Exciting 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

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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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

Conversions, healing and deliverance in the jungles of South Asia!

A seven-member team from Bibles for Mideast returned victorious last week from an exhausting but exhilarating mission trip in South Asia! Many thanks to all who held them up in prayer. 

High and deep in a remote, thickly-forested region of South Asia, two Bibles for Mideast missionaries have lived and worked among a group they call ‘jungle people’ for close to two years. Despite the area being infiltrated by sorcerers, witches and communist terrorists, several locals had made decisions to join the Kingdom of Christ and a small underground ALG Church was born.

But battles proved intense and were worsening. While the workers sensed an eagerness among many to accept the gospel, fierce backlashes from the Kingdom of darkness led to increasing fear and hesitancy among the inhabitants and death threats to the missionaries

So they did the best Kingdom logical thing: they declared a five-day period of fasting, prayer, house visits and gospel meetings. On hearing of the plans, Pastor Paul,  ALG pastors Peter Haneef and James Irshad and four other Bibles for Mideast evangelists decided to join up with the missionaries.

Simply getting there involved days of demanding travel, much of it on rough, stony roads and paths inaccessible to most vehicles. At one point they were stranded by torrential rains at a forest station near the foot of the final pathway up to the people they hoped to reach. As God would have it, the forest officer is a strong believer in Jesus, stays in fairly regular contact with the hilltop believers, and gladly sheltered, fellowshipped with and prayed with the evangelists. The plan was for some of the hilltop believers to make the three-mile trek down the mountain to meet the visitors and accompany them back up to where they lived.

As the rains, now accompanied by thunder and lightning, continued, dangerous rock and mudslides began rolling down the mountain.

“Our missionaries and believers could not come down from the hills,” Pastor Paul explains. They thought they might have to abort the mission.

oFFERING A BIBLE TO A LOCAL

oFFERING A BIBLE TO A LOCAL

“But that night we prayed until the rain finally stopped at about two in the morning. Then, finally, we went to bed. We did not have any idea about the hill people, whether they would come to receive us or not.”

About three hours later, the men woke to hear loud knocking on their door. They opened, stunned to see the ‘hilltop missionaries’ along with the new converts waiting to take them up the hill! Hours of torturous trudging later, they reached the top by ten that morning

“Physically we all were tired, but spiritually we were strengthened,” Pastor Paul reports of the ascent.

The original plan had been to stay among the people for five days: praying and fasting each morning, visiting in people’s homes each afternoon, then holding gospel meetings each evening. While they kept to the prayer and fasting even while and after climbing that first day, due to fatigue they canceled the afternoon visiting and evening meeting. Instead they pretty well passed out on floor mats in the hut they stayed in, but woke refreshed the next morning.

“We held our prayer and fasting again and a few more villagers attended,” Pastor Paul recounts. “Someone brought a deaf and dumb man to the gathering, and all joined in prayer for him.  After the service he knelt down before the Lord Jesus in front of me. I put my hands on his head and prayed. As I prayed, he suddenly said, ‘Praise the Lord Jesus and hallelujah!’  Then he said he could hear!”

THEIR ORIGINAL SCEPTICISM TURNED TO ACCEPTANCE

THEIR ORIGINAL SCEPTICISM TURNED TO ACCEPTANCE

The news of course spread quickly and by that afternoon, all of the houses in the area opened their doors wide to the missionaries and their message. Many more attended that evening's meeting.

Communist terrorists have a strong influence in this region, forming almost as dire a threat as ISIS.

“They were directing people against Christians and our ministry,” Pastor Paul explains. “They had a large stockpile of landmines they planned to use to destroy our church along with us during the meetings.”

In a wondrous God-twist, the landslides which had so threatened the evangelists’ trip up the mountain had also completely buried and washed away the terrorists’ collection of landmines. Shocked at their sudden loss, the terrorists still sent agents to spy on the church’s evening meetings.

