The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church

Report: Bibles for Mideast

We honor today the memory and legacy of two faithful workers for what is now Bibles for Mideast. Both lost their lives in brave service to the Lord they loved in Kashmir, a region rife with Islamic extremism and home to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. [India and Pakistan have been fighting over Kashmir since both countries gained their independence in 1947—Ed.]

Evangelist Manzoor 

Evangelist Manzoor 

Manzoor Ahmad Chat, 33, worked as an evangelist and pastor in the area. A strong believer in the saving, redeeming power of Jesus, he felt 'where better to serve the Lord than Kashmir?' He helped many find their way into the Kingdom and led a small but active underground church that met in his home.

Eleven years ago, Hizbul Mujahideen—Muslim extremists aiming to turn Kashmir into an Islamic state—kidnapped and beheaded Manzoor. The terrorists wrapped his head in a plastic bag and left it outside of a mosque where police recovered it. 

Evangelist Bashir

Evangelist Bashir

A year earlier, evangelist Bashir Ahmed Tantray, 50, was also allegedly shot dead by Islamic militants. Bashir had been a public campaigner and a Bible teacher with Bibles for Mideast. A well-known Christian in the area, he been featured in numerous media reports.

We also think of and honor the memories of two teenage sisters, Arifa and Akhtar, who were shot dead by Islamic militants in 2011 simply for reading the Bible. They had found faith in Jesus thanks to the work of Bibles for Mideast evangelical outreaches in their area of Kashmir.

We remember and celebrate all of these martyrs’ faithful lives and service.

Jesus said: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."    (John 12:24)

Encouragement for your walk: "Why should I ... ?"

By Pastor Paul, Bibles for Mideast

1. Why should I say I can't
when the Bible says
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?
(Phil. 4:13)

2. Why should I lack
when I know that
God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus?
(Phil. 4:19)

3. Why should I fear
when the Bible says
God has not given me a spirit of fear,
but of power, love and a sound mind?
(2 Tim. 1:7)

4. Why should I lack faith
to fulfil my calling knowing that
God has allotted to me a measure of faith?
(Rom. 12:3)

5. Why should I be weak
when the Bible says that
the Lord is the strength of my life and that
I will display strength and take action because I know God?
(Ps. 27:1; Dan. 11:32)

6. Why should I allow
Satan supremacy over my life when
He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world?
(1 John 4:4)

"hand in hand with the King' by Ineke Hopgood

"hand in hand with the King' by Ineke Hopgood

7. Why should I lack wisdom
when Christ gave wisdom to me from God and
God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask for it?
(1 Cor. 1:30; James 1:5)

8. Why should I accept defeat
when the Bible says that
God always leads me in triumph?
(2 Cor.  2:14)

9. Why should I be depressed
when I can recall to mind
God's loving kindness, compassion,
and faithfulness and have hope?
(Lam. 3:21-23)

   10. Why should I worry and fret when
I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me?
(1 Peter 5:7)

11. Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that
there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is?
(Gal. 5:1)

12. Why should I feel condemned
when the Bible says
I am not condemned because I am in Christ?
(Rom. 8:1)

13. Why should I feel alone
when Jesus said
He is with me always,
and He will never leave me nor forsake me?
(Matt. 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

14. Why should I feel accursed or a victim of bad luck
when the Bible says that
Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law
that I might receive His Spirit?
(Gal. 3:13-14)

15. Why should I be discontented
when I, like Paul, can learn
to be content in all my circumstances?
(Phil. 4:11)

16. Why should I feel worthless when
Christ became sin on my behalf that
I might become the righteousness of God in Him?
(2 Cor. 5:21)

17. Why should I have
a persecution complex knowing that
nobody can be against me when God is for me?
(Rom. 8:31)

18. Why should I be confused when
God is the author of peace and
He gives me knowledge through His indwelling Spirit?
(1 Cor. 14:33, 2:12)

19. Why should I feel like a failure when
I am a conqueror in all things through Christ?
(Rom. 8:37)

20. Why should I let the pressures of life bother me
when I can take courage knowing that
Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations?
(John 16:33)

__________________
The painting in this post, called 'Hand in hand with the King', is by an amazing prophetic artist and friend of mine named Ineke Hopgood. She lives in Australia and paints prolifically and entirely Spirit-led. You can visit her website here: Ineke Hopgood Prophetic Art.
† Susanna

Ministry leader attacked by radical Muslims released from hospital; his main attacker and family now Christians!

