major onslaught with which they hope to free the city from the hold of ISIS. The conditions are very difficult and many civilians are losing their lives; among them were another six of the new believers. Yet, hundreds more were reached with the Gospel!
The HOB leadership and missionaries are asking and believing God for another miracle. They are asking the Lord to provide funds to purchase another 2,000 Arabic Bibles. This is a lot of money, but not too great for the Lord of the harvest. We, the ones living in this most unique time in history, have the honor and privilege of being part of what He is doing on this earth today! And the rewards are eternal!
HOB has a special reason for the need for Bibles. This coming Monday, September 12, is a Muslim holy day. It is called Eid al-Adha, Festival of the Sacrifice, also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or “Bakr-Eid”. This Islamic holiday is the “holier” of two held worldwide during each year. It honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command. Of course, Muslims have been taught by the prophet Muhammad that it was Ishmael who was offered on Mt. Moriah, not Isaac as the original story is told in the Bible. God has always given HOB great favor during these Muslim holidays and hundreds; in fact, often thousands are reached during these times. Because time is so short, HOB does not want to miss this opportunity. Who knows, Jesus could call us all home before the next one comes around! Please commit this need to prayer and see if the Lord wants you to be part of this great outreach. The timing of course is critical as there are very few days left and the Bibles need to be picked up and readied for distribution. It can still be done. Let’s help HOB’s missionaries provide the true story of Abraham and even more, the true story of redemption provided by Yeshua on the cruel cross of Calvary.
Pastor R has been moved once again. Those around him continue trying to keep him safe so that he can continue God’s calling on his life. The prayers of HOB’s friends play a great part in all these things.
There is always more that could be said in these updates, but I’ll close here today. House of Blessing continues thanking all of those who are so faithful in prayer and financial support. Even though there is little human recognition for what sacrifices are made by God’s people, the Lord Himself is very well aware and keeps good records! He doesn’t miss a thing! May God bless you all abundantly.
Servant of the KING of all Kings,
2 thoughts on “MIDEAST UPDATE, 9/5/2016”
Love you Pops. I admire your diligence.
Thanks Roy. It has truly been a privilege to play this small part in a great move of God! God is good!!