Posts Tagged ‘1 John 4’

My Best Ministry Trip to Date!
Dave with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany and their church in Cabaiguán

I just returned from a two week trip to Cuba. It was an outstanding trip, and the Lord showed up in some amazing ways. I’m not even sure where to start or how to communicate all that the Lord did while I was there!

This was my best ministry trip in 30 plus years of ministry!

Since I have been going to Cuba for a number of years now the relationships keep growing deeper, which opens the doors for more fruit. As I’ve mentioned before some of the Cubans refer to Dawn and me as mom and dad. They are a very relational and family oriented people.

Amazing Testimonies
Pastor Luis Jimenez leading the church in Sibanicú

Some of the highlights from the tip came from the testimonies about all that our awesome God is doing through our Cuban family. For example, Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared how the Lord used some of the prayers and promises that I sent them a few weeks ago. They read them out loud during one of their church services as they prayed and claimed God’s promises. As they cried out to the Lord they began to feel Jesus and the Spirit in a close and personal way. Hallelujah!

Another wonderful story. Our great and amazing God healed a woman who had cancer. Dawn and I sent Luis and May some prayers that we’ve found helpful as we minister in Latin America. They used these prayers to pray over Maria who had breast cancer. Unfortunately, Maria already had a mastectomy on one of her breasts. The doctors told her that she only had one living cell in her other breast. The church came together and prayed, and they believed that Jesus would minister to Maria and bring her healing.

When Maria went back to the doctor they didn’t find any cancer. The doctors not being believers got upset, and they told her that maybe the cancer had moved to her brain or her lungs. When they ran further tests they all came back clean. Maria was completely healed of cancer!

Freedom and Deliverance!
May praying with Maria and leading her to faith in Christ

Witchcraft, Santeria and other demonic practices are prevalent in Cuba. Many of my friends churches have witches, and altars to foreign deities near where they are ministering.

While I was with Pastor Luis and May they asked me to pray with them for a woman in the church, Fabiola who needed healing and deliverance. She had been involved in witchcraft in the past, and her ex mother-in-law was also a witch and she was putting curses on her. Fabiola is a beautiful young woman, and by looking at her you would never know what was going on. She told me that she had some terrible experiences with deliverance in the past, so she was a little nervous when she met with May and me. Fabiola said that although she was anxious she was also excited and hopeful, because she heard of how I helped another one of their leaders that last time I visited the church.

May and I spent about 3 hours praying with Fabiola and leading her to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it strengthened my faith to see Christ move in her heart, and bring Fabiola healing and freedom. It was a powerful time! We saw first hand how we are victorious in Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Fabiola was so thankful and she had a beautiful smile when we finished our time together!

God is Doing An Amazing Work Through the Challenges!
Pastor Justo (far left) and his wife Sara (3rd from the left) along with the house church leaders in Jatibonico. They have a vision to reach at least 1,000 people

There were many other opportunities that I had to pray for people and encourage them. The Lord is so faithful to meet us at our point of need! I especially enjoyed my time of ministry with the pastors and church planters. Such special and dear people who have made so many sacrifices to serve the Lord.

Every time I go to Cuba I leave feeling that my faith is strengthened. I feel this way, because of the testimony of my friends, many of whom have become like family to us. They have such deep faith in some of the most difficult circumstances that I’ver ever seen. Most of them have a profound commitment to prayer and fasting. They live off of $10 – $50 a month, and yet they continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Instead of letting the challenges stop them they use it as motivation to trust the Lord to provide.

God sees their affliction. He is near the brokenhearted and he delivers them as he promises to do.

So Close yet a World Apart!
Some of the modes of transportation in Cuba – Quite an adventure!

The Island of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Florida. It takes less than an hour to fly from Miami to most cities in Cuba, and yet it’s a whole different world! It’s truly mind boggling!

There are many more stories that I could tell of people coming to Christ, of the Lord bringing healing, freedom and comfort to our friends on the island of Cuba. I hope to share more in a future post.

Thank you so much for praying for me for this trip. I strongly believe one of the reasons that this was my best ministry trip ever was because of all the prayer. The Lord does indeed hear our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Church Marches Forward in TJ

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

As the church advances there is often opposition. Should we be surprised? I think Jesus even promised us that in this world we would encounter trouble. Then he goes on to say, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV)

Often with growth comes trials and tribulation. The church should be encouraged though, because we are on the winning side! There is victory in Jesus!

My friends at Ministerios Transformación are growing. They are going to be planting church #27 in March, and we are going to help them plant church #28 in June. It’s exciting to be connected to something that the Lord is blessing in such a powerful way. Yet, this ministry does encounter opposition along the way.

Worship & Missions

Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Last night (Saturday) I was able to be with them for their missions service. They bring all the churches together to worship and thank the Lord for what he is doing. Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Ministerios Transformación also challenged the churches to give towards the next church plant, which is already in process.

I love that the church is always thinking about multiplying as they work towards their goal of 50 churches.

We had the new church planters Jesus & Lucina Acosta come up in front of the church, and we prayed for them. All the pastors laid hands on them, and blessed them as they start this new endeavor. Jesus and Lucina went through our church planting assessment in November, so it’s wonderful to see them progressing towards the actual launch of the church.

Christ’s Promised Peace Even in Trials

The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

Pastor Daniel gave me a chance to share for a few minutes during the meeting. I felt like I should seek to encourage them as I knew over the last couple months they had lost a few churches. They’ve been through a huge trial amidst the advance.

I shared something I heard a few years ago, that dogs don’t bark at park cars. When we are moving, when we are advancing for the kingdom of God we should be prepared for opposition.

In John 16:33 the same passage that I quoted above Jesus begins the verse saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” Christ promises us peace in him. He is the prince of peace. Yet we are in a war, and the prince of this world battles against us. He seeks to thwart the advance of the church.

We are more than conquerors in Christ. John writes, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, ESV)

The church continues to march forward into the battle. We are overcomers in Christ, more than conquerors!

I give thanks and praise to the Lord for the work he is doing in Tijuana and the growth of the church through Ministerios Transformación. Remember to hold them up in prayer. Pray for Jesus and Lucina Acosta as they start this new church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org