Exciting Christmas season update: entire Muslim village now Christian!

The health of Pastors Shah* and Asif*, attacked in the remote mountain village where they live and serve in Central Asia, continues to improve [original story here: Urgent prayer request: Pastors attacked and church demolished by terrorists]. We praise God for all 45 families of the village who stand with the ministers, encouraging and helping them in their recovery. The other injured individuals have almost fully recovered as well. We thank everyone who has been praying for them.

As reported two weeks ago, several local youngsters, influenced by outside extremists, had demolished the church, health clinic, sewing school and education center, all which had been set up by the pastors. Both ministers as well as a number of believers, including children, had suffered serious injuries. The young attackers’ parents and other elders in the village severely reprimanded them, and advised them to ask the pastors’ forgiveness.

The village’s medical student, home on vacation, paid the young men a visit and full of the love of Christ (with plans to become a missionary doctor), counselled them similarly. They finally agreed.

All the villagers, including the young men, then joined forces and chased the militants from their town. The former ‘temporary terrorists’ then approached the pastors and asked forgiveness for what they had done. The ministers embraced them with brotherly love and prayed for them.

The villagers have since been working hard to rebuild the tin sheet church and the health clinic, all under the leadership of the young people.

Before the attack, 27 of the village’s families counted themselves believers. The other 18 families remained Muslim, but had no complaints against either the church or their fellow villagers who became Christian. The boys who had joined with the terrorists and persecuted the church had come from those families.

To dedicate the newly-constructed church, the pastors held three days prayer and fasting in the building, from Thursday through Saturday.  Even though still weak, Pastors Shah and Asif led the services, with all the villages’ 45 families taking part! 

By the end of the three days, every single one of the those Muslims accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. So the whole village, in an otherwise entirely Muslim-dominated region, has become Christian!

Thank you for your prayers for the Assembly of Loving God Church and Bibles for Mideast. Please pray now as we prepare for baptismal services for the new believers, as well as for all future activities of the church.

________________
* Names changed for security reasons

Hanukkah/Chanukah lights the way to Christmas

The Jewish festival Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights, has just begun.* After the victory of the Maccabees (from the priestly line of Aaron) over the Syrian Greek army, the eight-day holiday celebrates the rededication of Jerusalem's holy temple in 164 B.C.

In 167 B.C., the Maccabees rebelled against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who desecrated the temple in Jerusalem with an altar to the pagan god Zeus, and tried forcibly to Hellenize the Jews.

After three to four years of fighting, the Jewish zealots, led by Judah the Maccabee, miraculously experienced victory over the mighty Greek forces and defeated the evil king. They demolished the defiled old altar, built a new one, and rededicated the temple. According to the story, they could find only one vessel of sanctified oil, enough for one day of burning candles, yet it somehow lasted eight days. The menorah, or eight-branched candelabrum often associated with Hanukkah, commemorates those miraculous eight days of burning.

MENORRAH from Shutterstock.jpg

The rededication of the Temple to the God of Israel is celebrated during Hanukkah, officially established by King Hezekiah (see 2 Chron. 29:17). John’s gospel also briefly mentions the holiday: "Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, …” (John 10:22).

The menorah lighting may well be the most familiar tradition of Hanukkah. Holding nine candles, the central light of the menorah, the shamash, is used to kindle the other eight. During the holiday, the first candle of the eight-branched lamp is lit on the first day; two candles on the second day, and so on until the eighth day when all the candles would be lit. Before the menorah is lit, celebrants often sing special blessings and then traditional songs afterward.

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It is also customary to play dreidel, a four-sided spinning top bearing the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, derived from the words nes gadol hayah sham, which translates to ‘a great miracle happened there.’

Hanukkah celebrations include much feasting as well, with many Jewish households enjoying foods fried in oil, particularly potato pancakes (latkes) and jam-filled donuts (sufganiyot).. Other Hanukkah customs include exchanging gifts and rewarding children for positive behavior and devotion to Torah study throughout the year.

Hanukkah then serves as a reminder of a crucial time in history when God saved the Jewish people and their religion from being annihilated by Antiochus. The Lord remained faithful to the Jews, allowing them to defeat the powerful Greeks against all odds. 

Had the evil king succeeded, there would have been no Jewish woman named Mary to become the mother of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Hanukkah then celebrates a God capable of doing supernatural things, both in biblical times and right now. 

So it’s important for Christians to understand the significance of this holiday, as it prepared the way for the birth and ministry of Jesus and reminds us of God's faithfulness and power—even in the most impossible situations. 

2000 years later, the oil of the Holy Spirit has not dried up. The glow of nine candles burning together is far brighter than one. Though we may not fully understand all that God is doing, we know that one day, “All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” (Num.14:21Ps.72:19Isaiah 6:3;  Hab. 2:14

A foreshadowing of Christmas

Think of it. The menorah in the Jerusalem temple — holding, bearing the light — so aptly represents Mary, the virgin who bore Jesus. The light, then and now, stands for the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, a recurring reference in both Old and New Testaments (i.e., 1 Sam. 16:13). The overshadowing power of the Most High God is always the miracle.

“And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ” (Luke 1:35).

Jesus holding a candle better.jpg

The Jewish people celebrated Hanukkah about 160 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Knowing how the Old Testament prefigures so much of the Truth in the New Testament, it seems an easy conclusion to see ‘Chanukah’ (a more traditional spelling) as a foretelling of the annual Christmas celebration. Interesting also that Chanukah starts on Kislev 25 and Christmas is on December 25. While we know the birth of Jesus Christ really didn’t happen in winter time, it still seems a divine God-incidence. And how about the fact that Hanukkah celebrations last eight days, the same length of time between Christmas and New Year’s.

Of additional and most significant note, the Hebrew word ‘shamash’ for the central candle of the menorah—the one which lights all the others—means ‘servant’. What a bright visual symbol of Jesus, whose bringing the Light of salvation to the world we celebrate annually around the very same time!

Jesus said this about himself: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

 By Pastor Paul, Director, Bibles for Mideast (with editing and small additions by Susanna Perry-Ettel)

 _____________________

* This year Hanukkah began on the evening of December 2nd and ends at sunset on December 9th.

