Just a few days ago, a dear friend of mine who is a pastor in Cuba sent these words from Scripture, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you,”. That is the prophet Isaiah speaking God’s answer to King Hezekiah, in 2nd Kings, chapter 20. It’s a remarkable story involving two of my favorite things—figs and sundials (seriously, how did I forget those details?) But those two phrases leap off the page because more than anyone else ever could, God knows our suffering and hears our cry for help.
Since January of this year I’ve been going through a strange odyssey with my health. It started with vertigo so severe that I was incapacitated for days. And as I struggled over months to recover, it hit me again in the spring. The doctors have put me through tests and therapy, but cannot say with certainty what is causing my dizzy-headed distress. It may well be nerve damage to my inner ear. The long-term outlook is good and I am confident that I will fully recover.
As you read this, you or a loved one might be suffering and waiting on God for relief and healing. Our bodies often fail us and the pain is real. But we don’t suffer alone; God is with you as he has been with me. He hears us, he sees us and he heals us.
A message from pastor Noel in Havana
Noel and I are both sons and grandsons of families who established denominations in Cuba. His family began the work of the ‘Liga Evangelica de Cuba’ (Evangelical League of Cuba) over 70 years ago, within months of when my parents began the work of the ‘Buenas Nuevas’ (Good News) churches.
Hola John! We just finished a conference for pastors here in Havana. What an encouragement! This was one of the first events we’ve had since the pandemic. And it was a miracle of God’s timing because it coincided with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God in Cuba. It should have taken place two years ago, but because of the pandemic the government had not allowed the event until now. Imagine the timing!
The general situation here in Cuba is still difficult. There are more food shortages than before. Electrical blackouts and long lines at stores are now a new normal. But we continue to dream of seeing the promise of CUBA FOR CHRIST fulfilled. We are working toward that goal and God is adding every day to the church those who are to be saved. (continued below)
Teams from our church are traveling once again, taking the Good News to the lost and encouragement to the smaller congregations throughout Cuba. And next month, in August, we will resume our Summer Bible Camp with more than 300 young people. The church of Christ does not stop, even when many Cubans are leaving the country. We are reminded of what we know to be true… “faithful is the one who promised and he will fulfill it;” “It is not difficult for God to save with many or with a few.”
Sending you a strong Cuban “Abrazo” (the word “hug” doesn’t quite capture it, but you get the picture). Thank you for your prayers and support of the churches in Cuba! — Pastor Noel
Join us in PRAYING…
- For our “Buenas Nuevas” (Good News) family in Cuba as they endure hardship and difficult conditions.
- For our little brothers and sisters at the Casa Alegre orphanage in Chiapas, Mexico (I promise more news from Mama Liz and the kids in our next update).
- For full recovery of my balance and stability so I can travel back to Cuba later this year.
Thank you for those prayers—keep ‘em coming! And thank you for making this work possible through your generosity.
God bless you,
John Northrup (for our family, too)