Pastor Peter Haneef, President of the ALG (Assembly of Loving God)* is now home, with medical orders for a month of bed rest. 

We had reported on his attack earlier (Brutal attack on ALG Church leader Pastor Peter Haneef and family in Bangladesh) as well as an astonishing update a week later (Boy’s dramatic dream of wounded lamb leads to salvation of his Islamic terrorist father).

The following is excerpted from Pastor Peter’s letter of thanks.

“Dear co-pastors and friends in our Lord:

“Glory to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful to the Lord for you and all the prayer warriors of Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church…. I did not even think of coming back to life, for the attack by radical Muslims was so brutal and I was about to die. My wife and children also suffered with me. I was prepared to meet my Lord at any time. But now I know it is His will that I should live on in the flesh some more time and make fruits for the Lord from my labour.

“Also I thank Pastor Paul, Pastor John, sister Susanna and all the fellow labourers of our Lord…. May our Lord reward you all for your spiritual and physical helps and for your kind blessings.

“I am now back from the hospital. Doctors advised me to take complete bed rest for a month. No doubt it is hard for me. But also I think it is good that I have been afflicted, that I may have more time to pray for the salvation of unsaved people and to learn the statutes of my Lord Jesus Christ. Once again I and my family surrender ourselves before the Lord and we decided to serve Him better till the end of our lives.

Always-Be-Joyful- best.jpg

“Our Lord has saved the chief person of my attackers and his whole family from sin and death. But they are facing persecutions and were forcibly expelled from their house by the local Muslim community. The members of our  church have given them refuge and are helping them. He and his children have a great desire to become missionaries of our Lord among Muslims and are praying for that.  Offer your continuous prayers for them please.

“May the grace of our Father, the love of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

With love and prayers,
Your fellow labourer in His service,
Pastor Peter H."

__________________
*The ALG is the umbrella organization for all Bibles for Mideast churches.

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL MISSIONARIES AND WORKERS FOR JESUS IN THE RESTRICTED AREAS OF OUR WORLD

Miracle baby born to formerly Muslim parents, themselves newborns in God's Kingdom!

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground Assembly of Loving God (ALG)  church in the Middle East

Dedicated orthodox Muslims Noufel* and his wife Rasiya* regularly practiced all the many required Islamic rituals. Into their tenth year as expats in the Middle East, the couple survived on little income. Their one big hope of having children had been thwarted for over a decade.

While out doing personal evangelism one day, some women from Bibles for Mideast encountered Rasiya. They learned of her strong desire for children, and how dejected she had become through her years of barrenness.

The women told her of their own conviction that prayer to Jesus was the answer for everything. They gave her many examples of answered prayers from the Bible—such as the birth of Isaac, son of Abraham and Sarah; Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel; and Samuel, born to Hannah and Elkanah.  They also shared the message of the gospel and their own stories of converting from Islam.

“If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He will hear you and you will have a child soon,” they felt assurance from God to tell her. Rasiya asked the women to pray for her continuously, and they agreed. They then invited her to a prayer service at the underground ALG Church they attended.

Secretively and bravely, she joined them at the meeting, where Pastor Thalib* was ministering. He explained to her how Jesus Christ took all our sin and iniquities, redeemed us by His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary, and died as a ransom for us.  

“He rose from the dead and still lives as our Lord to answer our prayers and take us into heaven as His faithful bride,” he went on. “Accept Him as your Lord and Savior and He will take care of your need.”

Rasiya accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour. The pastor prayed over her, and prophesied that by this time next year she would have a son.

Rasiya found herself believing him, but when she shared the news with her husband Noufel, he just laughed. Soon, however, she conceived! Both were delighted of course, but as much as she implored him to go with her to a service at the underground church, he still refused.

He did however take wonderful care of her now she was pregnant, including bringing her for checkups at her gynecologist at least once a week.  

