House Church meetings – God is building His family in Iraq
Disciples are not made in classrooms, teaching the Word is part of the discipleship but not all of it. Our house church gatherings and simply living life together is growing into a family whom God is building to be His dwelling place in Iraq. Those whom we are discipling are also the ones teaching and leading some of the church meetings. The diversity in the house churches is also a testimony of the family God is building. There are Arabs from both Sunni and Shia Muslim background, Kurds, Armenian and Assyrians who are from traditional Christian background. This is a testimony to the one new man that Christ is creating in Himself being built together into a dwelling place for God. (Ephesians 2:15,22).
Baptisms of the Holy Spirit
Last Saturday at one of our house church meetings I ministered on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon a group of men, two guys had powerful visions, others were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time. In this small group there was a diversity of men from: Iran, Syria, Iraq (Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians from Nineveh)…. For many years there has been fighting and wars between these people groups. Here they are in this house church meeting in one accord getting filled with the Holy Spirit. Truly, in Christ, the dividing wall of hostility is broken down and He is creating in Himself one new man (Ephesians 2:14-15). It is also very encouraging to see a very small version of what happened in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost happening now in Iraq (Biblical Assyria / Mesopotamia).
A Muslim man describes his experience of the presence of God
In the following week’s house church meeting there was an unsaved Arab Muslim man among the other believers. He
described his experience this way: “I have been to so many mosques with hundreds and thousands of people in attendance and I never felt or experienced anything. In this meeting (referring to the house church) it was a small group and the words were simple. Yet I experienced something I never experienced before. At one point I felt my chest opened up and I felt lifted up in the air.” This is how this Muslim man described his experience of the presence of God. One night at his home he held the Quran in his hand, asked God to show him a sign if the Quran is the word of God and if Mohammed is God’s prophet. That night he put the Quran under his pillow and went to sleep. He had a night full of the worst nightmares. The night he asked if Christianity is the right way to God he had dream of a cross with water flowing from the cross towards him. Please continue to pray for this man and his family as they are very close to salvation.
Ministering to those affected by airstrikes
A major part of the work in Iraq is bringing the gospel of the kingdom to the lost. We have the privilege to minister the gospel to Muslim families who lived under ISIS for three years. Recently their city got liberated from ISIS, but it came with a cost. Many houses were destroyed by airstrikes and many families died and others badly injured from both the airstrikes and the fighting that went on. In one of the tents that we visited we found one woman whose family members were killed from an airstrike just a few months ago. When the airstrike hit, she had just walked out of the house to get some water. She survived but lost full mobility of her legs. She could only drag her feet while using a walker. She could not stand up on her own, someone had to pick her up off the floor, where she sat most of the time. After we shared Jesus with her and laid hands on her, she got up from the ground on her own, Walked without the walker faster than she has walked since being hurt by the airstrike.
A Muslim Background Believer Being Raised as a Leader.
A young man that is only two years old in his faith that we have closely discipled for these two years is growing significantly. He has been teaching classes in our School of Ministry, leading prayer meetings, discipling other young disciples and recently he is ministering as a leader in the house church meetings and also serving the local churches by leading prayer meetings.
Please pray for this young man as he steps out more in a leadership role and also as he steps out to live by faith.