Trudy usually writes the newsletters, but this month I have something on my heart to share. Many often ask what it is we do, to which I usually respond that my wife and I do mission work in Nepal and Cuba. This confuses people. How can one organization do work in two countries that are so far apart in location, language, culture, and religion? Why not just focus on one country instead?
These countries have many differences, but many similarities as well. They both suffer from extreme poverty, are consumed with pagan religions, and both have governments that oppose Christ and persecute His church. But more than anything, God is moving in both countries. There are hard-working and dedicated followers of Christ fulfilling the great commission that need our support and prayer. These followers are encouraged to know that followers of Christ from the USA care, pray, give, and sacrifice time to come and work side by side with them. We are seeing God change lives right in front of us in ways that leave us speechless. And to top it all, our international mission’s partners are interested in what God is doing in each other’s countries and are beginning to care for each other.
When I was in Nepal in January, I was asked many questions about the church in Cuba and heard the believers pray for the persecuted followers in Cuba. The same happens when I am in Cuba. They are praying for the church in Nepal and trying to find ways to get there so they can help share the gospel. They are becoming Facebook friends, too! It humbles me that these believers who make $20-$50 per month are trying to find ways to minister to each other.
I was left speechless and in tears last week in Cuba as Pastor Ricardo told the church that the offering collected from the church that day would go to help the work in Nepal. While we are encouraged about what God is doing in Nepal and Cuba and the momentum building there, I must confess that I am in an extreme battle right now to walk by sight and not live by faith. As many of you know, year-end giving for non-profit organizations like TREC is where a significant amount of funds come for operational expenses. We are very thankful and give God praise for what you all gave in 2018, but the amount we received in December will not sustain us well into the year as it has in the past. We are in uncharted waters.
The giving was off significantly. We have always been an organization that has lived by faith. My belief has been that when God stopped providing the needs of TREC it would be time to shut down the organization. So, I was in Cuba last week staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night and wrestling with what to do. Everything changes when God speaks to you, and I am thankful He spoke to me.
I believe the Lord is leading us to press on. We will continue to work in two different countries. We will walk by faith and not by sight. Where the funds will come to make it through 2019, I do not know. I don’t know where the funds will come from to purchase a farm in Cuba to feed the poor, or to start the new small businesses in Cuba and Nepal, to plant the new churches, to Teach, Reach, Equip, and Comfort, or to meet the monthly overhead expenses here in the US, as well as the many other needs we have. Several things I do know is that we are trusting God and walking by faith. We are thankful for this time of great lack because it makes us do a deeper evaluation to see how we can do things better, more efficiently, and more economically. It also pushes us to find more creative ways to expand our TREC family. Please pray for us as we go through this process.
Now more than ever we are confirmed of our purpose with TREC. It is not time to retreat; it is time to press on and pick up our intensity. THIS WE WILL DO! We will continue to “Get our faith dirty” with you. All we ask of you, our TREC family, is to pray and be obedient to what the Lord tells you to do. Those of you that know me well know I have a difficult time asking for help and that this is a very hard letter for me to write, but I am asking for your help to advance the mission of TREC. I am standing on the promise that He will bring to completion the work He began in us!
Go, Fight, Win BIG,