Six months into the pregnancy, the doctor informed the couple their child may have serious birth defects. Their hearts sunk. How could it be? Worry began to consume them. Finally, Noufel gave in to his wife’s entreaties and went along with her to a service at the underground church.

As Pastor Thalib wrapped up his sermon, he gave an altar call. To everyone’s delight, Noufel went forward and accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour. All then joined in prayer for the couple, especially for the coming baby.

Noufel, however, still worried about the child’s health. He couldn’t imagine being able to deal with a disabled or deformed child, financially or otherwise.

 “The fruit of the womb is our Lord’s reward,” the pastor assured him. “It will be given you without blemish!”

Jesus with infant for site.jpg

When their beautiful, healthy baby boy arrived several months later, doctors and medical staff couldn't hide their surprise. Noufel, beside himself with joy, rushed to the church to praise and thank the Lord with the pastor and other believers.

But then came the substantial medical bill. In their country, hospitals will not release mothers and newborns until all expenses have been covered. Noufel had nowhere near the amount needed. He asked hospital authorities if they could wait one more day before discharging, and they agreed.

He approached some of his friends and managed to borrow enough money. The next day, he headed to the hospital cashier to pay.

“Today’s accounts are closed, so come tomorrow,” he was told. When he arrived to pay the next day, he got a similar story. He’d have to wait yet another day, and come back again.

On that third day, the cashier surprised him with a new story.

“You don’t have to pay the bill,” he said, “for the ruler of the Kingdom issued an order last night that all delivery cases must be without charge.” So he could finally, and completely freely, leave the hospital with his wife and infant son!  Again, he and the church praised and thanked our loving Lord for His amazing love and care.

The very next week the ruler of the Kingdom withdrew the order for free treatment of delivery cases.

How wonderful our Lord is! For Noufel and his family alone our Lord ordered and changed the rules through the ruler of a Muslim Kingdom. PRAISE THE LORD FOREVER AND EVER!

____________________________
Names changed for security reasons

Boy’s dramatic dream of wounded lamb leads to salvation of his Islamic terrorist father

Report from Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church

After a brutal attack by Islamic extremists last week, Pastor Peter Haneef (President of the ALG Church), by God’s grace and the prayers of His people, is recovering. He had been ministering in Bangladesh when, in the middle of the night, radicals burst into the place where he and his young family were staying (Brutal attack on ALG Church leader Pastor Peter Haneef and family in Bangladesh).

Underground church members rushed him first to a nearby hospital where he was refused admission, then transported him hours away to another hospital.  With several broken bones and severe blood loss, he had by then lost consciousness. In need of major surgery, believers donated blood and stayed on hand to pray him through the operation. They rented a room in a neighboring lodge and began a prayer vigil. Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast arrived at the hospital to visit with Pastor Peter and his family, later joining with the others for all-night prayer at the lodge.  

lamb emerging from darkness loer2.jpg

In the meantime, Khani*—who had led the attack on Pastor Peter and his family—began having serious troubles at home. His 16-year-old son dreamt one night that a joyful little lamb entered their house, but his father grabbed a knife and tried to kill it. Injured, the lamb managed to escape.

Within a few minutes, the boy saw a mob of giants—resembling an army from some other planet—hurry towards their house.  Furious and with round, reddish eyes, they breathed fire from their mouths and nostrils. They clearly intended to destroy the whole village, particularly his house and every one in it with some kind of strange, extraordinary weapon, the boy marvelled. The wounded lamb appeared instantaneously and stood between the monstrous army and his house. Alone, it successfully fought off the angry giants. It then gazed mournfully at the boy’s household before disappearing. He couldn’t help noticing blood oozing from its wounds.

When the dream ended, Khani’s son got up. Still reeling from what he saw, he began begging his father to get back the little lamb. “Why did you persecute and try to kill it?” he asked angrily. “It was coming to save us! Bring it back please!”

His father, mother and others in the home had no idea what he was talking about. They finally realized he must have had a disturbing dream and tried to calm him. But the boy’s pleas only intensified. Now shaking uncontrollably, he began screaming for the lamb. His fever rose dangerously throughout the day; by evening his concerned parents took him to hospital. Pneumonia began setting in but doctors could find no reason nor offer any relief. Within two days his legs were paralyzed.  Their imam visited the boy and prayed over him, but nothing changed.

