We returned home from Cuba recently with two wonderful testimonies about the grace of God that deserve their own newsletter.
The first is about two women who were determined to address a growing need in the Cuban church - the need for ministry to pastors' wives. Sister Danielle and Elba Lidia of the First Baptist Church in Las Tunas reached out toFirstchurch to help them conduct a one day marriage conference. They prepared for 80, but the response was so overwhelming, they had to finally close registration at 120.
Our goal was to help these Godly women see themselves as heaven's choice for God's work in Cuba at this hour. "Who are these women?" They are mothers and wives who have literally converted their homes into houses of worship. Another chapter in the Book of Acts is being written in neighborhoods across Cuba because of the faith and sacrifice of these precious women of God.
A special "thank you" goes to our friends from the James Project at First Assembly of God in Dallas who provided gift bags for the conference. The ladies were overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity. Danielle and Elba Lidia have committed to continue this ministry which they are calling Despierta Debora or Awake Deborah! They have asked Firstchurch to continue to assist them with resources and a follow up conference in the near future.
DEMONS - DELIVERANCE - DISCIPLESHIP
Speaking of the Book of Acts, our second story is about the power of Jesus' name that delivered Frank from the "legions" of evil that surrounded him.
Frank was deeply involved in witchcraft when I meet him last year. His home was full of idols and he had lived with a dead body in his living room for the purpose of practicing demonic rituals. Frank allowed Pastor Ramiro and me to visit with him in his home (the dead body had been removed). I shared my personal testimony of God's amazing grace on my life, and then God visited that home in a powerful way. In the same living room where death had resided, Frank kneeled with his wife and two daughters and received new life in Jesus Christ.
We thank God for Pastor Ramiro and his wife, Zuleymis, who have faithfully discipled this family for the past year. When I saw Frank on our trip in May, he was so proud to tell me that he had finished his discipleship class and would be water baptized next month.
"I say to you there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents..."
YOU MAKE GOD SMILE!
Danielle, Elba Lidia, Pastor Ramiro, Zuleymis and Frank are all the fruit of your prayers and generous financial support of Firstchurch. They join with me to say "thank you," and to ask for your continued support of the journey they have begun.
It was my great privilege recently to spend two weeks in Cuba with pastors and church leaders from several denominations. The message from each of them was the same - give us the tools and we will transform our nation for Jesus Christ.
The pastor of the 2,000 member Baptist church in Camaguey and the mission pastor in the village of Nava, who travels by bicycle to carry out his Kingdom assignment both agree - Cuba has entered a period of unprecedented opportunity for the advance of the Gospel.
While in Havana, key church leaders confided to me their vision to bring one million Bibles onto the island within the next three years (the current rate of distribution is only about 50,000 annually). Firstchurch has committed to placing a Bible in the hands of every member of the 34 churches we currently support in Cuba, and upon hearing their vision, we made an immediate contribution for 1,000 Bibles. We also committed to the purchase of an additional 3,000 Bibles in 2013 as the Lord provides.
An evangelistic crusade in the Havana baseball stadium in the near future is also being discussed with government officials. This type of event would be unprecedented and could unite the church on that island in a powerful way.
Please join the Firstchurch team in praying for these incredible God-breathed opportunities, and then ask God how you might help to make them a reality for the Cuban people. We would also invite you to consider making a secure donation of any amount at the Firstchurchweb site. Dios te bendiga - God bless you!
"No one loves Cuba more than God does at this hour."
MARKETPLACE MISSIONS - "A timely and transforming message"
Firstchurch recently held a second marketplace ministry conference in Cuba. This time the conference was in Havana which is the epi-center of the economic change that is coming to that nation.
Using materials and funding provided by our ministry partners at Global Advance, we spent three days training emerging business leaders to design, build and operate businesses that God can use to bring about a righteous transformation of the Cuban economy.
Pastor Miguel Gonzalez (pictured at left) called the relationship between ministry and marketplace a "timely" message for a nation in economic transition, and has invited us to return and teach the material in his seminary.
THE PASTOR OF THE LARGEST CHURCH IN CUBA?
Does the man at the right look like "the pastor of the largest church in Cuba?" He is my new friend, Pastor Danilo, and that was the prophetic word God told me to speak over his life and ministry during our visit.
Danilo pastors a small church in the living room of his home in Manati. His outreach to this coastal community is done on bicycle, and last week he baptized nine new converts. Unfortunately, he did not have Bibles to give them to start their new journey with Christ.
Danilo is a present day Abraham, faithfullly awaiting the ram of God's provision, or maybe he's Peter, standing in awe of his earthly assignment. Whoever they may be, it is the mission of Firstchurch to see that Cuban pastors have the tools they need to impact their nation for Jesus Christ, and that they do not have to stand alone.
Are you looking for somewhere to stand? Do you need a mission? Please consider joining Firstchurch in prayer and financial support of our campaign to reach Cuba for Christ.
National Geographic, Reuter's News and the Wall Street Journal have all made the same pronouncement - a season of unprecedented change has come to
Firstchurch partnered with Global Advance recently for what the host pastor described as an "historic" gathering of churches in Las Tunas, Cuba.