Three new churches in North India!

About a year ago, a Bibles for Mideast pastor took a team of workers to visit a Hindu village chief and his wife in North India. Married as young teenagers, the couple had been trying to conceive for 30 years. They prayed according to Hindu beliefs, had visited Hindu temples from north to south and offered countless burnt offerings to idols … but still, no child.

The pastor shared the saving message of Jesus with them, and then offered to pray. While the chief refused, his desperate wife agreed and managed to convince her husband to receive prayer well.

North Indian Hindu woman

North Indian Hindu woman

When they’d finished, the pastor prophesied the couple would have a baby boy by the same time next year. He handed them a sample gospel and asked them to read it and pray to Jesus every day. 

The stubborn chief refused, but his wife knew this to be their last resort. She dutifully read and prayed every day, and within two months, discovered she was pregnant! It was an easy transition to believe in the reality and Truth of Jesus, and her husband became convinced as well.

After the birth of their son, the village chief contacted the pastor and requested he visit again and pray for them. The minister agreed, then boldly pressed for more. He told the chief he would come, but that he also wanted him to arrange a three-day retreat and request all villagers to attend. The chief agreed, and made the necessary arrangements.

Village evangelism

Village evangelism

So the team visited the village about two weeks ago for the retreat, holding gospel meetings as well. About 150 locals showed up, including family members of the village chief from other nearby communities and another village chief.

The meetings took on a festival atmosphere and Holy Spirit showed up gloriously. Each and every person accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour!  On the fourth day, all the new believers underwent baptism and … lo and behold: a new ALG church was born!

The leader from the neighboring community then asked the team to come visit his village as well.  So off the missionaries went. They held two days of gospel meetings and saw over 70 people accept Jesus as Lord. They too were baptized and yet another ALG church came into being.

Prayer in the street

Prayer in the street

By this time, some of the local Hindu population converged on the new believers, waving their saffron flags and chanting Hindu and anti-Christian slogans. But they proved no match for the new Christians, who joined forces and chased them away without incident.  

At the request of a former Muslim family in a region further afield, the team then journeyed to meet up with four Muslim families. They held several days of prayer and fasting with even many other local Muslims joining in. By fast’s end, seven families put their faith in Jesus, along with 13 other followers of Islam. All were soon baptized and a third new ALG church added to the Kingdom!

BAPTISMAL ceremony

BAPTISMAL ceremony

These new churches and believers urgently need prayer for our Lord's mighty protection. Anti-Christian movements flourish in the ‘new India’, and persecution is rife. Please also pray the Lord to open other villages in North India for evangelism and new churches.

Once again, thank you for your support of our ministry. We could not and cannot do it without the help of God’s people.

Miraculous healing, deliverance and salvations in restrictive Middle Eastern kingdom

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

Pastor M, married with two young boys, four and six, works tirelessly and fearlessly building a strong underground church in the midst of unimaginable constraints on what he can ‘legally’ say, do, share, or be in a highly restrictive nation of the Middle East. A former Muslim working with Bibles for Mideast and the ALG, he has an amazing story of his own healing and salvation but we’ll have to leave that for another time.  

Two weeks ago, he completely disappeared. Religious police, after finding a gospel tract with his phone number on it, had tricked him into meeting with them. When he agreed and they met up, they brutally beat him before hauling him off to ‘religious court’.  

"Why did you leave Islam and become a Christian minister?" the judge demanded at his trial.

"I was a sinner and got into all kinds of trouble,” Pastor M. replied. “I also contracted a serious disease and became a dying patient. But the Lord Jesus Christ saved my life. He healed me, and also rescued me from sin and death by His crucifixion and death on the cross of Calvary. He rose from the dead and still lives. I believed in Him and received salvation. Then, the Lord Jesus Himself called me to His ministry. So I am now trying to help my fellow brethren find salvation as well."

ISIS burns hundreds of Christian books in MosuL

ISIS burns hundreds of Christian books in MosuL

The court ordered he be imprisoned for 15 days. He was told that if he returned to Islam, he would remain in jail for two more years and then be in service to the religious authorities in their fight against Christianity. Should he decide not to renounce Christianity, he would be beheaded. It was as simple as that.

The young husband and pastor refused their demand so was sent to prison to await execution, and the horrible torture began.

The judge of the court had two sons of his own, plus five daughters. Sadly, he lost his older son at 21 last year to testicular cancer. Now his second son faced the same diagnosis. Doctors had given up both hope and treatment for the younger boy, so he lay in bed at home in excruciating pain, waiting to die.

