Preparing to reach 1,500 in November

Thank you for taking a moment to read this blog entry. The Lord continues to do amazing things in Cuba and it is truly a pleasure to share with you these exciting updates on the ministry.

I am headed back to Cuba next month, from the 10th through the 29th. There are a number of new things associated with this trip.

For example, it will be my first time away from the family during Thanksgiving.  (That is a “new thing” that Celia is not particularly happy about!) It is also the first time that I will enter Cuba with one team, then after a week have that first team leave and a second team arrive. The logistics of our travel are therefore even more of a challenge than normal, but this is a good routine to learn since it allows more people with tight schedules to be involved in the ministry.  The Lord seems to have more of this type of trip in store for me in 2011.

Another first is the coordination of a conference with the national pastors’ association.  This is a growing group of over 400 ministers from many denominations, although primarily the smaller ones that have 60 churches or less.  Most of these denominations have no program for pastor and leadership training. As the Vice President of the association told me, “most of these pastors have a good testimony, a Bible, and that’s it.”

Though this same pastor would acknowledge that God can work mightily through those who “only” have His Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, the invitation extended to ACTION is to “attend to the neediest pastors, those who are self-taught and do not have access to Bible study books.”

My heart’s response to this petition is a reflection of what Paul wrote in Galatians 2:10, “They only asked us to remember the poor — the very thing I also was eager to do.”

The foundational principles of this organization are also a mirror image of ACTION’s. For example, their bylaws state: “We accept the Holy Bible as the infallible Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is the only authority in matters of Christian faith and conduct. We also have absolute respect for the teachings, norms, systems of government, and worship practices of the different evangelical denominations. We observe the highest moral principles and recognize that the principle task of pastors and ministers is the faithful preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Five years ago I was advised not to be involved with this association due to some very public battles that were taking place within their top leadership. Those problematic men are now gone, but left the group struggling to recover. The new leaders almost had to start over. Since now appears to be God’s time for us to work together, I trust that this collaboration has His blessing.

Please pray for our first conference together (November 16-18) as well as the rest of my itinerary. We are still in need of $6,000 to attain full budget for our four events, which will reach over 1,500 pastors and young leaders.