Freedom for Middle East missionaries imprisoned for evangelizing; healing and salvation for fellow prisoners!

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

Pastor Zakkir of Bibles for Mideast labored long, hard and secretively in one of the most restrictive countries in the Middle East, as we reported last year in our story From Islamic enforcer and Christian killer to underground church leader: a modern-day Muslim Saul.

After his dramatic conversion, he had been pastoring an underground ALG (Assembly of Living God) church and taking care of a number of persecuted Christians who had converted from Islam. He lived with and was training seven young men in how to effectively evangelize in the Middle East.
 
About seven months ago, he and his team headed out to evangelize and distribute gospel tracts and bibles in a particularly dangerous area. They shared with many Muslims in the region and on returning home, sat down to intercede for the salvation of those they'd reached out to. 

As they prayed, a group of policemen and angry locals barged in on them, brandishing guns. They brutally attacked Zakkir and the team, burned their bibles and gospel literature along with their clothes and other items. While the men who’d accompanied the police aimed to kill the Christians, fortunately the officers decided to 'only' arrest them. They were whisked away to a religious court for trial and sentenced to prison for blasphemy and proselytizing.

When thrown into a common cell with notorious criminals and murderers, their real trials began. For over a month they faced cruel torture by jail wardens and relentless, often violent harassment from fellow prisoners. Yet they report now they felt the ever-present love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compared to what He endured for us, they explain, their sufferings amounted to nothing.

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

On first arriving at their cell, they immediately knelt down and prayed in the name of Jesus. Seeing this, other prisoners beat them and made it clear they were not to ever pray like this. So the men resorted to waiting till the others were sound asleep, then join hands in fervent worship and prayer. They figure the Lord must have induced deep sleep in their fellow prisoners, just to allow His children to worship Him in spirit, truth and safety. They prayed especially for their jailers and cellmates.
 
One day a man imprisoned for murdering three people developed severe chest pains and began vomiting blood.  He had been the one encouraging others to torture the gospel team members. 

“Shall we pray to Jesus for your healing?” Pastor Zakkir asked him.

“No!” he replied. “You cannot pray for me in that name and I do not want to hear that name again!” 

When his vomiting resumed even more severely, the man, now exhausted, thought he was going to die.

“Shall we pray for you?” Zakkir inquired again. ”Jesus is the mighty healer and He will heal you and will give you life, for which we are the witness.”

The criminal didn’t turn down the offer this time. So the pastor touched his head and prayed over him. The other team members laid their hands on him as well, joining in the prayers.

His stomach settled down immediately, as did his chest pains. Leaping to his feet as if absolutely nothing had been wrong, he marvelled that he'd felt something like an electric current flow through his body when the men prayed.

Others in the cell were equally stunned by his swift relief. The atmosphere in the cell soon transformed as the convicts grew friendly and accommodating. The missionaries could now freely pray as and when they wanted.

Furthermore, when any prisoner felt sick, depressed or upset, he'd now ask for prayer and find rapid, remarkable relief. One by one the convicted murderers, rapists, thieves and other outlaws joined the gospel workers in their times of prayer. Without the jail wardens or officers knowing, the whole cell resembled an underground church each night, with praise, worship and prayers rising to the heavens. 

Zakkir and his team related their own stories of salvation to the others, and the pastor shared the gospel message. Each and every prisoner confessed his many sins before Jesus Christ, and readily accepted Him as personal savior and Lord. They agreed that if released from jail, they too would become witnesses of Jesus to others.
 
Three months ago, a new officer took charge of the prison. Apparently trying particularly hard to prove he was tough and up to the task of controlling those in his charge, he behaved harshly towards prisoners. He could not figure out, however, why the men in this one particular cell actually seemed calm and happy. They behaved well and kindly to each other and even more surprising, when beaten or tortured, responded with “Praise the Lord!” Keeping a close eye on them, he discovered it was all because of the prayers of the gospel team members. So after two weeks, he moved Pastor Zakkir and his team into a separate cell.
 
And he continued to watch them. One night, as soon as he heard them praying, the officer entered their quarters. The gospel workers’ initial fear turned to wonder as he walked unthreateningly towards them and sat down. He then opened up about his own life. He had studied at a western university, he explained, and while there, had many Christian friends. Through their influence, he learned about the sacrifice of Jesus and had even accepted Him as his personal savior. He attended worship and prayer services with his Christian buddies and had numerous experiences with God at the time.

But on returning to his homeland after studies, he joined the government services and lost all Christian fellowship. He did however still begin his day reading the bible and secretly prayed to Jesus both morning and night.