A week after the sentencing, the judge woke in the middle of the night to a mighty voice sounding in the bedroom.

“Release the pastor from jail!” it boomed. “Ask him to pray for your son to be healed.”

Not liking what he heard, the magistrate ignored the plea.

The next day, his son’s sufferings increased to almost beyond what the boy could bear. That night, the judge dreamt a ball of light, somehow encasing powerful words, headed toward him. The words seemed to flow from the light as it approached.

"Release my servant from the prison and ask him to pray for your son!” he heard echo through the room. “With his prayers, your boy may be cured and healed."

Surely this had to be the work of Satan trying to misguide his faith in Islam! He got up, read some portions from the Koran, and did a Sunnah Namaz (ritual prayer done in special circumstances). 

The third night, the Lord Himself appeared before the judge.

"I am Jesus, the Son of the Most High,” the man in white proclaimed. “I did die on the cross and now live forevermore  [interestingly, Muslims do believe Jesus was raised bodily to heaven by God, but do not believe he died on the cross—Ed.]. You are needlessly persecuting my servant! Release him from prison. Your son will be healed. And, accept Me as your Lord and Savior. This is the only way you and your household can be saved from hell."

Jesus then disappeared. The judge rose from his bed to the sounds of his son screaming out in pain. Rushing to the room, he saw his wife and daughters standing by the bed, weeping. Overcome, he disclosed the details of his dream. They listened in amazement. Without hesitation, his wife and daughters begged him to release the minister and get him over to their house to pray for the boy. The son urged him to as well.

When prison officials got the unexpected order from the judge, they immediately freed the pastor and had him sent to the family’s home.  

The judge poured out all he had heard and seen, and asked forgiveness for the prison sentence and execution order. Pastor M of course agreed, and was led to the young man’s room.

He began by sharing the Truth of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

“Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” he asked.

The sick young man agreed straightaway. The others followed, kneeling down and inviting Jesus into their hearts and lives.

The atmosphere now thickening with holiness, Pastor M began to pray. As he did, all were filled with the Holy Spirit. The boy jumped from his bed and began to dance, praising and thanking Jesus for his total healing! Everyone rejoiced in the Lord, the family bursting with a joy they’d never known.

The next day, the judge took the minister back to his court, this time to release him according to court law. For the following three days, Pastor M stayed in the magistrate's home, praying, fasting, teaching from the Bible and preparing the new believers for baptism. On the fourth day, the whole family were baptized. 

As all this was going on, the pastor’s church knew only that he had been beaten and taken away. They hadn’t heard anything from or about him since his disappearance—when they had immediately launched into a time of concerted prayer and fasting.

At one point, his wife—overwhelmed with the strain of continuous prayer, fasting, and understandable concern—became critically ill. Believers rushed her to hospital where doctors began treating her, and discovered she is carrying the couple’s third child.

She remains in hospital, recovering, but with her husband now by her side. Please pray for them, the church, the believers, and Bibles for Mideast ministry in the Middle East. Further exciting news is that the judge’s son has joined our Lord’s ministry and will be working alongside Bibles for Mideast after more extensive training.

Religious police on patrol in Saudi Arabia

Religious police on patrol in Saudi Arabia

Pastor M thanks all who joined the orchestra of prayer for his release and his wife's recovery.

Please also pray for the next baptism service which he had been planning for his church before being ‘sidelined’. Local fundamentalists may well cause problems and resume persecution of this pastor and the church he loves and leads.

NEW LIFE: from Islam, and from death itself

Report: Bibles for Mideast and the ALG churches in Africa

Aminah* lived with her orthodox Muslim family in Africa. Her father, a leader in the community, felt proud that his strapping young sons ran their own business, but worried at times when they continually got into trouble with the locals.

One day, Aminah met handsome young Taban*, and the two became friends. Taban explained to her he had once been a practicing Muslim as well, but had recently embraced Christianity after meeting and interacting with a Christian minister, Pastor Mustafa**. Aminah found her new friend intriguing but wanted nothing to do with his Christian faith.

Taban, strong in his devotion to Jesus, invited her to attend worship services and prayer meetings with him at his church. Fearing she might lose her new friend if she refused, she often made the long trek to the church for gatherings. While the gospel messages and prayers seemed silly and even boring, Taban was another story. She sat through meeting after meeting only to be able to spend time with the fine young man she definitely felt more than stirrings of love for. She’d then make the long trip back home in the evening.

During one of the services, Aminah had the ominous sense of an approaching migraine. As the pain intensified, her vision began to distort and then, utter blackness.  She screamed out in agony.

