The Mideast Update below is from April 30, 2014 and tells part of the story of extremely serious injuries (actually two attacks within 2-3 weeks) received by attackers who had intended to assassinate Pastor R. They failed, but only because it was not yet his time to go home. It is God who determines this.
It is important to remember events of the past. The price missionaries pay to share the Good News about Jesus and the supernatural interventions by God are things that we need to be reminded of from time to time. Thank you for re-reading this story. Thank you all also for your prayer and financial support through PayPal for the last 7 1/2 years since I’ve been writing these updates. God is good!!
April 30, 2014
The last few days have seemed like a whirlwind on this side of the world while I was receiving phone call after phone call from Syria. Things were happening so fast that I could only get the latest news out via e-mail. So, for those who are not on my e-mail list, I will try and give you a quick synopsis of what has transpired in the last week with House Of Blessing.
I received my regular call early Friday morning and caught up on the events of the past few days. Another large group of newly trained missionaries were preparing to leave Syria and head southeast into Iraq where brother Omar is overseeing the work started a bit more than a year ago. I asked Pastor R how he was doing physically since his near death experience, having been badly beaten in the assassination attempt he and three others had experienced by 15 extremists. He said that he was gradually healing and prayer had done wonders for him. He shared that Nabil’s widow, Sister Mufiedah, had come to see him, laid hands on him and prayed that God would restore his mind. As R described it, the fire of God was in her fingers and God did an amazing work. I can attest to this as I saw a great difference in speaking with R myself by phone twice, two days apart.
I received a second phone call this week just to let me know that the large group of new missionaries were sent off. A close relative of Pastor R’s had provided a significant sum of money to make sure the people got off and had at least a few Bibles in hand as they went. As it turned out, there was a group of 100 that were transported. The trip from where they left to their destination was about 9 hours driving time. The location where they all left from was just about ½ hour south of Damascus.
I then received a third call the next day near 1 pm Pacific Time, which meant it was near 11 pm, Damascus time. Like usual, Pastor R asked me how I was. Then I found out why he called this time. He had just been hauled into a hospital in Damascus because he had been caught unawares once again as he retired for the night. Three men came into his tent and tried to beat him to death. He apparently passed out and didn’t wake up until he was in the hospital. After getting to the hospital, they found he had lost a great deal of blood again and also had a cracked skull. They gave him some shots for pain and then began giving him units of blood because surgery on his skull was necessary. The doctors had found that infection had gotten into his skull. The surgery was expected to last 9-12 hours. He asked the doctors to give him ten minutes so that he could call his family–and that’s when I received his call. He was at the point of tears—not because of any fear, but because we might not be able to speak again. It was very possible that he would not make it through the surgery. Of course, we prayed together over the phone and left the results in God’s hands.
As it turned out, Pastor R did survive the surgery and the last message I received through House Of Blessing, is that the hospital had taken him off of the respirator and he was breathing on his own. That was an answer to prayer. It seems his work is not finished yet on this earth. I have not been able to speak with him personally yet, but possibly within a few days.
I do want to mention that this of course has left HOB with an added expense that no one expected. A large hospital bill. But, we serve a very big God. Our God is never caught off guard and is never surprised by any event. Let’s pray that the need is met and HOB can continue with the amazing work God has given them to do in these last moments of time in this age.
Thank you all for your faithfulness in prayer and support.
God Bless You All,
Forever in His Service,