Now, he eagerly joined with the evangelists in prayer. He asked each of them to share their testimonies, which they of course did. The men continued in worship and prayer till dawn. From then on, the officer interceded with them every night. With his help the prisoners in the team's previous cell continued their prayers as well.
 
Since the new, secretly-Christian officer held sway in higher circles within the prison system, he took the initiative in securing their release from jail, with one condition: they must leave their native land.

Agreeing to this, the evangelists were freed from jail several days ago. Before departing, Pastor Zakkir asked two of the prisoners to lead in regular prayer services in the jail, as the Lord Himself would lead him. The Christian prison officer offered his full support to this. 

Worshippers in an underground church

Worshippers in an underground church

The officer then made arrangements for Pastor Zakkir and his brave team of seven to leave the country. They are now safe with Bibles for Mideast pastors in another region, and continuing ministry there.

Please pray for them and the entire ministry, all ministers and believers of Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church, and the ministry as a whole. Pastor Zakkir and his team also want to sincerely thank all who prayed for them over these challenging yet God-ordained seven months.

Resurrection life and healing for an abused young Muslim woman

ReportAssembly of Loving God (ALG) Church

Seydath (not her real name) grew up in a poor fundamentalist Muslim family in Central Asia. When only six, her father died, and her mother remarried a year later.

As Seydath grew into a beautiful young woman, her stepfather’s unwanted attentions grew unbearable. While she knew she wasn’t safe, she had no way of escape. 

At 13, her stepfather and the Imam of the local mosque brought an elderly man to their home for a visit. He turned out to be a rich Arab from the Middle East who, once he saw her, decided she should be his next bride. For a sum, her mother and stepfather gave their young daughter to the man. He then returned to the Middle East with her as his fifth wife—far younger than his other wives and younger even than his grandchildren.

When the elderly Arab died four years later, the other wives and their children forced Seydath to become their servant. With a young child to raise but without proper food or care, the two lived a subsistence, isolated existence. When the child fell ill with pneumonia, it soon died due to lack of medical attention. Seydath had no idea how to approach the authorities, get help from anyone, and had no contacts with her native people. As the years passed, she persistently endured but barely survived.

At 40, Seydath developed serious back pain. No one in the household she worked so hard for cared. As the pain increased, she grew less and less able to function. Not until completely disabled was she admitted to the common ward of a hospital.

Doctors diagnosed severe, final stage, terminal bone cancer. None of her ‘family’ visited her in hospital, or seemed to even care she was dying.

Seydath became plagued by dreams and visions of evil spirits coming and going, attacking her body, increasing her pain and laughing at her. When doctors and nurses came, she would imagine they were agents of death, and scream at them in terror.

One day, several women working with Bibles for Mideast dropped in on her as part of their regular hospital evangelism. Near delusional, Seydath figured they too were forces of evil. She shrieked at them as she had with the hospital staff. The women merely moved back slightly from her bed and began praying in earnest.  An angel suddenly appeared to Seydath, smiled at her, and calmly reached out to touch her.

“Don’t be concerned. Be at peace,” the angel said sweetly. “You have a great healer, the Lord Jesus. He will heal you by His stripes. Trust in Jesus and believe in Him." It then vanished.

Seydath felt overwhelming peace. She looked at the women holding their bibles and praying. She knew now they had to be agents of healing and life, not death. So she called them over.

"Who is this Lord Jesus, the great healer?" she asked them.

The women told her about Jesus Christ and His mission. She listened, but as a practicing Muslim, could not accept their message. The Jesus she believed in was a prophet, not the Son of God.

"I am waiting for my death," she told them. "I won't believe in your Jesus and don't want to go to hell as a Kafir [one not believing in Islam]. I only believe in Allah and his prophet Mohammad. So please leave me alone."

That evening, a Bibles for Mideast group of believers gathered together in an underground church of the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church, and prayed for her the entire night.

The next day, Pastors Peter and James visited her in the hospital. Even as they entered her room, she had been dreaming of and sensing the evil spirits unleashed against her. She opened her eyes as the pastors approached, and witnessed the evil spirits flee.

Pastor Peter opened up to her more about Jesus, the risen Lord and Saviour.

“Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary, died and resurrected from the dead to save us from hell and give us eternal life,” he explained. “He is the one sitting at the right of Almighty Father God to receive His people to heaven. He lives and does miracles. By His stripes we are healed. If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you will be saved.”

Both pastors then shared their own dramatic stories of conversion from Islam.