Pastor Mustafa rushed to her side and prayed over her. Within minutes, the headache had disappeared and her eyesight became crystal clear.

Believing in Jesus suddenly became easy. She paid close attention to the gospel message that day, learning why and how Jesus suffered, was crucified, died on the cross of Calvary and then rose from the dead. She wholeheartedly accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour. Soon, she underwent water baptism and not long afterwards, anointing by the Holy Spirit as well. 

Just three weeks ago, Pastor Mustafa officiated at the marriage of Aminah and Taban—without informing their parents or other relatives. All knew the family would not only forbid it, they’d harass and possibly turn violent against the church for proceeding with such a travesty.

On her wedding day, of course, Aminah did not return to her family home. Her brothers set out to find her and spent two days visiting her friends’ houses and any other places they thought she might be. It was during one of their searches they learned from someone of their sister’s intimate friendship with a former Muslim who had become Christian, and that she too had become one. Could it be, they wondered in horror, she had run away to marry him? They aimed their fury further afield.

For the first three days following their marriage, the couple enjoyed their new life together in the kindly pastor’s home. As the fourth day dawned, they realized they had to find their own place to rent and so headed out to see what might be available.

They hadn’t gotten far in their quest when, suddenly, Aminah’s brothers discovered and ambushed them. The vigilantes grabbed the two, shoved them in their vehicle and careened along the rough roads back to their home. There, after locking their sister in her room, they brutally beat Taban with steel pipes.

The church learned of their capture and called for a full night of prayer. The whole congregation prayed fervently and tearfully for the couple’s safety and release.

Meanwhile, the brothers dragged Taban from their home to a deserted area over a mile away and there, with a few more fierce blows, finished him off. They then dug a grave and buried his bloodied, lifeless body.

Aminah's mother came to her room to offer food, and encouraged her daughter to forget about both Taban and the Christian faith. 

“How can I?” Aminah retorted. “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour, and my eternal Bridegroom. And the Lord has chosen Taban as my husband in this world. I am not ready to lose either of them!” 

Her dejected mother left the room, locking the door from the outside again. Ignoring the food, Aminah knelt down before her Lord.

A while later, she became aware of a conversation between her father and brothers out in the hall. One brother described how they had killed Taban, others where they had buried the body.

"Good,” she heard her father reply. “So that chapter is closed. Now Aminah needs good counselling. For that, we will ask the Imam to come to our house tomorrow. Then she will be perfectly alright. After that, we have to go to that church and destroy them all."

Shock … then depression … gripped her. She felt too much to even cry, and didn't know what to do. But soon, she regained her strength and knelt down again.

"Lord Jesus,” she prayed. “You alone are my Lord and God. You are able to do anything. My life is in You. I trust in You and I surrender myself to You again.  Lord, if You want to make me a widow as my life is just beginning ...." She couldn’t finish her sentence, and began weeping before the Lord. 

Suddenly she heard the sound of a door opening. She looked, but saw no one. She then realized the Lord must have opened her locked bedroom door. She wasted no time running from the house and towards the place, about a mile away, where her brothers had said they had murdered and buried her new husband.

When certain she had found the spot, she prayerfully began digging into the fresh grave and soon, found the dead body of her beloved. She pulled him out. His wounds now full of mud and sand, she set about cleaning them with her clothes. She took Taban’s head to her bosom, put her hands on his face, and prayed like she never had before.

"Lord Jesus!” she sobbed. “You are the Resurrection and the Life! You raised Lazarus from the dead! I believe You are still able to raise Taban from death to life. YOU are the author of life and death. Make us Your witness Lord. But if You want me to be a widow, let Your will be done. I will serve You till my end."

As she ran out of pleas, she felt a cool breeze swoosh in and ripple gently over them.

"My son!” she heard a voice … a Voice … declare. “I say to you, ARISE!"

Jesus resurrection and life best large print lr.jpg

Taban opened his eyes! As he lifted his head from her arms, the two were beside themselves with wonder and thanks. They praised and thanked the Lord for His great mercy. They all out worshiped the Lord in Spirit and Truth by the grave site.

Back at the house, her father and brothers had begun wondering at the complete silence from Aminah’s room. When they went to check on her, they discovered the door unlocked and the room empty. Might she have decided to escape to commit suicide? Fearful, they began to search everywhere. Eventually they ended up back in the area where they’d murdered and buried Taban.

They could not believe their eyes or ears. Aminah and her supposedly-dead husband, both bright with joy and life, worshipped, danced and sang right by the spot he had been buried.

