May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
There is a short story in the book of 2nd Kings (2 Kings 4:1-7) about a recently widowed mother who is desperate, poor, and about to have her children taken from her as payment for her husband’s outstanding debts. She begs Elisha to help her and he asks her what she has; “… nothing but a jar of oil” she replies. So Elisha tells her to gather up as many jugs, bottles and bowls as she can, anything that will hold oil, even borrow from the neighbors. This woman and her boys get to work, and the oil keeps flowing until there aren’t any more empty vessels left to fill. Well, if you remember the story, she sold enough oil to pay off all the debt and keep her sons from slavery.
I shared this story with the church in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba last month, to reassure them that they aren’t alone when they feel desperate and uncertain about the future. And as they keep pouring out God’s love to their neighbors, God does the impossible for them. This connection to our familia in Cuba continues to amaze me. Even though you and I cannot effect change or answer the overwhelming needs, together we are encouraging God’s people in Cuba to keep trusting Him, because He does give the deeper joy and peace that make it possible to “abound in hope”
Giselle and Ismael Lopez are the pastors of the church in Sancti Spiritus. They have three children, Susana, Samuel (not pictured) and Lemuel.
The photo above is a view of the city of Sancti Spiritus from the top of the ‘Buenas Nuevas’ (Good News) church where my parents, Paul & Vera Northrup, began the first Buenas Nuevas church here in 1953. The small park on the left was the scene of many early worship services.
This photo shows just a part of the group of ‘Buenas Nuevas’ pastors who gathered last month in central Cuba. Each year there are new churches and new pastors, and it was fun to share stories with them about the beginnings of this amazing movement of God in Cuba.
Good friends, Fay Nelson and CliffAnn Perry, from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, returned with their pastor of many years, John Hobbs.
Please pray for these national leaders of the Good News churches and their families. It often surprises visitors to these churches to find such a vibrant group of leaders working together in strong spiritual unity. This group of men & women care for thousands of Cuban believers in nearly every province of the island.
Maikel & Gretis, the young couple in the middle of the photo, are excited to be the pastors of the new Good News church in the village of María Luisa, Cuba.
Please pray for this couple and this church!
Coming up …
Asheville Christian Academy is sending a group of 16 high-school students and 3 adults to Cuba with me this March. I took a group from this school 2 years ago and it was a great experience, so I’m thrilled to introduce more students from ACA to Cuba. We travel March 3 – 10. Please pray for this trip.
Did you know that we are celebrating our 60th year?! Gospel Relief Missions was incorporated in 1959. It’s humbling to think of all the family and friends who make it possible for GRM to keep sharing this Hope. We are so grateful for you, thank you.
God bless you!