That was the first question that came to mind when we stepped off that plane in Havana, Cuba. Going through customs brought a realization that we were now in a Communist country, isolated from most of the world. Internet access and text messaging would now be spotty and limited.
The secret police would monitor our movement. With mounted cameras overlooking the living room and dining room in the lodging house where we were staying, we had no idea if our conversations were now being monitored or recorded.
Even prayer felt different in Cuba. There was an oppression in the air that forced me to ask myself, “How does a Christ-follower pray in a place like this?”
For most of their lives, the people of Cuba have been told they can’t do it. They are living in a place where they are not meant to succeed. Most Cubans make maybe $20 a week. And if they somehow find a way to earn additional income, the government takes 80% of it.
There are no national holidays for Christmas or Easter. No one can afford to exchange gifts. The only national holiday celebrated in Cuba is on July 26, the anniversary of the revolution's victory led by Fidel Castro in 1959, establishing the present government in Cuba.
It was in this context that all I could pray was….“Lord, if I am in a place where You are not welcomed, I open my heart as home to You today. Please come, take up residence in my heart; fill it and use it for Your glory.”
Once I prayed this prayer, that oppressive spirit fled, and I could feel divine freedom to serve the Lord with a greater sense of His presence and power for the rest of the week.
As we toured and ministered in house churches and met with local pastors and church leadership, we witnessed God doing some tremendous things. We saw people getting saved, believing God for a miracle in their lives, and getting filled with the Holy Spirit!
We saw young people at the AG National office getting ready to launch a production studio with broadcasting capabilities to fill the Cuban airwaves with Christian music and programming. This is significant because when Fidel Castro took power in 1959, it wasn’t because he had a bigger and more powerful army. It was because he had control of the airwaves and knew how to use them to his advantage. When Castro’s army marched into Cuba’s major cities, the opposing forces willingly laid down their arms because they thought Castro’s army was more significant than it was.
As I reflected upon all that God was doing in Cuba and all that He had been speaking through our team members, I discerned the Lord was telling me that there was a tipping point coming to Cuba—a day coming when there would be more believers than unbelievers living on the island of Cuba.
Just like when Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to deliver the demoniac and instruct him to share with his people what God had done for him, and then later Jesus returned to find an entire people ready to welcome Him back, so the people of Cuba will also come to understand we serve a God who is coming back soon!
Just like when Paul and Silas were singing praises to God in the Philippian jail, there would be a wave of worship coming to Cuba that would recapture the airwaves. It will bring an earthshaking that will cause chains to fall off and jail doors to open. We will see families saved and emerging leaders being raised to fulfill their roles in the Kingdom.
Pray for Cuba! Pray for these emerging leaders God is raising in Cuba. Whether a Bible School graduate or an emerging ministry leader in a house church, these emerging leaders need to know and be reminded constantly that they can do this!
For our local church here in Troutdale, we will do this by inviting our church family and friends to partner with us in getting Spanish Fire Bibles into the hands of these emerging leaders.
The idea here is that when someone in our church purchases a Spanish Fire Bible for an emerging leader in Cuba, they effectively tell that emerging leader…
Thank you for your prayers and for being mission-minded. It matters more than you know!