Their throats, their brains, could form no words. Finally, Aminah described to them what had happened. Still stunned, their hardness began to melt away. Finally, they weakly managed to assure her they weren’t angry at her anymore.

"We love you for our Lord Jesus loves you," Aminah and Taban made clear to her father and brothers.

As the couple explained to them more about Jesus and His salvation, the men listened intently. Now though, gripped with a dreadful fear they’d never known, words again failed them.

Taban stepped forward and embraced them warmly with Jesus’ love, and Aminah followed. Only then did it dawn on all of them the reality and Truth of what had just happened.

Aminah's father and brothers, along with the newly-wed and newly-alive young couple, headed back to the family home. When they arrived they explained to everyone in the house what had happened, and then, naturally (and supernaturally!) the message of salvation. Every single one, including some neighbors and friends, accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Two Sundays ago, the entire household and their newly-Christian friends and neighbors boarded a mini bus for the long ride to Pastor Mustafa’s church, where they attended in their first service.

Plans now are to establish a house church in Aminah’s family home, where the newlyweds now stay. Please pray for them.

Pastor Mustafa also requests your prayers for 2,500 Arabic bibles and 1,500 each of Swahili and Somali bibles. Please keep him and the work all across Africa in your prayers.

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*
Name changed for security reasons
** Pastor Mustafa oversees approximately 40 underground Assembly of Loving God (ALG) house churches all across Africa. You can read more about his powerful but dangerous ministry here.

Drug-addicted, suicidal young Muslim meets Jesus and becomes His powerful witness

Sameer, born and brought up in a fanatic Muslim family, strictly followed the practices of Islam. Whenever doing the ritual namaz (prayers prescribed by Islam to be observed five times a day), he would go further and recite du’a (personal supplications) as well.

“I am facing so many problems in my own personal life and family life and do not know how to overcome them!” he would cry to Allah. “Please hear my prayer, answer me and help me to come out from all my troubles.”

By the time he reached his late twenties, Sameer found his problems had only increased. Mentally anguished and exhausted, he fell into deep depression. He hated life. As anger and suicidal thoughts consumed him, he lost the ability to sleep. Friends recommended and supplied him with mandrax tablets [originally developed for medicinal purposes but now considered dangerous and highly addictive—Ed.], crushed and mixed with dagga (marijuana) to smoke in a pipe. When that lost its ability to sedate him, he began injecting it, and drinking more and more alcohol.  Soon, he was hopelessly addicted.

hang.jpg

While drugs, alcohol, and girls helped mask the severe depression, it and the accompanying emptiness always gnawed within. As his drug tolerance grew, his life revolved around finding the next fix.

One day, his heart broken after a bad relationship, Sameer decided he’d had enough. The only way out would be suicide, he figured. He found a rope, headed for a suitable tree, and prepared to hang himself.

It ‘just happened’ that a gospel convention had gotten underway within earshot. Over the loudspeaker, he could hear a man speaking.

“Oh, for the man about to commit suicide, you don’t have to die!” What? Was he addressing him?

“Our Lord Jesus Christ died for you so you can have peace and life!” The speaker went on. “He died as a ransom for your sins and was raised from the dead to glorify you as His child. If you believe in Jesus you will be saved from sin, iniquities and find help for your problems.”

While he could hardly believe his ears, his heart seemed ready to pounce from his chest. Could it be true? He wrapped the rope around his hand and headed to the convention grounds.

When the people gathered saw, many grew fearful and close to panic. Here was a drunken, known fanatic Muslim—holding a rope at that—and joining a gathering where the one preaching, Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, had converted from Islam to Christianity. Surely he must be coming to attack the preacher. When one man tried to pull Pastor Paul to safety, the evangelist instead asked the fellow with the rope to come to the platform.

Sameer approached, explained what had happened, and asked for prayers. As Pastor Paul told him more about Jesus, Sameer knelt down before the Lord.  Joining with the other pastors at the convention, the evangelist laid his hands on the young man’s head and the leaders all prayed over him.

As they did, Sameer had a strange vision. He saw himself as a helpless sheep attacked by wild animals and held among the thorns in a jungle. He felt sure his life was about to end.

Suddenly, Jesus appeared like a shepherd, saved him from the wild animals, freed him from the thorns and carried him away on His shoulder. Walking with him what seemed a long distance away, Jesus then placed him gently in a fold of sheep, safe behind a beautiful, strong fence. 

"You are my child,” He said to Sameer. “I have marked you upon my palms as your savior. Now, be my witness."

