“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”, God with us. Matthew 1:23
Your Christian family in Cuba survived a tough year. The list of discouraging events was longer than usual, ranging from the fallout of renewed political tension between the U.S. and Cuba, to the ravaging disaster of Irma, a Category 5 Hurricane. Economically, the situation may now rival the “special period” in the 1990’s after the Soviet Union dissolved, leaving Cuba quite literally on the brink of starvation.
The news cycle moved on and I’m guessing you haven’t seen or heard much news from Cuba since early September. Well, the news from Cuba is remarkable and encouraging.
In spite of losing their own roofs, sweeping the muck out of their homes and throwing out their soggy mattresses, Believers throughout Cuba responded by pulling together and reaching out to help their communities.
I recently spoke with Pastor Ramon from Remedios in central Cuba, the area that sustained the worst of the damage. He told me that his church responded to the opportunity to show the love of Christ in action. They went out into their community to repair fallen walls and recover roofing materials that had blown off of homes. They focused on the poor and elderly, people who have no family left in Cuba to help them.
Pastor Ramon said that the result has been a change in the general attitude of non-believers toward the church. Many have attended services and their church has grown and sustained that growth in the months since the storm. And many other pastors and friends throughout Cuba have shared similar stories with me. Very little help has arrived from the outside, but God is with his people. And the church is thriving in spite of every challenge imaginable.
Please continue to pray for Cuba. Pray for us as we plan our next trip there in January of 2018. And thank you for supporting these churches financially through Gospel Relief Missions. This is a great opportunity to help the churches there continue to show the love of Christ in action.
May this Christmas season bring you a renewed sense of hope and encouragement to face all the joys and challenges of the New Year, because … Emmanuel! God is with us.
May you thrive in adversity … because God is with you!