Prior to the trip there were some strong indicators that the Lord was doing something special, and Craig and I certainly found that to be the case once we arrived in Cuba.
It was truly a privilege to minister with Craig, who is a tremendously knowledgeable Bible scholar. I was impressed with his classes as well as the way he expertly handled diverse and sometimes very difficult questions during the daily Q&A sessions.
In Santiago we had pastors from at least nine denominations in attendance. In Havana, four or five. It was a good representation given the obstacles we have experienced in recent years. What was surprising, and what confirmed our sense that the Lord was working in a special way, is that by the end of our trip a new opportunity was granted for us to organize ACTION conferences for the national pastors’ association, which has about 400 members and is growing.
It all started in Santiago, when I asked a trusted colleague for his advice on how to expand ACTION’s ministry of pastoral training. He mentioned the pastors’ association. Then, at the conference in Havana, the vice president of this group was seated in the first row and approached me to ask how his organization could also benefit from our conferences.
So, when María de los Angeles, Assistant Minister of Religious Affairs, and I had lunch together two days later, I asked her how I could get permission to reach a wider audience for the sound doctrine taught at our conferences. She suggested the national pastors’ association. Her requirement was that ACTION would have to continue its current ministry relationships and projects, but that she would allow us to extend our trips so that we could also conduct conferences for these other pastors.
The leaders of the pastors’ association met with her two days later to confirm this good news, and then came to where I was staying to tell me that she had, indeed, granted this permission.
God has continued to open doors since I have returned home and we will test out this new relationship by hosting a conference together for 200 pastors in November. So, there has been little time to reflect on the August trip (or write this report!) because I am very busy preparing for four events which begin in about 60 days.
Please keep me in your prayers.