Thank you, on behalf of all the members of our April team, for your prayers and financial support. The trip to Santiago and the two events held there — an interdenominational pastors’ conference and a “pastors and families” retreat — were really blessed by God and therefore very successful in all regards.
Not only were our prayers answered but we also had new doors open for us as well as some divine appointments that helped us see God’s involvement in every detail.
I am especially grateful for Dr. Stewart Brown from Edmonton, Alberta, who accepted the challenge to return to Cuba only five months after our November trip together. He did a fantastic job teaching at both events. His topic for the conference with CIMPEC (Cuba’s national pastors’ and ministers’ association) was “Transforming visitors into passionate church members.” His 14 hours of teaching included many practical tips on how pastors can help their congregations become more intentional in welcoming and retaining visitors.
Other speakers at the conference included Rev. Angel Cordero, national president of CIMPEC; Bishop Ismael Laborde of the United Evangelical Church; and Dr. Enoc Mustelier, provincial president of CIMPEC. I also gave a brief message on ministry burn-out based on Numbers chapter 11, entitled “Moses, the exhausted minister.”
We were blessed to have over 270 pastors from 25 denominations participate in this three-day conference. Since this was an event covering all of the eastern region of Cuba, some pastors traveled over six hours to arrive in Santiago, and our event budget was sufficient to lodge them in an inexpensive hotel near Santiago’s baseball stadium.
In the midst of interdenominational unity and all of the new and renewed friendships, we were also reminded that the enemy of our souls monitors our movements and counterattacks in attempt to defeat, delay, and discourage what we plan on behalf of Cuban pastors.
In November of 2010, at our first conference with CIMPEC, the president, Angel Cordero, was stricken with acute appendicitis on the second morning and had an emergency appendectomy later that day.
This trip, the counterattacks continued, and with eerie similarity. Immediately prior to the conference the president’s son was admitted to the hospital – with appendicitis! This added stress to his travel plans and meant his wife, an integral member of the all-volunteer leadership of CIMPEC, was not able to travel to Santiago for the event.
As you enjoy these pictures from our April conference, please pray for our May conference with CIMPEC, which will be for pastors in central Cuba. This will be held at Camp Canaán and 400 pastors and leaders are expected to attend. We will have four full-days of teaching, including 16 hours by Dr. Don Fanning of Liberty University on the book of Romans. The cost for this event is $8,000 (which is only $20 per pastor) and our remaining need is $8,000. Please consider investing in this important event if you are able.