Seydath listened carefully, remaining silent. When the pastors asked permission to pray for her, she consented since, whenever they spoke, she could feel such peace and even relief from her pain.

As the pastors prayed, she fell asleep. She dreamed that Jesus appeared before her, and gently touched her from head to toe with His nail-pierced hands. He then asked her to get up from the bed and be His witness.

The pastors were still praying when she woke up. She rose, then just as quickly knelt down by the bed.

"I believe in Jesus as my personal saviour and Lord!” she announced to them. “He really was crucified, died and rose from the dead for me. From now on, He alone is my Saviour." With one voice, all three exclaimed “Amen!”

Seydath now makes her home with the Bibles for Mideast women, worshiping Jesus and studying the word of God.

"Never in my life have I experienced such happiness,” she says with conviction. “My Lord Jesus totally showers me with great joy. Praise His Name!"

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Please pray for Seydath. Please also keep up your prayers for Pastor Paul and his family. He is still in hospital undergoing treatment after his major brain surgery, needed due to the stoning by Islamic militants immediately following a baptismal service last month (that story here). He is expected to be released in about ten days.

He and his family do, however, remain under death threats. They survived a recent commando attack by terrorists, thwarted due to an intelligence report to the police (more details cannot be revealed). Our mighty Lord keeps them under His wings by your prayers.

ALG Church calls for 21 days fasting and prayer

Report:  Bibles for Mideast

The newly-formed Assembly of Loving God Church (ALG Church) calls for 21 days of prayer and fasting from March 13 to April 2, 2017.  “Prayer can change the world” will be the main focus.

Pastor Peter Haneef, the president of the ALG Church, said that all members of the ALG’s 176 underground house churches in the region (103 in the Middle East alone) plan to take part. He also invites the children of God and prayer warriors around the globe to join in.

Pastor Haneef requests prayer 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;
♦  the baptism of new believers. At this point, more than 2,000 believers (former Muslims) from the various ALG churches are preparing for baptism;
♦  the salvation of the 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.

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 work hard 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.

Please pray also that each and every one praying and supporting our Lord’s ministry around the globe be blessed abundantly with their families and generations. Pray the Lord would bless them with happiness of the Holy Spirit, with good health, wealth, and all other blessings they require.

“For those unable to fast during these days, ALG Church requests they pray at least three times per day for the church, mission, and the subjects mentioned,” the president of the church added.

Our Lord Jesus 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 askanything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 13-14).  PLEASE PRAY. IT WILL BE ANSWERED.

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,” Pastor Haneef said.

About fasting and prayer: most ALG believers will avoid food till 2:00 p.m., spending extra time in prayer. They will then generally have vegetarian food only. The partial fast, lasting 21 days, follows the model of the Old Testament prophet Daniel (see Daniel 1).

End Time prophecy about the Middle East

Special message from Pastor Paul

It is the end-time harvest. Our Lord will be returning to take His bride in glory at any time. Before His return we have to take the Gospel to the unreached, especially in the Muslim world. Because of that, we do not fear persecution or death for His name's sake.The harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few.

Our Lord has given us clear information about the Middle East through prophetic words. Within five to seven years, the Arabian Peninsula will face absolute devastation. Oil fields will burn and some countries will disappear.

And our Lord will break the power of Islam in order to set the nations of the Middle East free. Some populations will turn entirely to the Lord. The Glory of the Lord will be such that thousands, even those injured by nuclear radiation, will be healed!

By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Bibles for Mideast ministers wholeheartedly for this great breakthrough and end-time harvest.

We ask the prayers of those waiting His soon coming in glory

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all children of light and children of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” [1Thess 5:2-6]

Wonder how the Face of God looks?

Have you ever wondered what the face of God looks like? Have you ever thought what you would say to Him? What you would do in His presence?

I lay awake one night and began to think about what I would do. As I was praising Him, I kept thinking about other things. I wanted more, I wanted something more personal. Do I dare?

To start, I am a Christian. I have God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, first in my life. Then, thinking I was in heaven, I could hear chanting.

"Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was, and is and is forever more’’. At first, I can’t see a thing. I can only hear the chanting. It is beautiful. You can’t describe it. You can just say it is the most beautiful and wonderful sound you have ever heard.

great1.jpg

I listen for a time and realize that there is no darkness, only light. I could see! The light is not blinding, but a pure light. A light that gives you a sense of warmth and peace. You feel drawn to the light but there is no source. There is only the warm, soothing pure light. A light with no beginning, it is everywhere and everlasting!

Something touched me as I was enjoying the presence of everything. I heard a voice say, ‘’ Come with me, I want to show you something’’.