On the third day, the believers meetings and visits went according to plan. That evening, one of the communist terrorists unknowingly stepped on a landmine planted by one of his comrades. Placed to explode when the missionaries walked towards one of the villager's homes, it instead nearly blew apart the terrorist.

Severely injured, he had no chance of getting to a hospital in time to be saved.  Believers who witnessed the explosion told his friends to bring him to the gospel center for prayer. They refused at first, but the locals persisted until they relented and brought him.

“We shared the gospel and prayed for him,” explains Pastor Paul. “At once our Lord poured out His healing power and restored him.  He knew the power of prayer and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord.”

His friends, now totally free of misgivings, followed suit. They then warned the believers of the many other landmines they had planted all around the prayer hall. After the whole group prayed together again, the former terrorists went out and, under the direction and leadership of their healed comrade, located and removed all the hidden landmines.

On the fourth day, Sunday, most of the villagers attended the worship service. Everyone who did confessed before the Lord and accepted Him as his or her personal savior. That afternoon, the team visited all the remaining homes.

gROWING PRAISE AND WORSHIP AMONG NEW BELIEVERS

gROWING PRAISE AND WORSHIP AMONG NEW BELIEVERS

One of those happened to belong to the village sorcerer. She had a giant black idol as her ‘goddess’, the villagers explained, and when possessed, would begin to shudder violently. Then, taking hold of a huge sword, she’d find a rooster and kill it in front of her goddess. Screaming, she would proceed to drink the animal’s blood in hopes of pleasing the idol. Now completely demonized, she’d ‘tell the fortunes’ of those in attendance and dictate what they should and should not do to be blessed. All would obey.

Unfazed by the stories, the missionaries invited themselves into her home and shared their testimonies and the message of the gospel. They made it clear ALL worship and praise must be to the one and only Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.

"He came down from heaven, suffered, was crucified on the cross of Calvary and died for our sins," they boldly told her. "On the third day—which was around 2000 years ago—He rose from the dead and still lives for usI In Him we have salvation and eternal life. Accept Him as your Savior." 

Not surprisingly, Pastor Paul says, she refused their message and further, “angrily asked us to get lost.”

But as they found out later, “she lost her peace and could not sleep at night,” he explains.  “Several times she tried to please the idol with her black practices. She’d pull her hair, grab it together and smash the floor with it, beat her chest and scream in front of the idol.”

Suddenly she heard a loud, horrifying noise. She looked to see that her precious idol had somehow been smashed to pieces and now lay scattered all over her floor.

In absolute terror, she ran out to find the pastors. With the believers, all were deep in prayer at their evening gathering. She rushed in among them and "prostrated herself before us,” Pastor Paul recalls. As she trembled on the floor in fear, the women prayer warriors gathered around her and helped her up. She explained all that had happened and begged them to pray for her.

for site nite time baptism.jpg

“We shared the gospel again and she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior,” says Pastor Paul.  “After that she did not go to her house because of fear, but stayed with us.” 

The group held a glorious baptismal ceremony on the fifth evening, baptizing many. They then wrapped everything up with the Lord’s Supper. The next day they set out on the long, arduous, but beyond-joyful journey back home

Please keep this growing gathering of believers and the missionaries working among them in your prayers!

Call for seven days of prayer and fasting for Bibles for Mideast and ALG

Report: Pastor Peter Haneef, President, ALG Church

The Assembly of Loving God Church (ALG) Church of Bibles for Mideast plans seven days of prayer and fasting from October 2 to 8. This will follow baptismal services to be held at all ALG churches.

We welcome prayer warriors around the world to join with us—in your church, your home, or anywhere. Please pray for Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church, its pastors, evangelists, other workers, believers, seekers, all of their families, and for those who receive the word of God through our bible distribution. Pray also for the Lord’s protection of the candidates and ministers as they prepare for baptism.

Those joining in will avoid food and water till the afternoon, or be adopting Daniel’s way of fasting (vegetables and water) as described in Daniel 1:8-17.

The ALG now includes 204 underground house churches worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth in Asia, Africa and Middle East. All will be participating in the week of fasting and prayer.