Hayden Lake Shares Jesus' Love in Cuba
The Hayden Lake (Idaho) Church sent out a team of 14 missionaries to the island country of Cuba last April. After much discussion and planning, many hurdles and, above all, God's help, the group arrived in Cuba and got their equipment through customs with nothing confiscated or taxed — an almost unheard of feat.
Once in country, the group divided into three teams, each going to a different location to work with local teams to hold meetings. At each site they would present a nightly meeting for adults and one for children.
The Minas de Matahambre team had SueEllen and Sarah Baute presenting health talks and sermons to almost 40 adults, while Jorge Baute, pastor, with Elijah Johnson and Alexa Johnson led out in the children's program. After presenting the first nightly health talk and Bible study geared to the younger folks, Jorge Baute turned the nightly meetings over to Alexa and Elijah, who did an outstanding job each night and who were themselves impacted in a positive way by this experience.
Meanwhile, the La Palma team of four — Ron Honner, Nick Maniscalco, and Lance and Logan Finlayson — were conducting their meetings in collaboration with the local workers. The home church in their town was small and so poor the team felt impressed to get pews made for them. At the end of the meeting, the local Bible worker testified he had been praying for three years for their own pews and in discouragement had been on the verge of leaving with his family. The Lord providing pews in this way was a confirmation to him that his efforts in La Palma were not in vain.
Over in the town of Cumanayagua, the third team — consisting of David and Cathy Keyes, Dennis Crabb, Della Sapp and her granddaughter, Davaya — tried unsuccessfully to advertise their meetings by posting flyers on horse carts. Only one driver agreed to take a poster with him, and all the others went unused. Yet God used that single poster to bring a young boy and his whole family to the meetings, where they were baptized at the end of the series.
The Cuban mission trip taught us God works through those who have willing hearts. Not only were the Cuban people ministered to, but each member of the team testifies to the blessings they received themselves. Why did they go to give health talks and preach sermons to people they didn't even know? Why did they agree to leave their comfort zones? They did it because Jesus did the same for them — for us — when He left heaven to come to this earth. Everyone has a part to in sharing the news of Jesus' soon return. We can all be missionaries ... some in Cuba and all in our own local communities. Maranatha!