UPDATE on church members brutally attacked … and more former Muslims baptised

By Pastor Peter Haneef

I thank you for your prayers and support for Pastor Kumar and three of his church members who were brutally attacked by Hindu militants almost a month and a half ago. Pastor Kumar remains in hospital, and the other three were discharged recently.

They are all very poor, so other local church families have been helping their families and Pastor Kumar's family as well with their daily needs. They also did as much as they could to settle the hospital bills. With the help of our other churches and our generous partners, we have managed to cover the rest of the expenses.

By God's grace, Pastor Kumar continues to recover from his injuries and may be discharged from hospital by the end of this week. He has undergone two surgeries, one a major procedure on his back. Doctors were not certain he would be able to out of bed afterwards. But now, he has begun walking slowly with his wife’s assistance. The doctors themselves report this is a miracle! Of course we know it is because of your prayers that our Lord touched his backbone and healed him as a witness to His glory.

Please pray for him that our Lord may give him more courage and strength to labor in His Vineyard, witness for Him, and win more souls for His Kingdom. Pray also for his family and all the members of his church. 

Many of the local people who were against the church and ministry are now attending the prayer meetings and worship services. Please pray for them, and also for the conversion of the attackers. 

Ninety-four former Muslims were baptized in the Middle East last week. Pray for them and their families. So far this year, thousands of former Muslims have been baptized not only in the Middle East, but in our Asian and African churches as well.

Baptismal ceremony in the Indian Ocean by African ALG Church

Baptismal ceremony in the Indian Ocean by African ALG Church

This past Sunday, Pastor Mustafa baptized 22 former Muslims in Somalia in Africa. Others are also preparing for baptism there. Even more people are getting ready for baptismal services in Pakistan, which will probably happen next week. Please be in prayer for all of them.

94 former Muslims baptised in dramatic Arabian Sea ceremony!

94 former Muslims praising God in the Arabian Sea  [photo: Bibles for Mideast]

94 former Muslims praising God in the Arabian Sea [photo: Bibles for Mideast]

[Oct. 26, 2019] By God's grace, several Middle Eastern pastors of the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) churches of Bibles for Mideast baptised 94 former Muslims in the Arabian Sea early yesterday morning!

The pastors and believers had all fasted and prayed for the Lord's guidance and protection over the three days leading up to the service. Going 72 hours without food or drink, they feasted only on the Word of God.  

Very early yesterday, they travelled by six buses to the shore of the Arabian Sea. God blessed them by providing ex-pat evangelical Christians as drivers, all promising to keep the journey and baptisms secret for the safety of the believers and churches.

The sea had been churning violently since the evening before, inciting fear in some of those to be baptised. How could they safely get in with such massive waves crashing in?

Before beginning the service, all joined hands as the pastors led in prayer. As soon as they finished, the sea calmed, the waves completely subsided. The people looked up in awe to see unusual illumination from above. Pastors and candidates approached the shore praising the Lord of Creation and salvation. As they proceeded with the ceremony, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully among them.

When all had headed back to shore after the baptism and the final prayers concluded, giant waves began to swell and crash in again. As mysteriously as it had appeared, the glow from above the sea also dissipated.  

Returning to their churches bursting with joy, the believers celebrated the Lord’s Supper and only after that, broke their fast.

We know without a doubt that God’s protection and care guided and guarded His children as the apple of His eye. Their time of prayer and fasting, added to the prayers of our prayer partners, moved and continue to move heaven. A great mystery we shall all know the answer to one day!

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Kindly continue praying for the newly-baptised and their families.

Please also pray for all the leaders, believers and the ministry of Bibles for Mideast as a whole for the great task of winning every Muslim to the fold of Jesus Christ at any cost!

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.

__________________________
*
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.