A few neighboring women came to visit the sick boy in hospital. Two were secret believers, attending an underground ALG Church in the area and taking part in prayer and fasting services when they could.  They explained to the boy’s mother that his ailments must be due to what his father and the other attackers had done to the innocent pastor. “Go and see the pastor,” they advised her.  “Confess before him so your son can be cured.”

The boy’s mother implored her husband to go find the pastor as soon as possible, for their son’s sake. Khani however had no idea whether the man had survived, and if he did, where he might be. But his wife wouldn’t give up her desperate pleas. If he went to where the church leader had been staying and he was no longer there, others nearby would know something, she felt certain. But Khani remained uneasy, especially about the prospect of facing the pastor and his people. The secretly Christian women insisted he had nothing to be concerned about.

“They are such loving people,” they assured him. “They teach God’s love only and never stay angry. If you see them, they will pray for your son and he will be healed.”

Within seconds, Khani left the hospital to go to where the pastor had been staying. Several church members were meeting for prayer there with Pastor John Asghar, a Bibles for Mideast minister who had stepped in to lead while Pastor Peter recovered.

Fear gripped the believers when they saw Khani … until he began to speak. He politely and humbly asked them about Pastor Peter, then burst into tears like a child.  At Pastor John’s request, he explained everything. The pastor told him about the major surgery ongoing, necessary due to the attack.

Absolutely miserable by now, Khani asked forgiveness of all of them. Pastor John and the others invited him to sit with them for prayer. As they began to pray for his son, they felt Holy Spirit moving mightily. Pastor John heard the Lord tell him to go with Khani to see his boy in the hospital. 

He then explained why and how the Lord Jesus was crucified, died and rose from the dead. He shared his testimony of converting to Christianity from Islam, and how Pastor Peter converted [that story here: From radical Islamic murderer to ardent leader in the Kingdom of Jesus].

“If you accept Jesus as your personal savior and Lord, He will surely save you and your family from sin and death,” he assured Khani. “Certainly your son will be cured by the healing power of Jesus Christ.”  

Khani went along with what they said, and did as they suggested, but apparently not fully convinced.  Led by the Holy Spirit, the pastor and three of the other believers accompanied him to visit the boy in hospital. They found him lying sedated and motionless.  

lamb with scripture red blood of Christ.jpg

Pastor John took out his Bible and read Isaiah 53. They all then sang several verses of a song before joining hands to pray over the boy. As they did, his legs began shaking intensely and he opened his eyes. He tried to sit up, so the men reached out to help him.

“The little lamb came to me again and washed me with the blood coming out of its wounds!” he exclaimed. “After that, it transformed into a man with blood-stains on his hands, chest and legs. Then he told me he is Jesus Christ, and was crucified on the cross of Calvary, died and rose from the dead for my salvation. He asked me to believe in him as my Lord and Savior. Then he disappeared.” The boy rose from his bed and took a few steps, his legs now fully functional. “I believe Lord Jesus Christ!” he cried.

Khani stood dumbfounded. Weeping now, he reached out to embrace Pastor John. “Forgive me for my unbelief!” he exclaimed. “Now I fully believe in Jesus Christ and I accept Him as my Lord and Savior.”

The third day after his son’s dramatic healing, Khani and his family attended Sunday worship at Pastor Peter’s church (currently led by Pastor John).  He shared his testimony, and immediately afterwards, his wife and their other children joined him in accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. Once the meeting ended, he and his family made the long drive to visit Pastor Peter in hospital.

Khani reached out to gently touch the injured pastor’s legs and begged forgiveness.

“My dear brother,” Pastor Peter replied. He then invited the former terrorist to sit by his side and prayed for him. 

Khani says that he will share his experiences with his friends, and hopes to convince them of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of all. This will be a dangerous undertaking, so please pray for his protection and success.

Please also pray for Pastor Peter’s complete recovery; that he will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to lead the church even more powerfully than ever. Keep the believers and other workers in your prayers as well.

_____________
*pseudonym