Thus my word shall be that proceeds from my mouth, and it shall not return to me empty handed, but surely it does the thing that I please and accomplishes that for which I have sent it. - Isaiah 55:11
Welcome to 2022! This is year 18 for TREC and with each new year we look forward to see what the Lord will do and how He will do it. Because I usually get a newsletter out around the middle of the month, it left 2021 with two weeks or so to get in a few more digs. I’m not sure about you but I’m glad to see that year behind us. It is funny though because on Jan 1, 2021 we were expectant and full of hope…ready to put 2020 behind us. That’s what I love about a new year! Only the Lord knows what it will hold and as we face good and bad times, we trust Him to get us through it.
So, that brings us to the last two weeks in December. It was particularly hard for our friends, Yunior and Albert. As you know, Yunior and Albert take turns riding with Felipe the driver, and while Albert and Felipe were out working a drunk driver (in a government car) crossed the center line and hit them head on. There was significant damage to the car but thankfully no one was badly hurt. Yunior and Albert are in the business of chrome plating and a relative of theirs is a mechanic, so they are getting this sorted out. I’ve attached a video clip of Albert showing the progress being made on the car, but I can hear in his voice and especially his sighs how sad and disappointed he is about this whole mess. Please pray for them and the guys working on the car that this job will not be too long and drawn out.
Ricardo had an equally bad week right before Christmas. He was riding his motorcycle and had an accident as well. He said there was no damage to the bike, but he didn’t fare as well. He broke his ankle and is being looked after by his wife Lily and family. I know it’s hard for him to be made to slow down and take it easy, because he’s quite active and very much in charge. Please pray for a quick healing so he can get back to all he has to do. Things remain very difficult in Cuba and the cost of goods and services are so expensive. Ricardo sent us a quick text (see below) letting us know how hard it is for everyone. We had planned a trip to Cuba in February but are pushing it back, not because of COVID, but because of the shortage of food. We would never want to put any extra burden on these precious people to have to feed us when there isn’t anything to feed themselves.
My dear brother and friend, we had already made up the idea of seeing each other this year, we miss you a lot and we are grateful because when we have been in the cruelest desert you have been the extended hand of God for my family and Church BUT really the prices are abusive not only with the airplane tickets, but the economic instability in Cuba is incredible. Look my brother, a pound of rice was 4 pesos is now worth 60, a pound of beans of 10 now is worth 140, the gas to cook from 7 to 180, a pound of pork from 25 to 200 … we hope that God works a miracle in our nation. My brother, it hurts us a lot that you are not with us. We trust that 2022 will be a year of great blessing and we will be able to do many things together for the glory of God. Greet Trudy to your family and brothers in Christ for you a big hug with all the love and gratitude of your Cuban brother. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
At the beginning of the new year most everyone I know has decided to pick a word or phrase to meditate on during the year…something that the Lord has spoken to them or a word that keeps popping up. I have tried to avoid this process. The last few years I’ve had words like replenish (2020) and steadfast (2021) and I’m not sure I did either. I wanted to replenish and be steadfast, but life and circumstances (and most assuredly, Satan) had other things in mind. So, this year, I just told the Lord I was going to skip it. And as soon as the thought had entered my mind, I heard, “Why can’t you just be ok with what I bring you?” Indeed, why? So, this year the Lord has pressed upon my heart the word “amen” it means, “so be it”. I completely trust Him and believe He will work things out for our good. He has sustained us and will continue to do so. Because I believe in the Lord’s complete sovereignty my response is amen. I pray that if you find yourself bent low by the weight of this world, you will look up. Remember who He is and let’s get our perspective right. He loves you and knows what you’re going through. Let’s start this new year off with an AMEN and look to see how the Lord will move in our circumstances.
Blessings to You,
Jeff & Trudy McFarland