I could now see, hear and feel. Everything was so wonderful, what more could there be? As I looked, I saw my life before me. The good things, the bad things and the missed blessings I could have had. For the first time there was sorrow in me. The sorrow was for me, and those I should have tried to witnessed to. I had the realizations that I may not have lead someone to know Jesus as I did, to know Jesus as their personal Savior. There was such sorrow in my soul. I thought I could have done more and could have done it better.

At once, I was at the foot of the most splendid individual you could envision. The experience and feeling was far beyond any explanation. I was happy to stay there. There were twenty-four saints seated with Him. I believed they were the leaders of the twelve tribes of the Jews and the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. There were angels going to and from the twenty-four with reports and tasks to do.

The twenty-four saints were continually praising God the Father, the Creator, the Almighty.

I felt a touch. A warm, gentle touch. It was Jesus, my Savior, my Lord and Kinsmen-Redeemer, The Prince of Peace. He is my Shepherd. I remembered His words that He would remain at the right hand of God the Father. His elect will be with Him forever.

Jesus said, “Cover your face for now. There is much to do. I need saints who will be willing to give their all, even their life to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’’ Again I became sad for those who have and will lose their lives to spread the Gospel to lost souls who are following the deceiver, Satan.

I heard Jesus talk to the Father but could not understand what was said. Jesus said to me, ‘’Come here, I want you to meet the Father.’’

As I kept my head down, not wanting to look up, I felt myself weak and falling to my knees. I heard Jesus introduce me to the Father as His good and faithful servant. It was an introduction, but really I felt so unworthy of it.

I kept thinking the only reason I was there is because of the willingness of His Son to redeem me from Satan’s hold on me. Mankind is so unworthy. I am so undeserving. God is so caring. He didn’t need to do this for me.

I found myself chanting, "Worthy is the Kinsmen-Redeemer of the world. All praise and honor is to be given to Him and the Father.’’ I kept saying it over and over.

An angel came over to me and stood between the Father and me. He told me to look up. As I looked up, I could see the outline of Glory. The silhouette of the angel only just dimmed the brightness and warmth of the light of the face of God.

How does the face of God look? His face is greater than the best you could ever describe here on earth. If you could come into the physical presence of the Father and see Him, you would want to stay there and worship Him forever.

Please pray with me.

"Give us the strength, dear Heavenly Father, to endure the temptations of this world. Keep Your saints safe. Empower us with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses around the globe till the day of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen !"

41 former Muslims baptised!

By God’s grace, 41 former Muslims were recently baptized in the Middle East. Leaders of the Bibles for Mideast organization conducted the baptismal ceremony in a highly restricted area.

All candidates had accepted Jesus as their personal savior and Lord, fully believe he was crucified and died at Calvary for their sins, and that he rose from the dead. They knew that through and by his blood they had received redemption. Each personally requested this next step in their Christian journey, wanting to be purified in the Spirit and the water and be ready to meet Him. Our Lord’s return is imminent, they all believe.

Bibles for Mideast had called for five days of global fasting and prayer the previous week, and all candidates had taken part to prepare themselves for the planned mass baptism. When their bus arrived at the seashore at dawn that day, they discovered the area to be tightly patrolled by police.

“We smelled a dangerous situation at the seashore,” reports Pastor Paul, Director of the organization. “So we returned back to spend another day in fasting and prayer. We also divided the people into three groups, and conducted the service in three different places the next day.”

The organization had a special meeting later on the day of the planned baptism (Dec. 5) to discuss and formulate plans for the growth of the church in Asia, Africa and the Middle East among Muslims.

Close to 150 underground house churches worship the Lord in different areas under the directorship of Bibles for Mideast.

Pastor Paul said in his inaugural address to those gathered that all of the house churches must come under a separate church administration. He also said every church must become a self-supporting, missionary-sending church. Serious discussion ensued and a sub-committee was appointed for further action.

Bibles for Mideast is not a church, but a missionary organization spreading the gospel, distributing bibles and establishing churches. So it was decided all the separate churches need separate administration and curriculum.

Pastor Paul also strongly urged each church to give a bible to every believer as a Christmas and New Year’s gift. They should also, he advised, present a bible with an accompanying message of salvation to one of their best Muslim friends. This would serve to win others to Christ as well as train believers to be missionary-minded people, part of a missionary church.

Militants firebomb home of Bibles for Mideast women; two seriously injured

(Nov. 19, 2016) The house of six women working with Bibles for Mideast was fire-bombed by Muslim militants in the Middle East yesterday evening, with two seriously injured.