Bibles for Mideast and the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) pray you have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!    "May the eyes of our Lord be upon you from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.” (Deut. 11:12)   If the Holy Spirit leads you to participate with our Bible Distribution Ministry or to provide our ministers with a Christmas/New Year’s blessing, please click HERE.

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Urgent prayer request: Pastors attacked and church demolished by terrorists

Report: Pastor Peter Haneef for Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church

Bibles for Mideast has a mission field along with an ALG (Assembly of Loving God) Church in a remote mountain area of Central Asia among poor villagers. By God's grace, Pastors Shah* and Asif* work among the dozens of villages in this cold, Muslim-dominated northern area. Both men had once been enemies of the Lord Jesus as Islamic militants, but God captured them and made them mighty witnesses for Him in the mountain villages (God willing, we will tell you their testimonies another time).  

A few years ago, Pastors Shah and Asif went to share the gospel in one of the villages, where 45 families lived.  The Holy Spirit guided them to a poor family suffering many problems. The father was completely bedridden after a stroke and his wife battled cancer. Their eldest son had been imprisoned for murder; their second son went missing, presumed to have joined up with terrorists and then been killed by the army. Their eldest daughter had severe psychiatric problems and the second had committed suicide because of an illegal pregnancy and failed love affairs. Their third daughter, unmarried, helped her parents and her mentally-ill sister.

With no income and near starvation, the family decided one day to put an end to it all and commit suicide. That same day, our Lord brought our pastors to that very house. They learned the details of the family’s situation and prayed for them, and set about making sure they would have daily food. 

Both parents felt some relief after the prayers. They invited the pastors to stay with them, and so began their ministry in the area.

For the next three days, the men prayed and fasted for the household and the whole village. Soon, the father found he was able to stand up! The mother’s cancer vanished and the elder sister recovered her ‘right mind’. All then joined with the pastors as they prayed and fasted, and each readily accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Slowly the ministers became a solid part of the family.

A few months later, Pastor Shah and the elder girl—the one who had been mentally ill—became husband and wife.  He had prayed for wisdom and direction and felt the Father’s release for the marriage. Pastor Asif blessed their union in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

As time went on, our pastors developed good relationships with the other families in the village. All thought highly of them because of the miraculous healings and their loving service to the family and friendliness with the villagers. 

They opened a village school for the children and began teaching them Bible stories. They then started educating illiterate adults and set up a sewing school in the village for young women.. Soon they started a prayer fellowship and invited the villagers to attend services, which most did. Many experienced miracles through those prayers.

Pastor Asif felt led of the Lord to ask the youngest daughter’s hand in marriage, so both couples live together with the parents. Having two children each, it became a full and happy home.

Every evening, villagers gather together at one of the houses and have a prayer service under the leadership of the pastors. They sing songs, have a Bible class, meditate on the Word of God and join in intercession. In this way, 27 families accepted the Lord Jesus and a new ALG Church was born. They built a tin shed to meet in, and set aside part of the shed for a medical clinic. The villagers who did not accept Jesus still silently approved the believers since they received so much help from the pastors.

Two nurses serve at the clinic and a doctor comes from hundreds of miles away and stay three days a month to treat and check up on patients. The church pays the physician's expenses and a small allowance to the nurses, while patients receive free care.

One of the new believer's daughters, a brilliant student, scored high marks in school. She had a desire to study medicine, but neither her family nor the church could fund her. So the headquarters of Bibles for Mideast decided to sponsor her studies, and sent her to another country to study. Now a second-year medical student, her hope is to serve in her village as a missionary doctor and win more souls for Christ. She is the first person to study medicine not only from that village, but from the whole region.

Everything seemed to be progressing smoothly.  But the people of neighboring villages didn’t like any of the activities of the pastors and the church, so began persecuting them. A group of fundamentalists came from one of the towns to visit the villagers in an attempt to convince them to obey Islamic law and refute Jesus. A few youngsters joined with them and began threatening the families of the pastors and other believers.  All, however, stood strong in their faith.

Recently (Nov. 25), the young villagers who had been influenced by the outside extremists decided to attack while the new Christians met for Sunday worship. They completely destroyed the meeting house and clinic, as well as the sewing school and education center. Both pastors and several believers, including children, suffered serious injuries.

The situation is now extremely dire. They have no way to get the injured to a hospital, since the nearest one is more than a hundred miles away and they have no vehicles at all. The doctor has not visited for over a month due to threats from the militants. The nurses are doing what they can to treat and care for the wounded.

We request your urgent prayers for them. Our Lord alone can help and protect them by the prayers of the children of God.

 ____________________
* names changed for security reasons

Christmas season update: entire village now Christian!

Isn't it strange?

Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when praying,
but have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read a chapter of the Bible,
but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row tickets to concerts or games,
but then do whatever possible to be in the last row in church?

Isn't it strange how two hours seem so long when you're at church,
and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

Isn't it strange how we need to know about an event for church
two to three weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda,
but we can adjust it for other events at the last minute?

Isn't it strange how a hundred dollars seems like
such a large amount when you donate it to the church or for spreading the word of God,
but such a small amount when you go shopping?

scale with marks use.jpg

Isn't it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others,
but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn't it strange how we believe everything magazines and newspapers say,
but question the words in the Bible?

Isn't it strange how we send jokes on social media and they are forwarded right away,
but when we are going to send messages about God,
we think twice before sharing with others?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven,
but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast

Memorize Bible’s contents to strengthen yourself in the Lord

By Pastor Paul, Director, Bibles for Mideast

In GENESIS the world was made by God's creative Hand;
In EXODUS the Hebrews march to gain the promised land.
LEVITICUS contains the Law, holy, just and good;
NUMBERS records the tribes enrolled, all sons of Abraham's blood;
Moses in DEUTERONOMY records God's mighty deeds.

In JOSHUA their rebellion oft provokes the Lord to smite;
JUDGES did what was right; but RUTH records the faith.
In 1st and 2nd SAMUEL, of Jesse's son we read;
Ten tribes of 1st and 2nd KINGS revolted from his seed.

In 1st and 2nd CHRONICLES, we see Judah captive made;
But EZRA leads the remnant back by princely Cyrus' aid.
The city walls of Zion NEHEMIAH builds again;
While ESTHER saves her people from the plot of wicked men.

