I am a slow processor if you hadn’t noticed. So I hope you will bear with me as I finish out some thoughts and insights and musings from our recent visit to Cuba.
I may just ramble on with this for the remainder of the week, so hopefully you aren’t getting bored.
One day between our work project and eating lunch, we were invited to sit and listen to the history of the church we partner with.
We sat on the stone steps and I so hope I understood the interpretation of the story correctly and am sharing accurately.
My understanding from our lesson is during the era that ushered in the current form of government in this country, many of the churches were closed and pastors were stopped from preaching.
There was some upheaval over ownership of all buildings and properties and to my understanding a time came when a church could maintain the deed of the building site IF they had an active congregation.
However, circumstances being as they were; it was almost impossible to hold services.
But one man came faithfully every week and prayed in that building.
And so…as our endearing pastor expressed with a gesture of a wide open hand and facial expressions that clearly communicated even without the English words being added…there was “church.”
Praying ever week alone on those stone steps.
Three, I believe he said.
Three years, going and praying faithfully in the face of opposition and persecution…one man.
I sat there in that sacred place and looked around at the handful of teenagers who made up this youth trip that Russ had felt called to go along on and invited me to accompany him and I wept hot tears.
I thought how often I have prayed for Russ to want to do an international trip and God answered my prayer with more than I could have asked or imagined.
Because many years ago, when our own three Reimers were teens in this same youth group, God laid on my heart to start a prayer ministry for the teens.
The basic group who prays with me once a month has, like me, moved on with our families and gotten busy.
We have lost touch with who the youth even are, but we have never felt released to stop praying.
Sometimes just one of us can be there and sometimes none of us can make it.
For years we prayed daily over lists of names for which we had no faces.
And I had been asking God if it was time to stop this.
Maybe the season was over and we should just pack it up and call it a good run.
But God had a word for me as I sat there.
Who would benefit most if we stopped praying for the nameless faces of the young people who are being trained up in our church?
I will not pretend to understand why God, who can do all things, invites us to participate in His marvelous work through interceding for others.
I will only tell you that He is most gracious and kind to allow us to partner with Him through our prayers.
I will tell you that He so generously shares the joy of answered prayer when we are obedient to continue to press on even when we see no answers.
Are you praying for someone or something all alone?
For years and years on the hard stone steps of what appears to be a situation that has not hope of ever being changed?
With your last breath, cry out to God to come and to invade every corner of the place, person, situation you have been called to lift in prayer.
For your family.
For this country.
For a cause.
For the Church.
Oh yes, He worketh…
all things for our good and for His glory!