"Lord I accept you as my savior!” Sameer cried out. “I will be your witness."

Baptized within a few days, Sameer soon joined Bibles for Mideast as an evangelist. Four years later, living and working in a remote village of North India, he continues to witness to the amazing love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,, winning many to Christ from among both the local Muslim and Hindu population.

While distributing gospel tracts six months ago, still-unknown assailants attacked him. The situation would have been much worse if some neighboring Hindus had not protected him. And his protectors all soon became Christians as well!

Most of the villagers completely accept and appreciate Sameer. In a region with scarce water and no indoor plumbing, he has been helping dig water wells as well as install toilets in their homes. He surely delights our Lord as he witnesses to God’s love and goodness in both word and deed.

Please pray for him and all the work he and Bibles for Mideast attempt to do, with God’s help, in so many restrictive and dangerous areas.

Terrorists JOIN church after Jesus terrorizes their plan to burn it down!

Report from Bibles for Mideast and an ALG Church in the Middle East

Ibrani*, a young man born and brought up in an orthodox Muslim family in a Middle Eastern kingdom, had always strictly followed the rituals and principles of Islam. 

A sister he was close to and loved very much had become Christian two years ago through the ministry of Bibles for Mideast. Her husband and children also joined the Kingdom of Jesus, and all were baptized and became members of an ALG Church. They evangelized whenever possible and brought others to faith in Christ.

Ibrani tried his level best to bring his sister and her family back to Islam. But they would explain to him how they now knew that Jesus was not only a great prophet (as all Muslims believe), but the Living Lord and Son of the Most High God. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary as a sinless man to take away the sins of all humanity, they told him. His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary served to take away the penalty of sin. He died and rose from the dead on the third day. Only by believing in and accepting Him as Lord and Savior could he be free and attain salvation, they assured him. They even invited him to meet their pastor and attend a worship service, letting him know where and when the church met.

Ibrani would have none of it. He became their sworn enemy and determined to free his region of the scourge of the Christians and their church. Joining up with a group of militants, he formulated a plan to attack the believers and destroy their meeting place. His father, mother, brothers and other sisters all offered him their total support.

The plot entailed pouring petrol on the church during a worship service, then setting it alight in hopes of burning the place down. They received the backing of both local and religious police—who it turns out already knew about the church, but hadn’t yet been able to determine where it met. The religious police in particular were delighted with the new information.

Ibrani and the team collected the petrol in a large container, which Ibrani kept in his own house. They planned to carry out the attack as the church met for Sunday worship last week. 

Around midnight Saturday, the men noticed a fire develop over the petrol jar, and watched in horror as it began spreading to the parts of the house near it. They screamed to waken Ibrani’s family sleeping in other rooms. All woke immediately and ran to safety.

Suddenly, to their astonishment, a man appeared from within the fire.

Jesus in fire wall heart.jpg

"I am the Lord of Heaven and Earth,” he told them with calm authority. “I dwell in the light which no one can come near.

“I am also the burning fire. I can finish you off now, for I am the author of life and death. But I didn’t come to the world to destroy, but to redeem each of you from sin and death. I died for you on the cross of Calvary, and I rose from the dead. Believe in me and follow me. You will have salvation and eternal life."

He then disappeared as quickly as he had materialized, and the burning fire subsided as well. No one doubted that the Jesus Ibrani's sister had told him about had just visited them. They prostrated themselves, foreheads to the ground, convinced now in the Truth of the message she had shared.

While the church had met for prayer and fasting on Friday, the pastor had had a revelation and three members had prophesied about a great tribulation coming to the church. The prophecies warned them to move their meeting place immediately to somewhere far away, even showing them where exactly to go. It turns out the religious police intended to arrest the pastor and church members that Sunday if  the militants’ plans failed.

Ibrani's family members and his band of (former!) militants contacted Ibrani's sister and brother-in-law the same night of their visitation. They met together with the pastor, and shared what all had happened. The pastor taught them more about Jesus and the gospel throughout the night. Everyone accepted Jesus as their personal savior and Lord.

As morning dawned, they all freshened themselves up and travelled to the new worship location for Sunday service. Once there, they openly declared their new faith in Jesus and joined in worship with the believers. The church rejoiced in the Lord for HIS amazing works.

Please pray for the new believers, the pastor and his church, all the churches in the Middle East and the entire ministry of Bibles for Mideast and the Assembly of Loving God Church as we keep marching forward with the Gospel of Love and Life.

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*
Name changed for security reasons