Ron Carlson Received His Visa Home

My June trip to Cuba with Ron Carlson and Dave Waters had to be cancelled since the authorities there “postponed” our visa request.

Several days ago I received the heartbreaking news that our friend Ron Carlson had gone to be with the Lord he loves so much.

When the Cuba trip was cancelled, Ron decided to spend some time with his wife at a family property near a lake in Wisconsin. One afternoon he took a nap before dinner and simply never woke up.

Ron would have been in Havana the day he passed, June 16th. But the Lord made sure that he was with his wife on that pre-appointed day.

When I told Ron that we were not going to Cuba, he responded, “There must be a reason in God’s sovereign control for the trip to be delayed.” Now we know. God had a more exciting journey for Ron to take that week.

You got your visa, Ron — it just wasn’t the one we expected.

We had been thinking that the government officials were obstacles to God’s will. When Ron died we then knew that they were simply instruments of God’s will. Our God is sovereign and He works everything out in favor of His children. So, in time we will see that what might have appeared to be “defeats” were instances where God was simply working out a better plan according to His infinite wisdom.

Celia and I had the privilege of attending Ron’s funeral on Saturday in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. At the reception I was given a brief time to read two messages that had come in from Cuba. Ron’s friends and colleagues there had been flooding my inbox with emails expressing their shock and sadness at his passing, as well as their gratefulness to God for his many ministry trips to the island.

Please keep Ron’s wife, Marge, and his two sons, Jason and Jared, in your prayers.

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6 thoughts on “Ron Carlson Received His Visa Home

  1. Following is a comment received from Alternán Claro Pupo, Executive Secretary of the Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba:

    I am very distressed to have received the news of the passing of our dear friend Ron. It is true that the Lord has our lives, including all the details, in His hands and that only He knows when he will call us into His presence.

    Ron was a great example to us of Christian service. He was a consecrated apologist, fully dedicated to his ministry, and we will remember him as the great Bible teacher that he was. His teachings have had a huge impact here in Cuba, they are firmly stored in the hearts of his students. We will keep defending the faith, just like he taught us in his many trips to Cuba and through his magnificent book “Fast Facts on False Teachings.”

    The Christian world has lost one its great treasures. Heaven has gained one of its great heralds.

    We are supporting the family in prayer. Please tell his sons, who traveled with him to our country and our churches, that we maintain our doors wide open if they should wish to continue the development of this blessed ministry that the Lord had given their dad.

    We are sad for his passing, but we will remember his example, testimony, and teachings.

  2. Following is a comment received from Eliseo Navarro, President of the Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba:

    Just a few hours ago I received the sad news that Dr. Ron Carlson, outstanding conference speaker and author, has parted to be with the Lord. It was only a few days ago that I was insisting with the Cuban authorities that they authorize the visas for Ron’s trip here.

    I am sure of the emptiness and consternation that his sudden passing has left among all of his ministry colleagues, churches, and especially among his family. On behalf of our denomination, and also on a personal level, I send you our heartfelt condolences. Also on behalf of the students at the Elim Bible Institute, where we were blessed to have him share his knowledge of apologetics. We know he invested his time, talents, and knowledge as a weapon to rescue people from darkness.

    We have the certain hope of resurrection and of eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. We know the souls of the faithful are at rest and in complete joy. We are grateful to God for having given Ron to us as teacher and friend. We are thankful for his good example, and trust in God that when our service to Him is also finished, we will be reunited with Ron and all the saints in glory.

  3. Following is a comment received from Angel Cordero, President of CIMPEC (the national pastors’ association of Cuba):

    There are men who pass through life like a shadow at midnight, without leaving any trace of their existence. Empty lives of negative thought and action, that never enter into any fullness. There are other men who are like the light of the sun, in which there is radiance and brilliance. Lives anointed with divine fire, who through their example plant and nurture. Ron Carlson was one of those men.

    From Ron’s great wealth of knowledge he planted generously among those who loved him and who will always be grateful for his self-denial and sacrifice. His harvest will be great. Death is not the end when one has completed well the work of his life. Ron’s teaching transcends earthly death and is transformed into life, the life that God gives that cannot die, which Ron will experience forever.

    The moment has arrived for his weary feet to rest. The Father who formed him has now called him home. And so I send these words of consolation to his family: It’s not that he has died, simply that he has gone on ahead of us.

  4. Comment received from Ismael Laborde, Lutheran Bishop:

    For those who do not know Christ this expression of peace may sound strange, but for those who have experienced the fruit of the cross of Christ, we know that we speak of a peace that is different from what the world knows.

    The physical absence of Ron will be felt by all of us, but we thank God that we were able to know Ron in the spirit, in such a way that we will be eternally united with him. He has undertaken a journey that still awaits the rest of us. Certainly his passage there was pre-reserved.

    I urge his family to remember about Ron his innocence and also his great joy when he would visit Cuba. We are standing with you and we encourage you to cling to Christ.

  5. Comment received from Elmer Lavastida, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Santiago:

    We are sad to know of Ron´s parting. But the Christian view of death is ascendant not descendant. He has been promoted to the final and blessed stage of life. He has received the welcome of a faithful servant and God was glorified through his ministry.

    Would you please transfer to his family our solidarity in the love of Christ, and the certainty that not one of his services to Christ have been in vain nor will be forgotten. He leaves behind a pathway of loyalty to his Master Christ and that is the most beautiful result of a life on this side of eternity. We are thankful to God for him and now pray for the consolation of his beloved family.

  6. Comment received from Rhode González, former President of the Cuban Council of Churches:

    It is with great sadness that we have received the news of the passing of our brother Ron Carlson, since we are well aware of how much he showed his love toward us. God has called him to His rest and security, and we are confident that he is with our God.

    Please transmit to his family and friends our greatest affection and respect. Our desire is that the peace of the Lord be with them during this difficult time.

    We will remember Ron as one who, as the Apostle Paul stated in his letter to Timothy, has fought the food fight, has finished the course, and has kept the faith. For him is laid up the crown of righteousness.

    We give thanks to God for Ron’s life.

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