“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
We had back-to-back teams coming into Cuba April 26-May 8. It was an amazing time of worship and fellowship. The first team from Thorington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL came bringing supplies for our partners and friends, did some street evangelism, and the ladies finished up some bread making and baking tutorials with some of the ladies that missed it in February. We are so thankful to Catheryn, Ashley, and Kimberly for using their time and talents in Cuba. And for our sweet friend Rebecca for translating and making the connections possible.
While the ladies were working, the guys (Heath Thomas, Dan Solomon, Brent Vinson, and Jeff) spent their time out on the streets sharing their stories and telling anyone who would listen about the good news of Jesus. As the world becomes darker the number of people looking for hope increases. Jesus has told us, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Now more than ever people need to hear the message of Truth and Grace.
As they were out in the neighborhood Pastor Ricardo tripped and fell and broke his arm. Brent Vinson, a physical therapist, was with him and knew just what to do. We saw the Lord provide for the need before we even knew there was going to be a need. Pastor Ricardo was in quite a bit of pain, but you can’t keep a good man down (or out of the pulpit). Thank you for your continued prayer for him.
The second team, which included Malcolm Smith, Drew Collins, and Chris Bond came in and we went to work out at the farm. Chris and Drew, from Designs For Hope, came to evaluate the water problem on the farm and work out the solution. Chris who was recently in Ethiopia working on a well project met a man named Fidel. It turns out that Fidel is Cuban. His father is Cuban and his mother is Ethiopian. When Fidel heard that Chris was going to Cuba, Fidel told Chris that he had planted a Church in Pinar Del Rio and wanted to know if he could go there and make contact with the pastor. Chris told him he would definitely try. Jeff set up the meeting and in the planning it was mentioned that this pastor had a daughter that could translate for them and her name was Rebecca. Now, what are the odds that this is the same Rebecca that is our friend and translates for us? Well, when the Lord is involved the odds are 100%. How crazy is it that Chris meets a guy in Ethiopia who has planted a church in Cuba and it just happens to be our friend’s father? I’m telling you God’s running a freak show.
Testimony from Jeff
I often hear myself praying: “Lord, show me your power in ways that leaves me speechless.” God answered this prayer in many ways on our latest mission to Cuba. Lives were changed and His body was ministered to.
I want to share a story. After the team from Thorington Road Baptist Church left, Yunior, Albert, and I made a short six hour journey to the agriculture area of Pina del Rio. No stores or gas stations just farms and small homes with palm leaf roofs. God had to provide a van and the fuel for us just to make it to this area. There is a tremendous fuel shortage on the island. Last year fuel was 25 pesos per liter, but today it is 500 pesos per liter. We arrived on the evening of May 1st, and the next morning had a breakfast of Cuban coffee, tuna fish, and crackers. A man named Jose Carlos had breakfast with us. He would be driving us around in his cart for the next several days. We struck up a conversation with him that lead to a gospel conversation and the Lord made Jose Carlos new right before our eyes. He spent the day driving us from village to village. The first thing Jose Carlos learned as a follower of Jesus was how to share his faith. He brought his wife and mother to a home group that night and they too became followers of Jesus. The next morning Jose Carlos was waiting on us and was perplexed. He told us that the day before he could only find 3 liters of diesel to buy for the cart and that it would only last one day. He got up the next morning and the tank was full and stayed full the entire three days we were in the village sharing the gospel. God moved, God provided, and God was glorified!
If we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Lord, thank you for the gentle reminder that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness then He will take care of all the rest. Your word is true, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” As we advance Your gospel please show us Your power in ways that leaves us speechless. Keep our gas tanks full!