Not What I Expected
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Cuba. I had heard about the poverty, and the oppression, but I didn’t know what I would encounter. It broke my heart to see how much the people have suffered, as I listened to their stories. Despite the pain many have found Christ, which has given them hope to overcome their circumstances.
Cuba is a tale of two cities. There is plenty of natural beauty in the country. Yet there is also much darkness and pain. In Havana many homes and surrounding buildings were built more than 100 years ago. What wonderful architecture! It reminded me of some of the cities I’ve been to in Europe. Sadly, many of the buildings are crumbling. They are not able to maintain them. Most of them are in need of a paint job and more.
The Amazing Growth of the Church
There’s much more to the story as the church is busting at the seams. Wow! So exciting to see God at work. The government doesn’t allow them to build new churches, so they have to meet in houses.
The people do not have many options for entertainment. Internet access is very limited. The TV is controlled by the government, so not much in the way of interesting shows to watch. They also don’t have many movie theaters.
This leaves the people with a lot of time. They are relational. The leaders of the churches build relationships with people in their neighborhood. Then they invite them to study the Bible. There is much spiritual hunger, so the people come. They encounter Christ in the gospel, and the church grows.
One of the missionaries, Allen Thompson, that I spoke to said that it was like the people were living in a prison. Then he added that he hoped that the country doesn’t open up too soon, because the Lord is using all the oppression to make the people hungry, and the church is multiplying like never before!
Pastor Pachy told us he thought there were 40,000 churches or more in their network. The network he leads, Los Pinos Nuevos is just one of the networks in the country.
Such Beautiful People
I loved the opportunity to connect with the Cubans that we worked with over the week. That was definitely a highlight for me. They are beautiful people. The light of Christ shines through them. They’ve been through so much! Yet they aren’t depressed and down. They are a people of hope, and it is clear that the gospel has gripped their hearts.
As we got to know each other during the week they began to joke with me. We had fun interacting with one another. They also shared their stories, and their perspective on Cuba. Truly amazing!
God gripped my heart, and gave me a burden for my new friends and their country. I hope to be able to build on these relationships, and encourage them in their faith.
I went to Cuba to help with the mentor/coach training, but I came away with much more than I gave. I learned many valuable things while I was in Cuba that I hope to be able to implement in our ministry in Mexico. I will post more about my trip and the insights later this week.
Thanks for Standing With Us In Prayer
Thanks so much for praying for my family and me. Dawn, Hannah and David Jr. did well while I was gone. Jonathan is in Colorado, and we see the Lord’s hand of favor and protection over him as well. God answered in many ways as he cared for my family, and gave me such a wonderful experience. We are more than conquerors in Christ!
In His Grip, Dave