In JOB we read how faith will live beneath affliction’s rod;
And David's PSALMS are precious songs to every child of God.
The PROVERBS like a goodly string of choicest pearls appear;
ECCLESIASTES teaches men how vain are all things here.

The SONG OF SOLOMON exalts sweet Sharon's lovely rose;
While Christ the Savior and the King the rapt ISAIAH shows.
The foreboding JEREMIAH apostate Israel warns;
His plaintive LAMENTATIONS their awful downfall mourns.

EZEKIEL tells in wondrous words the Kingdom's mysteries;
While God's great Kingdom yet to come, DANIEL in vision sees.
Of judgment and of mercy HOSEA loves to tell;
JOEL describes the blessed days when God with man will dwell.

Among Tekoa's herdsmen, AMOS received his call;
And OBEDIAH prophesies of Edom's final fall.
JONAH enshrines a wondrous type of Christ, our risen Lord;
MICAH pronounces Judah lost—lost, but to be restored.

NAHUM declares on Nineveh just judgment shall be poured
When Christ our risen Savior shall come to be adored.
A view of Chaldea’s coming doom HABAKKUK's vision gives;
While ZEPHANIAH warns the Jews to turn, repent and live.

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HAGGAI wrote to those who saw the temple built again; 
ZACHARIAH prophesies of Christ's triumphant reign.
MALACHI was the last to touch that high prophetic code,
His final notes sublimely show the coming of the Lord. 

MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE and JOHN the Gospel story give;
Describing how the Savior was born and died that man may live.
ACTS tell how well the Apostles preached with signs in every place;
And Paul in ROMANS proves that man is saved through faith by grace.

CORINTHIANS 1 and 2 instructs, exhorts, reproves;
GALATIANS proves that faith in Christ alone the Father approves.
EPHESIANS and PHILIPPIANS tell what Christians ought to be;
COLOSSIANS bids us live for God and from all sin be free.

In 1st and 2nd THESSALONIANS, the Lord will come from heaven;
In 1st and 2nd TIMOTHY and TITUS, a shepherd's rule is given.
PHILEMON marks a brother's love as only brethren know;
HEBREWS reveals Christ's priestly works prefigured long ago. 

JAMES teaches that without holiness, faith is but vain and dead;
1st and 2nd PETER point the narrow way the saints are led.
JOHN in his three Epistles on love delights to dwell;
But JUDE gives warning terrible of those once who fell.

The REVELATION prophesies that tremendous day,
When all the kingdoms of the earth with noise shall pass away;
God comes down with His tabernacle, forever to be with us,
And we will be His people: 'Even so come, Lord Jesus.'

What are you looking for?

They were looking for their temporal needs to be met,
He came to meet their eternal need,
and they missed Him

They were looking for a lion,
He came as a Lamb;
They were looking for a warrior,

He came as a Peacemaker;
They were looking for a king,
He came as a Servant;
They were looking for liberation from Rome,
He submitted to the Roman stake;
They were looking for a fit to their mold,
He was the mold maker,
and they totally missed Him.

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What are you looking for?
Lion? Warrior? King? Liberator?

He came as a Lamb
to be sacrificed for your sin;
to make peace between God and man;
to model servanthood for all humanity;
to give you eternal life.
Will you miss Him?

When we submit to the Lamb,
we will meet the Lion;
join with the Peacemaker,
we will meet the Warrior;
work with the Servant,
we will meet the King;
walk with the Submitted,
we will meet the Liberator.

Concern ourselves with the eternal,
and we will have the temporal.
If Jesus is not fitting into the mold you have,
then come to the mold maker and get a new one.

Submit to His plan for your life
and you will see the eternal need met first;
then all the other things you have need of
will be taken care of as well.

With prayers, love and Shalom
In Jesus,
Pastor Paul (Director), Bibles for Mideast

Bible distribution plans: Please pray

Pastor Peter Haneef, president of the ALG Church (umbrella for the many Bibles for Mideast churches) has a special prayer request for visitors to this website and supporters of the work and ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

“Kindly pray as our church wants to distribute 30,000 bibles in Arabic, Urdu and other Asian and African languages before the end of this year,” he asks.

“All our believers will also be presenting bibles as New Year’s gifts to at least two of their non-Christian friends,” he adds. “Please pray that the Holy Spirit helps them to win souls for Jesus our Savior.”

He and all of us know we cannot do this—any of it—without the help of praying, generous Christians. If the Holy Spirit leads you to participate with this Bible Distribution Ministry, please click here.

Pastor Peter himself knows better than most the mighty power of prayer, having himself had a dramatic conversion from Islamic extremism (From radical Islamic murderer to ardent leader in the Kingdom of Jesus). Now leading the ALG, he found himself on the receiving end in June of this year of the very atrocities he once meted out (Brutal attack on ALG Church leader Pastor Peter Haneef and family in Bangladesh). While that ended gloriously with, ultimately, the salvation of his main attacker (Boy’s dramatic dream of wounded lamb leads to salvation of his Islamic terrorist father), Pastor Peter is in fact still not quite completely recovered, so please pray for him as well.

   TOP :    (L)   aT A recent bible distribution event;      (R)   a cancer patient receives a bible   Bottom  (L to R):    Muslim woman receives bible;   Hindu woman learning bible;   presenting a passenger boat driver with his own bible

TOP: (L) aT A recent bible distribution event; (R) a cancer patient receives a bible
Bottom (L to R):
Muslim woman receives bible; Hindu woman learning bible; presenting a passenger boat driver with his own bible

Praising His amazingness: abducted pastors miraculously released in Middle East

Report: Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church in the Middle East

On a Sunday evening two weeks ago, Assembly of Loving God (ALG) pastors Firos* and Altaf* were visiting an Arab Muslim in his home in the Middle East. The Christians shared the gospel with the man, and his entire household had gathered around, listening intently.

As leaders of an underground ALG church** in the area and with families of their own, the men used their ‘spare time’ to engage in personal evangelism and distribute bibles among local Arab Muslims. About 50 former Muslims now met regularly with them for prayer, worship, and learning more about their new and living faith.

This particular country has extremely harsh attitudes towards proselytizing, especially attempts to convert Muslims to Christianity. As the men shared the Gospel of Life that Sunday evening, a neighbor noticed the goings-on and informed the imam of the local mosque.

