A common question on our return has been about what we did in Cuba. What our “ministry” focus was.
I typically answer this with more of a deer in the headlight look than normal.
The question catches me off guard. It probably has to do with my own expectations about mission trips. In my mind, missions and missionaries are going out into unchurched areas and spreading the Gospel…the Good News.
And that would be an unmerited narrow view of missions.
Paul went on missionary journeys that sometimes were just to visit churches and encourage them.
And that is what we did.
Oh yes, we took all manner of equipment.
Our bubbly director of children’s ministry at First Christian loaded a couple of suitcases full of all that was needed to resource a full-fledged American VBS.
The men took a micro version of Lowe’s in their luggage.
By day we checked off some needed repairs and maintenance around the church and by night we ran a couple of programs for the children.
But overall we sat alongside our brothers and sisters and worshipped Jesus.
We got fed full of the Gospel ourselves.
We got loved on and prayed over…renewed…refreshed.
And we love and prayed and gave back.
Like Paul and his beloved Thessalonians, we came from a country where it isn’t cool to be a Christ-follower to a place where it is dangerous to be so to visit our family.
We gathered together in the church and in homes and we experienced that beautiful truth that the Church is governed by One God…who died for us.
Who took our place.
Who bore our sins.
Who will come again one day and make all things right.
“But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3: 6-8
We got to be a Timothy and we are forever grateful.
Dear friends, the Church of Jesus Christ is alive and well in Cuba and our joy overflows.
So where are you feeling discouraged today in your faith?
YOU remaining faithful under hardship and trial is an encouragement to others.
My prayer today is…
Your word assures us that we are not going through any furnace of trial without your loving Presence near us.
No matter the circumstances surrounding us, we have Immanuel…God WITH us.
Oh Father, would you make Your Presence known in tangible ways to Your dear children today in the signs and language they each understand.
Thank you Jesus for being our constant companion and for going before us and making the way for us through Your own suffering in our place.
Padre te adoramos.
Jesus te adoramos
Espíritu Santo te adoramos