Ramza, a young woman featured in a story here last July (Muslim father kills daughter; Jesus raises her from the dead), managed to miraculously escape with only minor injuries.

The six women lived and worked together, evangelizing and distributing bibles to local women, as well as  working for their livelihood as farm laborers.

After their evening prayers, the women had gone to bed. Not long after, they awakened to a terrifying noise and saw their house burning around them. They screamed and attempted to escape. But men armed with guns stood at their door.

“As we tried to come out, they fired at us,” reported Saleeha, who managed to escape unharmed. “So we were forced back into the house. By then, two women had collapsed, seriously burnt.”

“People living nearby managed to reach our house with weapons, and the attackers finally left,” Saleeha said.  “Five to seven attackers had come to kill us. They came by motor bikes. But our Lord Jesus Christ protected our lives,” she added.

“Christ Jesus is our mighty Savior and Lord!” Ramza added. “He is able to keep us safe. Whether we live or die, we belong to him.” As someone who had already experienced death at her own father’s hands, and been resurrected by Jesus, she certainly understood better than most of us the truth of her words.

The injured women were hospitalized, and the others moved to a different location. Please pray for them.

Muslim father kills daughter; Jesus raises her from the dead

Report: Ramza, for Bibles for Mideast

I was born in an orthodox and fanatic Muslim family in the Muslim month of Ramzan [also known as RamadanEd.] in a Middle Eastern Kingdom. So my parents named me Ramza. Now I have been born again by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and have become a citizen of the Kingdom of God.

I was a religious girl from my childhood. I was always at the front of the line for Islamic practices such as reciting the Koran, doing namaz [prayer] five times a day, and fasting in the month of Ramzan. I also always kept the tradition of wearing the ‘abaya’ with full head and face covering. [Typically black, the abaya is constructed like a loose robe or caftan and covers everything but the face, hands and feet—Ed.]

My family is a big one, with a father, three mothers and thirteen children including myself. My father has a huge income from several trading and contracting agencies, being their local Arab sponsor.

One of my friends who studied with me in school tried to convey to me the message of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died and, she said, resurrected. She was the daughter of a pastor ministering with Bibles for Mideast, and gave me a gospel tract. But I never accepted her message and arguments.

After my school education, my father wanted to get me married to an old and rich man who already had three wives and several children. I would have been younger than his youngest child.

One evening, I went to meet my father in his room, where he was talking with one of my step mothers. I pleaded with them not to arrange my marriage now, but send me for further studies. My father denied my request. I argued with him, for I simply could not imagine such a marriage. He refused to listen, so I finally announced I would leave home before the marriage.

My father, enraged, grabbed a chair and hit me over the head with its legs. The blows cracked open my skull, and he and my stepmother were certain I’d been killed.

This seemed to waken their criminal minds. Hiding my death from others, they put my body into a plastic bag, tied it up, and drove a long distance by car through the desert and all the way to a deep well in the middle of a date plantation. The well had no water. (Other family members may well have thought I’d left home because of the marriage plans.)

When they threw my body down the waterless well, I felt my soul going through a terrible darkness to hell. I thirsted deeply for even a drop of water. Yet I knew my soul desired not earthly water, but the Water of Life. I then saw the gospel my school friend had given me in front of me, and it consoled me some. When I tried to grab hold of it, it seemed out of reach.  Still though, it somehow led me to an amazing experience.

A strong, healthy and beautiful man stood inside the well. He caught the sack holding my dead body, untied it, and began rubbing my head and body. I opened my eyes like waking up from a dream. I saw nail marks in His hands.  He was my Lord Jesus. He then carried me up and out of the well.  He said to me, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, though dead, will live” (John 11:25).

Lying prostrate before Him, I said with tears of joy, “Lord Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior! You were crucified and you died for me. You are risen indeed. I am yours. I believe in you.”

When I raised my head to look at Him, He had disappeared.

I didn’t know what to do. But I was so happy. I praised and thanked my Lord Jesus. Within a few minutes, a husband and wife from Bibles for Mideast came to me. They introduced themselves as Christians, and explained that Jesus had guided them to me. I shared my experiences with them. They gave me a bible and brought me to a house where five women laborers of an agricultural and cattle farm stay together.

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They are all born again, and I now live with them.  They teach me more about the Word of God and we worship Jesus together in our house church. I also work with them on the farm as well as in ministry for the Lord. I don’t want go back to my parents unless they accept the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please pray for my family members and all the people of the Middle East to be saved.