Late evening namaz (prayer) was ongoing at the mosque, a requirement called Isha’ [Muslims are supposed to perform namaz five times per day, with Isha being the fifth—Ed.]. When Isha ended and the people learned of the evangelical activity in their neighborhood, an angry mob formed under the leadership of the imam. They armed themselves with a variety of weapons and headed to the home. Bursting in on the family, they brutally attacked the evangelists. They dragged the pastors to their mosque, tied them to a pillar, and kept up the beating. Firos and Altaf clutched their bibles to their chests, but the mob snatched them away. Shouting and laughing wildly, they set the men’s bibles on fire.

The imam told the pastors to leave Jesus and come back to Islam, offering them a number of official state positions if they agreed.*** But they turned down his appeals.

 The ONLY fire and sword that matters

The ONLY fire and sword that matters

"Jesus is our Lord and Savior,” they bravely declared. “He saved us from the sin and death we knew and experienced in our own lives. Now we are new creations in HIM. You may kill our flesh, but we will have an everlasting life with our Savior in Heaven. So we will never lose our faith in Jesus, no matter what happens."

This provoked the people even further. They dragged the men to a cellar and abandoned them there for three days, without even a drop of water to drink. But the pastors looked to their Lord. For the entire three days and nights they praised and prayed. Being so with their Lord in Spirit, they didn’t feel any pain, hunger or thirst, nor were even aware of the passing time.

After the three days, the mob handed them over to a terrorist group, who threw them into a cellar in another location. For nine days they endured more brutal torture and again, no food or water. They were given dire warnings that unless they return to Islam and join the fight against Christians and Christianity, they would be killed and their bodies hung in a public place.

This proved hardly a threat to the pastors. For the sake of Jesus, they knew they could endure any persecution. They personally prepared themselves to die, assured of the greatest high hope of living even closer with Christ. 

Yesterday (Friday) morning, the terrorists tied the men’s hands behind their backs and took them out into an open area. Midday approached and temperatures soared. They told the pastors to kneel down. When they did, they tied their legs together as well.

Two men stood behind the kneeling pastors, wielding razor-sharp blades.  The killers tried to cover the Christians’ faces, but someone told them not to bother.  ‘Let them see and experience even more fear as they are being executed,’ they explained. 

Instead, the pastors looked to their Lord. They watched in amazement as a cloud formed overhead and they began sensing a refreshing coolness. Within the cloud, they saw Jesus seated on a throne! Thousands of angels surrounded Him.  They began praising the Lord joyfully and enthusiastically as they knelt under the shadow of His Presence and the cloud-like formation of angels around Him.

The killers, now even more determined due to the men’s praises [we’re fairly certain no one but the pastors saw the spiritual reality—Ed.], brandished their knives over the men’s necks. But as they prepared to bring down the blades, both they and their weapons unexpectedly fell to the ground.

Fear gripped onlookers as they heard the pastors’ loudly praising their Lord, and only intensified as they watched the would-be assassins fall over, helpless and disarmed.

The evangelists then witnessed rays of fire emanate from Jesus and down through the cloud towards the witnesses of the ‘execution’. Overcome with terror and the now-extreme heat, the crowd fled.

Somehow the pastors’ legs and hands were then loosed. Instead of standing up, however, they remained on their knees, praising and thanking their mighty Savior. Both then observed two angels appear, and felt themselves being lifted up. The next thing they knew, they were standing in front of a house.

They heard sounds of praise and worship from within the home, so they knocked on the door. A man came and opened the door slightly to have a somewhat fearful peek. When he saw the pastors outside he could barely contain his joy, praising the Lord loudly and shouting for the others to come. They were all members of the men’s own church … in the midst of prayer and fasting for their pastors’ immediate release!

Adding to the miraculousness of this story, this was not the location the church had been meeting in before the abduction. Soon after the pastors disappeared, worshippers had noticed several suspicious-looking characters watching the home they’d been meeting in.  Concerned, they moved their ‘church’ to a place many miles away. Since they had lost their leadership, some elder believers now led services, which was what was going on when the pastors ‘reappeared’. But the pastors of course had no idea their congregation had moved.

Our Lord of course knew, and He Himself arranged and rearranged everything according to His purposes. While the underground believers’ Friday prayer and fasting session would have normally drawn to a close by 3:00 p.m., this one continued many more hours, on into the night.

Both pastors’ wives and children had been sick with desperation when the men disappeared two weeks ago. Now of course they, and all who gather with them, are overjoyed.

Please pray for both families, and the believers who meet with them. The pastors want to specially thank all who have been praying for them, and know that it is only because of prayer that our Lord so mightily intervened.

____________________ 
* Names changed for security reasons
** the umbrella organization for Bibles for Mideast churches
*** We can’t know if this was a deception to tempt the pastors, or if the imam did have the authority to offer the positions since many religious leaders in the Middle East do have high influence in government.

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Daughter of evangelist miraculously survives terrorist attack, now she AND her attacker serve Jesus

Close to twenty years ago, 12-year old, Sofi* and her young brothers all arrived home from school, accompanied by their neighbor, seriously ill. The neighbor had found them vomiting uncontrollably shortly after getting off the bus. When the youngest boy fainted, he’d picked him up and then helped the three youngsters find their way back home.  They were then rushed to hospital.

Testing showed deadly poison in their saliva, so doctors administered the proper antidote immediately.

 Sofi with her brothers a few years before the attack

Sofi with her brothers a few years before the attack

“Two or three minutes later and there would not have been any hope for your children,” medics informed the alarmed parents.  

The family later discovered that as the children had gotten on the public bus packed with other travellers and students, a middle-aged woman had smiled at them and called them by name. She invited Sofi to sit beside her as the boys stood nearby.

Friendly and kind, she explained she was a prayer partner with the same ministry their father served as a leader in. She chatted away, asking how the rest of their family were. As the children prepared to get off, she offered them chocolates as a ‘token of her love’, unwrapping them herself and putting them into their mouths. Loving chocolate as much as any kids do, they happily gobbled them up.

