Should We Have Been So Surprised?
"Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
300,000+ Cubans left their country in 2022
It’s hard to watch the videos showing glimpses into stories of the over 300,000 Cubans, in just one year, who abandoned everything familiar and risked it all for a chance at life outside of Cuba. The heart-wrenching footage and death statistics are so common it can become normalized and therefore at times unnoticeable.
What doesn't make the news, and what many do not realize is the sadness, stress, and struggle the absence of each person migrating causes. Even less realized is how this unprecedented exodus is affecting churches and ministries in Cuba.
Large numbers of pastors and church leaders left Cuba in 2022 - increasing the load and responsibility for those left behind, and at times leaving congregations struggling forward without a pastor.
But God .... Pastor Felix and Pastor Hebercito are bringing joy and hope during these most difficult times. The congregation of 8th Baptist Church in Santa Clara, after losing their previous two pastors to migration opportunities, recently voted unanimously to call Felix and his family to shepherd their congregation. Immediately this body has been infused with life and purpose. Members are coming together and sacrificially giving to upgrade their small building. It is exciting to see their passion as they reach out to the surrounding community with the good news of Jesus.
We saw that Hope on the move in the hearts & stories of the ladies who attended the Women of Hope Conferences.
New Vision and Passion in the Church
We saw it on the move as nutritious meals were prepared and delivered across the city to 70 + elderly - the majority, struggling on their $8 a month government pension. This 2x a week ministry continues sharing hope in Jesus, as God moves people, both inside and outside of this nation, to give what they can to help.
We saw Hope on the move in the worship services of 2 churches that now have new pastors. Pastor Junior and Pastor Felix are part of CMA's national pastoral support program.
Song: Hay Libertad/There is freedom
Lyrics say ...."He washed away my sins, and has forgiven me
Only in the name of Jesus is there freedom"
"Lord, help us do more"
We landed back in Ft Lauderdale, headed to grab a burger during our layover ... but as we sat there, seeing so many heading in and out to cruises, a restaurant full of food, and excess, so much excess ...... Kathy dissolved into tears over our meal. It was overwhelming to remember the stories we had heard of hunger... our very own Cuban brothers and sisters were going hungry. It brought to mind the financial help generously given by donors to these pastors and their families - $100/month ... we both sat there and said - "Lord, help us to do more". Would you consider helping with a one time or monthly gift to double each pastor's support - target $200 a month. CMA partners with 11 national pastoral families. Please contact us via email and we will pass on details of how to get your giving/gift set up.
EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING :-)
It's all turning green, cool breezes are gently blowing, and spring is here.
At Beginning of the Rest we are excited for what the Lord has prepared. Missionary families from all over His world (Africa, Europe, East Asia & USA) have booked their stay with us. We are pretty much "full" over the summer.
Some of these missionaries are facing financial challenges, transitions and just needing a time to "step away with God". Would you consider helping us provide the rest and care they need by becoming a partner - part of our team. You might consider sponsoring a cross-cultural global worker's stay. Wouldn’t that be a treat for a family! Your one time gift of $70 covers one night stay - giving "Rest for their soul, for the rest of their journey."
As God puts someone on your mind, please let them know about Beginning of the Rest & how to connect with us. We still have a few weeks available in June & August, as well as the rest of the year :-)
You can become a valued partner of Beginning of the Rest by simply clicking the link below and then scrolling down to the various ways to partner with us.