Cuba trip praise report…
I had the privilege of going to Havana, Cuba with a team from a local private school that included a handful of CCSJC members. The purpose of our trip was to show love to the local Cuban people, tell them about God’s story, and help local churches plant new house churches. Each of us was paired with a local Cuban church member and a translator, and we spent a week visiting neighborhood homes, sharing about Jesus, and conducting discipleship groups or Bible studies with new believers.
Cuba was completely different than any other country I’d ever been to before. It remains a Communist country under the leadership of Raul Castro, Fidel Castro’s brother. Due to various travel bans, the country has remained seemingly untouched by foreign influences. It was like stepping back in time with their 1950s-style broken down cars and the bright colored houses.
Despite free healthcare and education, the people feel the tight grip of the government on their lives as they struggle to provide for their families with low wages and rationed food and water. As I visited home after home in the city slums, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of hopelessness that the Cuban people feel. They seem disconnected from much of the rest of the world and helpless to change their circumstances.
In addition to the political and economic struggles, Cuba also experiences extreme spiritual darkness. Most Cubans are Catholic, but many also practice Santeria which is derived from an African form of witchcraft and involves making blood sacrifices to various idols. Many of the families we visited had these idols all throughout their homes. They live in a constant state of fear that their gods will not be satisfied with their sacrifices.
But there is hope in Christ!!
What a privilege to see the love of God penetrate through the difficulty and hopelessness! My team and I were powerless to change the economic depression or the political oppression, but the love of Jesus that we came to offer them has a such greater eternal power. Many of my team members experienced first hand the power of Christ dominating the power of Satan as people came into a relationship with Jesus and were freed from the spiritual oppression they had fallen under in practicing Santeria. By the end of the trip, as a team, we had over 350 people have the gospel personally explained to them and saw over 202 people come to Christ and 36 house churches started!
In one home, I got to share God’s story with a family of six. God had been preparing their hearts beforehand, and they were eager to start a relationship with Him when I told them that that was something they could have. It was so beautiful seeing God’s peace and joy enter into the room as they discovered the truth that they had been looking for. Immediately after teaching them how to share God’s story with others, their 11-year-old son came home. His mom excitedly shared the gospel with him, and he also chose to start a relationship with God. What a beautiful thing to see someone who had known God for less than an hour already sharing about Him with others!
Praise God for the work that He is doing in Cuba! II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The country of Cuba has experienced so much oppression and brokenness and is so in need of God’s healing touch. I believe that we saw the beginning of that during the week as hearts were softened and started turning to God. God is raising up in Cuba a generation of people who are passionately in love with Him. They are bold in sharing their faith with others and they have a vision to see more of God at work in their country. I can’t wait to see how God uses that over the next several years to transform the nation of Cuba.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Please continue to pray for the Cuban people!