But almost immediately on descending the steps of the bus, the younger boy began vomiting, then the older, then Sofi … undigested chocolates spewing everywhere. Their concerned neighbor happened by about this time. 

Relatives and friends of the family began searching all over for the woman who’d provided the chocolates, but could find no clues anywhere.

By the next day, Sofi’s condition grew far worse. She could no longer breathe properly, and as much as she tried, couldn’t get any words out. As her memory began failing, doctors worried the poison may have affected both her lungs and brain. Fortunately, the boys began to slowly recover.

As Sofi’s condition deteriorated, she fell into a coma. Her family and many church members knelt tearfully before the Lord, claiming God’s promises and asking Him for a miracle.

About 30 hours later those still praying around her bed noticed her face suddenly became remarkably bright. With eyes still closed, a joyful smile spread across her face. She suddenly raised her hands into the air as if trying to catch something. Everyone thought she must be on her way from this world, and cried out in sorrow. Her parents completely lost it. Doctors and nurses on duty hurried into the room.

Just as a doctor reached out to check her pulse, Sofi rose from her bed, her hands still upraised. It looked as if she were holding onto something in the space before her.

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“Jesus! Abba! JESUS! ABBA FATHER!” she began calling out in her native language. She then opened her eyes, gazed at her hands in amazement, looked back in front of her and then pointing to a particular spot cried out: “There is my Father Jesus!”

Her mother reached out to hold her and called her by name. Sofi immediately recognized everyone, and realized she was in the hospital.

She also declared she was hungry. The doctor checked her over thoroughly and advised her parents to feed her something light. Since she had a slight temperature, he also gave her a tablet to bring the fever down.

Before she went to bed that night, she and her family joyfully praised the Lord together. Sofi seemed imbued with new power in her prayer and praise.

Unbeknownst to the family and medical staff, a fellow named Rashid* had appeared in the hallway and with two other men, had been closely watching the goings-on in Sofi’s room. They had come up from the hospital parking area, where, posing as ambulance attendants, they’d been observing from the outside.

Rashid also happened to be in command of a group of militant fanatics seeking to convert everyone to Islam and eventually bring the whole world under Islamic domination. The plan to have the children given poisoned chocolates had been hatched by his group. They were certain the children would die, at least the girl Sofi. The next part of their plot entailed carrying away the child’s dead body along with her family in the ambulance, and then kill the rest of the family.

But as Rashid and his men kept vigil, he witnessed an intensely-bright sphere of light flash down from above and then hover over where Sofi lay unconscious. He saw a hand came out from the orb, touch the leader’s daughter, and then watched her regain consciousness and stand.

He could barely contain himself when he saw blood flowing from a hole in the middle of the hand. He trembled with fear, felt woozy and fell to the floor. The men with him picked him up and scurried awkwardly away with him.

Rashid completely lost whatever peace he had. Disturbing dreams ruined his sleep and he grew convinced Jesus must be ‘after him’.  

Feeling unbearably burdened, he managed to locate Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast, and confessed everything. Yet instead of being turned in to the police as Rashid expected, he was embraced with tears. He began to read the Bible he had kept on hand simply to criticize and disprove Christianity and found now he could hear Jesus clearly in the words. He readily accepted Him as his Lord and Savior.  

 Sofi (r) teaching bible to young Hindu girl, who later received Christ

Sofi (r) teaching bible to young Hindu girl, who later received Christ

Rashid now serves as an ordained pastor with Bibles for Mideast, and works unstintingly alongside his wife and children establishing house churches across the Middle East [we wrote him about him earlier here].

Sofi, now married and with two youngsters, works as a school teacher and, on the side, a Bible teacher. Many of the young people she teaches scripture to, albeit secretly, are Hindus and Muslims who do eventually find the truth in Jesus (see picture)!

____________________________
Names changed for security reasons

RELATED STORY: Radical Muslim terrorist ‘terrified’ by the Light of Jesus now serves as pastor!

Muslim terrorist moves from death and destruction to Life and healing

Report: Bibles for Mideast

 Radical Hindus destroy historic Babri Mosque: AFP (1992)

Radical Hindus destroy historic Babri Mosque: AFP (1992)

Ameen* decided as a teenager, back in 1992, to join the forces of Islamic terror. Radical Hindu nationalists had just destroyed the historic Babri Mosque in northern India (they believed the 16th-century mosque stood where one of their most revered Hindu deities had been born).**

After completing his training, Ameen became commander of a terrorist group with the main objective of destroying both Hindu temples and Christian churches—along with their priests, ministers and worshipers. 

Once while attempting to attack a major Hindu temple, a surprise counter-attack by Hindu militants forced them to flee. Ameen suffered serious gun-shot wounds and needed to be carried away by his fellow terrorists. They administered first-aid but he subsequently fell into a coma. Thinking they’d failed in their efforts to save him, they left his body alone in a field.

A few hours later, a passerby noticed him lying there. Thinking him dead, they approached the body and on checking more carefully, discovered a pulse. They immediately called police, who rushed him to hospital. There, doctors managed to revive and save him.

Police suspected he might be a terrorist and questioned him, but could not get him to reveal his true identity, let alone betray his friends. So he remained under police surveillance in the hospital.

Pastor Paul and a gospel team of Bibles for Mideast ‘just happened’ to be in the same hospital a few days later. They secured permission from the police to visit Ameen, and found him slowly recovering from his injuries.

The missionaries told the wounded terrorist about Jesus, how He is the author of life and death. They then shared their own dramatic testimonies, and explained how Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary, died and rose from the dead. The visitors assured him that anyone who believes in Jesus will gain eternal life. Ameen listened to their words, but didn’t respond. So the gospel team prayed for him before leaving the hospital.  

According to the anti-terrorist act then in place in India, Ameen was sentenced to prison without bail. He remained there for years without legal assistance. Two years ago, 24 years after being imprisoned, he was finally set free.

Another ‘God-incidence’

 Prisoners with their new bibles

Prisoners with their new bibles

But before Ameen’s release, Pastor Paul ‘just happened’ to meet him while there on prison ministry. Ameen was friendly to him, attended the gospel meeting held inside the jail, listened attentively to the message presented, and received a Bible when they were handed out to prisoners. He even asked for Pastor Paul’s mobile phone number.

Then, just last month, Ameen called Pastor Paul in extreme anxiety. He and his family members all wanted to meet with him for prayer.

“When I call on the name of Jesus, I feel relief whenever I’m desperate,” Ameen explained over the phone. “But I do not know what to do more. If possible, kindly come to me, give me needed guidance and pray for me and my family."

Pastor Paul prayed about the request, and asked the church and several others to pray for the Lord's guidance. 

Days later, all spent in fervent prayer, he traveled 18 hours to meet Ameen and his family. Two other ALG (Assembly of Loving God) church pastors joined him on the mission trip.

They finally arrived at Ameen’s house to find a most unwell 46-year-old. He could barely walk, needing the help of his brother’s children to get around. With no wife or children, his younger brother, their elderly mother and his brother’s family—all firm believers in Islam—took care of him.

Ameen happily greeted the pastors when they arrived. The visitors shared the gospel with him and the family. But his younger brother took offence at their presence and their message, and began shouting angrily at them. He wanted them out of his house, NOW! Ameen pleaded with him, explaining the men were there because he had asked them to come.

Neighbours, hearing the commotion, came over to investigate. Soon community leaders and the Imam of the local mosque got wind of the Christian visitors and arrived to voice disapproval and argue with them.

“I politely explained to them about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross,” Pastor Paul relates. “But with great anger, the Imam slapped me on the cheek.” 

Seeing the Imam slap the kindly pastor, Ameen felt wretched and cried out in grief.

Pastor Paul reached out to hold Ameen’s hands, then wiped away his tears and tried to console him. He and his fellow pastors then knelt down before the Lord in front of the family, and prayed for further guidance.

Ameen's brother never imagined the Imam would slap Pastor Paul. He also of course couldn’t help but be moved by Ameen's sorrowful outburst and the Christians’ kneeling prayers. So he turned against the Imam and the community leaders. The brothers’ elderly mother also shouted at the Imam and other leaders, ordering them out of the house.

When they’d all gone and quiet returned, Ameen's brother with the rest of the family apologized to Pastor Paul, asking his forgiveness.

“We consoled all of them and shared the sufferings of our Lord,” the Bibles for Mideast director explains.

“After that, they all sat before us and listened to the Word of God. Some neighboring people also participated. That same day everyone of that house accepted Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior and Lord.”

And that very night, Ameen dreamt that Jesus touched and healed him. When he awoke—and without anyone's help—he got up, walked, and then ran around the house. His brother also had a dream of the glory of Jesus.

 Please praY FOR aMEEN, HIS FAMILY, AND THE NEW UNDERGROUND CHURCH

Please praY FOR aMEEN, HIS FAMILY, AND THE NEW UNDERGROUND CHURCH

The pastors stayed four days and nights in the family’s tiny, impoverished home. With only one room plus a kitchen and a veranda attached to the front of the house, the family had no furniture: no tables or chairs, not even cots to sleep on.

“We all were happy to spend more time for prayers and sharing the Word of God,” says Pastor Paul. “We pastors slept in the room with Ameen on floor mats. The other men slept in the veranda, and the women slept in the kitchen.”

The second day of their visit, more people joined in their times of prayer. On the third day, a number of villagers attended and accepted the Lord Jesus as their savior.

By the fourth day, a new church was born! They held a worship service, and Pastor Mujib, who had been working in another area, is now in charge of the newborn ministry..

Please pray for him, the new believers, and the ongoing work in this area.

We also ask that you remember the dire situation in Indonesia after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. With millions affected and the death toll at 1,400 and rising, relief efforts have been slow to come. Bibles for Mideast has pastors and evangelists working in Indonesia, and a number of underground churches with between 12 and 20 members each. By God’s grace all are safe but needs—both practical and for prayer—are huge.

____________________________
Name changed for security reasons
** The religious site where the Babri Mosque was destroyed in 1992 in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya has been a flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims for years and has sparked recurring episodes of violence.

The Water of Life overpowers the waters of death

With reporting by Pastor Peter Haneef, President, Assembly of Loving God

Sept. 11, 2018: Our Lord Jesus Christ showered His great blessings through the Holy Spirit over the just-ended 21 days of prayer and fasting held by Assembly of Loving God churches in Asia, Africa and Middle East. All ALG churches actively participated and over the three weeks, and 2,016 new believers went through the waters of baptism. Among them were 1,575 former Muslims, with the remainder being mainly from the Hindu and Buddhist faiths.

Due to persecution from religious authorities, government and militants in many areas, the services in numerous churches could only be held secretly, between midnight and dawn. But God and joy prevailed!

for site.jpg

As we reported earlier, several days before the time of prayer and fasting began, severe flooding and landslides lashed through one of our mission regions in South India (Devastating flooding in Kerala, India: PLEASE PRAY). More than 500 people lost their lives in the floods, and close to one and a half million found shelter in relief camps.

Leaders and members of Bibles for Mideast and the ALG joined in rescue efforts, helping in relief camps, praying for those affected and sharing the wonderful love and salvation of our Lord. While most from the camps have been able to return to their homes, close to 5,000 remain in the shelters, having no homes to return to.

Many of our own church members needed rescue and shelter as well. Nineteen families lost all of their household items when their residences were partially destroyed, and seven other families completely lost their homes. By God’s grace and the prayers of His children, we are so thankful no one sustained injuries.

Other ALG churches decided to help in the rebuilding of homes, despite having barely enough for their own needs.

The rains and flooding have ended in the region and as mentioned, many from the camps have been able to return to their damaged homes.

Region again under high alert

 Kerala residents wading through flood waters contaminated with numerous pathogens—the prime means of transmission of the  Leptospira  bacterium that causes leptospirosis, also known as rat fever. It enters wounds on the skin from faeces and urine of infected dogs, rats and farm animals [ image courtesy Reuters ].

Kerala residents wading through flood waters contaminated with numerous pathogens—the prime means of transmission of the Leptospira bacterium that causes leptospirosis, also known as rat fever. It enters wounds on the skin from faeces and urine of infected dogs, rats and farm animals [image courtesy Reuters].

The area is unfortunately again on high alert due to diseases being spread in the after-flood conditions. Hundreds of people have contracted a serious bacterial infection called leptospirosis, or rat fever, and at last count about 60 had died.

We are SO thankful to those of our supporters who have offered prayers and financial help in the rebuilding efforts. We praise and thank God for the support, and thank all who have offered such compassion and kindness. Please continue praying for this region and all of its people.

____________________

[Related story: 1,268 baptisms and many miracles in three days!]

Devastating flooding in Kerala, India: PLEASE PRAY

1carrying child lr for site.jpg

[Aug. 16] India’s southwest coastline has been pummeled relentlessly by heavy rainfall over the past week. In the state of Kerala it has reached a dangerous climax in recent days. The flooding there is described as the worst in at least a century as normal life grinds to a halt.

More than 300 people are known to have died so far as a result of flooding and landslides, with countless more missing. Thousands and thousands have lost their homes—among them seven ALG church families. We are thanking the Lord that two of these families miraculously escaped a landslide which tragically claimed the lives of many others. The 38 million living in the state live now in constant fear.  Over 12,10,000 at last estimate have found refuge in relief camps.

In this region Bibles for Mideast has mission fields and ALG churches among tribal  and jungle people.

car in flood for site lr.jpg

Many areas there is no electricity, no network, no pure water to drink, and it is very difficult to reach many places, because we are unable to travel by road.  Roads are filled with water.

On Thursday, people were being air-lifted to safety from several inundated areas.

 “Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc,” Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s chief minister, says. “The calamity has caused immeasurable misery and devastation.”

Rescue workers evacuate peoplefor site  lr.jpg

Periods of heavy rain are expected to persist in the days ahead across the west coast of India. While there is perhaps some hint that the torrential onslaught may ease by early next week, the forecast through the weekend includes multiple inches of rain for Kerala and surrounding areas.

Please remember these dear people and the entire region in your prayers. Let’s be praying God has His agents in these shelters and in all the emergency situations and efforts, and He will be somehow glorified in the midst of tragedy and loss.

 If you are able to contribute  to Bibles for Mideast’s efforts to help,  please visit the SUPPORT OUR WORK section of the CONTACT US page.  Most importantly of course, please pray.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”  —2 Chron. 7:13-15

Prayer can change the world! Please join us for three weeks of prayer and fasting

Report:  Bibles for Mideast

The Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church and Bibles for Mideast call for 21 days of prayer and fasting from August 20 to September 9.  ‘PRAYER CAN CHANGE THE WORLD’ will be the main focus.

All members of the ALG’s 300 underground house churches in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will take part. We also invite churches, prayer warriors and children of God around the globe to join with us for this time of dedicated and fervent prayer.

We request prayers for:

 mighty protection for the Christian world and its families;
 persecuted Christians;
 Christian ministries around the world;
 protection, provision and guidance for the churches of the Assembly of Loving God and Bibles for Mideast in spreading the Word of God and establishing more churches in the Middle East, Asia and Africa;
  divine protection for all ministers and workers (both full-time and voluntary) of the ALG Church and Bibles for Mideast, all of its members, the many secret believers, and for more courage to proclaim the gospel fearlessly and boldly.
♦  the baptism of new believers in the various ALG churches (more than 1000 former Muslims are preparing to be baptized);
  the salvation of the whole Muslim world, especially in the Middle East. Pray for every Muslim to know the love of Jesus Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior and Lord.

ABOUT OUR FASTING AND PRAYER

Most members of the ALG church will be on a partial fast, following the model of Daniel in the Old Testament (see Daniel 1). We will avoid food between midnight until 2:00 p.m., and generally eat vegetarian when we do. We also of course will spend extra time in prayer.

For those unable to do a fast like this, we simply request that you avoid at least one meal during the 21 days, and join with us. If that isn’t possible, please try to pray at least three times per day for the subjects outlined above.

Please also ask our Lord to abundantly bless each and every person praying and supporting His work around the globe, along with their families and generations: that they would be blessed with the joy of the Holy Spirit, good health, prosperity, and all and everything else they require.

The church also offers prayers for whoever requests them. Simply email: algchurch@gmail.com.  Your needs will be prayed for in all ALG churches during the days of prayer and fasting. 

 'Breaking a barrier' by Ineke Hopgood

'Breaking a barrier' by Ineke Hopgood

Approximately two billion Muslims live in this world, Islam being the second largest faith after Christianity. Muslims claim that by 2050 Islam will be the first, and they strive diligently towards that goal.

Yet our Lord Jesus Christ saidI saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”(Luke 10:18-20)

So we must pray for the Muslim world to confess before the true and living Lord Jesus Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, accept Him as their savior and Lord. By the prayers of our Lord’s children, the Muslim world can redirect their minds and hearts towards the real savior.

Our Lord suffered, was crucified and died for us. He paid a ransom for all. And He has risen indeed!

Jesus promised: “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 13-14) 

PLEASE PRAY  ... IT WILL BE ANSWERED

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.

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*pseudonym

Brutal attack on ALG Church leader Pastor Peter Haneef and family in Bangladesh

(June 18, 2018)  Pastor Peter Haneef (President of the ALG Church) and his family were brutally attacked by a mob of Muslim extremists in a village in Bangladesh last night. Pastor Haneef leads several underground Bibles for Mideast churches, all in predominantly Muslim areas. The village where the attack happened lies about 180 miles from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.  

 Pastor Peter baptising a new believer

Pastor Peter baptising a new believer

He had been ministering in a 25-member church, holding a baptismal service after Sunday morning worship and communion. An entire formerly-Muslim family had been baptised. When news of the baptism leaked out, enraged Muslim extremists set their sights on killing the family. Fortunately news of that leaked to Pastor Peter, who managed to move them safely to another location. Further incensed, the mob turned its focus on finishing off the pastor and his family, staying with him nearby.

Discovering their whereabouts, the attackers arrived at night while the family slept. Hearing people at the door, Pastor Peter—thinking it may be an emergency since he knew an elderly woman in the village had been sick—went to investigate. The attackers, armed with bricks and steel pipes, forced their way in and lunged at him. When his wife tried to intervene they turned on her. Their young children were by then wide awake and tried to get between their parents. The mob angrily flung them away. As the pastor tried to protect his wife and children, the extremists charged at him even more fiercely.

All suffered injuries, but Pastor Peter bore the full brunt of the mob’s fury and obviously needed medical attention. When church members attempted to get him admitted to a nearby facility, he was refused—by order of the police, who supported the attackers. So they rushed him to a hospital in a town many hours away.  By the time they got there he was in critical condition, having lost so much blood. At last report, he remains unconscious. 

Fanatic Muslims in the area want nothing more than to destroy the local church and get the new Christian believers back into Islam … or else. But the believers stand strong in their faith.

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Pastor Peter, President of the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church is himself a former Muslim. Please pray for him—especially right now for his full recovery—and for the protection of all those he ministers to.

_________________
You can read more about Pastor Haneef’s journey into Christianity here: From radical Islamic murderer to ardent leader in the Kingdom of Jesus.

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

 

The power of friendship evangelism and healing prayers in the Middle East!

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

Born into a large Muslim Arab family in the Middle East, Aslam Shukkoor* firmly believed the only way to live properly and make your way to heaven was to follow the strict rules of radical Islam. He devoutly practiced his faith and followed its teachings. He never allowed non-Muslims even to visit his house.  He also made a good living owning date plantations and fuel stations.

He and his wife had three boys and three girls, all well-behaved, intelligent children. When the oldest son reached 15, a mysterious illness struck. It began with fever and body pain, then progressed to severe weakness in his legs until he became completely bedridden.  Aslam took him to several super-specialist hospitals, but doctors could not diagnose the cause of his ailments. Every treatment they tried failed, and within two months, the young man died.  

When the second son reached 15, the same disorder began to plague him. The imam of the local mosque told the family it must be because of an ancestral curse. So they invited a number of famous Muslim priests to pray for the children and all in the household. But nothing improved. Someone suggested to Aslam that their house surely had strong demons living in it, drinking the children’s blood one by one. So they decided to move to an area far away.

 Bibles for Mideast gospel team sharing with locals

Bibles for Mideast gospel team sharing with locals

Several missionaries of Bibles for Mideast working in that region, on hearing of the tragedy in Aslam’s family, decided to go visit them.

“We are Christians,” they boldly announced at his gate. “Our Lord Jesus Christ is the living savior. He was crucified, died and rose from the dead. He is able to heal the sick and cast out all demons. If you allow it, may we see your sick son and pray for him and for the rest of your family?”

Aslam would have none of it.

“You kafirs!” he shouted [a derogatory expression for anyone not believing in Islam—Ed.] “How dare you come to my house?  We don’t need your prayers. Allah is merciful. We know he hears our prayers. Get away from my house before I call the police!”

The missionaries attempted to leave a sample gospel with him. Yelling again, he grabbed it from them before tearing it to pieces and throwing it in a nearby waste basket.

Aslam and his wife decided to take their second son, now in debilitating pain, to another country for, they hoped, better treatment. Unfortunately, he too died.

Soon afterwards, they boarded a plane for the flight home, bringing their son’s lifeless body back for burial. Another Arab couple, who ‘just happened’ to be members of an ALG (Assembly of Loving God) church, sat across from them.

They could easily see how distressed Aslam and his wife were—she weeping inconsolably and he trying his best to comfort her in the name of Allah. They obviously and palpably worried about their other children as well.

The Christian Arab couple gently questioned them, and learned they were travelling home with the body of their second dead son. They sympathized and consoled in such a kindly way that the Muslim couple soon considered them trustworthy friends. Aslam shared all they had gone and were going through.

The Christian woman related to them her own family’s unfortunate experiences and how the Lord Jesus Christ—through the prayers of Christian missionaries—had saved them. “If you believe in Jesus and pray in faith, he will certainly help you to overcome the problems. Our own lives are witnesses to that,” she assured them. She and her husband then shared the message of the gospel.

Aslam and his wife grew increasingly irritated.

“Islam is the most holy and true religion in the world,” Aslam let them know with certainty. “Prophet Mohammed is the true messenger of Allah. Prophet Jesus is only a human being and lower than Prophet Mohammed. Whatever Allah wills, he does. Though we are sad about our children, we know it is Allah’s will. We obey him and his truth. So our advice to you is not to become kafir.”

In spite of the tension, the four remained friendly for the rest of the flight. The Christian couple helped the bereaved parents at the airport, and even accompanied them as they took their son’s corpse back to their house.

The relationship continued to blossom as the weeks went on, discussions often centering on religion. The church couple naturally kept up their attempts to convince their new friends of the need for salvation.

It wasn’t many months before the Muslim couple’s third son came down with the dreaded illness. The Arab Christians decided to visit them, accompanied by the same Bibles for Mideast missionaries Aslam had ‘thrown out’ few years earlier. Aslam recognized them but said nothing about it. He simply invited them within the gates of his property and offered them seats in the yard.

The Christian woman they’d met on the plane went inside the house, where Aslam’s wife introduced her to her sick son and the couple’s other children. The woman again tried to explain the all-importance of prayer in Jesus’ name.

Aslam’s wife then called her husband inside. She asked him to invite the missionaries in as well, and allow them to pray for the boy. He agreed!

 Poor former Muslim woman reading Bible

Poor former Muslim woman reading Bible

Once inside and before praying, the Bibles for Mideast workers related their own dramatic stories of moving from Islam to Christianity. All listened intently, and continued to as the missionaries went on to share the gospel.

“I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!” they suddenly heard from the sick boy’s room. “I believe He will heal me and deliver me and others of my house from this strange trouble. Please pray for me.”

So of course the missionaries did. As they laid their hands on his head and prayed, the young fellow explained later how he felt a man’s hands gently touch his whole body. He also sensed a horrible smell leave his body and then, a beautiful aroma totally enveloped him. Finally, he caught a glimpse of the hands and saw what looked like scars in them.

Immediately, all the pain vanished. He shook his legs and found them stronger. When he tried to put them on the floor, he found to his delight they worked! He began walking and running around as everyone else watched in amazement. Only moments later, all believed in Jesus as their personal savior and Lord.

 Praying in an underground church

Praying in an underground church

Since then, no sickness has come near that family. They now regularly attend an underground Assembly of Loving God (ALG) church and worship the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and truth.

Please pray for them as well as all missionaries, staff and believers of Bibles for Mideast and the growing ALG churches.

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Name changed for security reasons