by Ruben Torres
My first visit to Cuba was in February of 1993. It was a sightseeing trip, but my next trip, at the end of 1997, had another objective. While I was in a church meeting the Lord put it in my heart to visit again that sister republic. That service was dedicated by the Holy Spirit to cry out for Cuba. All morning we declared, prophesied, and praised the Lord for that land. At the end of the service, the pastor asked if anyone would take the video of that meeting to Cuba. After a year of establishing various contacts, my wife and I found ourselves on a plane to Havana, obedient to what He had put in my heart.
We were met at the airport by the pastor of the William Carey Baptist Church where we would be staying. It was also through this church that we obtained the religious visas that would permit us to give our testimonies, meet and pray with the Cuban believers. We took a suitcase full of cassettes, videos, magazines, tracts, books and some Bibles since every type of publication is scarce there. The Spirit guided us in everything we took.
We had the opportunity to visit Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Nazarene, and Presbyterian churches. We were well received in all of them. In some we were invited to testify or share a time of prayer and praise to the Lord. I should say that although all the churches are well attended, not many enjoy the manifested Presence of the Lord, but those that did are experiencing revival. We also visited house churches which are a real phenomenon on the island. We went to the Martin Luther King Center and the Nazarene Seminary of Matanzas. Also, in the city of Cardenas, we participated in a workshop covering the problem of prostitution. It is considered a very real scourge in Cuba. Innumerable tourists, mostly single men, are drawn by cheap sex with adolescents.
As the days passed the Lord guided us and armed us with a "special" program. We were able to participate in an interdenominational university youth meeting. One of its leaders told us that after hearing the cassette of the meeting that gave birth to our trip, he, along with other youth, prostrated themselves to pray and weep. Through the cassette they now understood what it was to cry out for their country. We shared a little with this group of the history of the revivals in Argentina and how God was transforming idolatrous hearts and hearts that were far from Him. We found these young people eager for information and very hungry for the things of God. The Holy Spirit is working in a very special way with the women and youth of that country, bringing conviction and repentance of sin.
My wife and I witnessed some very special moments. We were able to watch a group of believers waiting for the church to open. When the doors were unlocked they rushed in and ran to prostrate themselves to pray and wait for the start of the service. I had read that this happened in different churches, but now I became an eyewitness of such a phenomenon. That night, at the beginning of the service, there were more than 700 souls praising and glorifying God.
The testimonies we heard in the different churches impacted me greatly. I could see the transformations made in their lives. Transformations that only God can make: the converted prostitute, the freed homosexual, the rocker transformed into a preacher full of the power of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the meetings I took a moment to speak with many that testified of that great transformation. I hugged them and encouraged them by confirming that something was happening in their lives. Many are new in the way of the Lord and many are young people. Hallelujah! Glory to God for them all!
The objective for my trip was to create a closer friendship, encourage and exhort the Christians of Cuba to seek God in truth beyond denominations, and to come out of the bonds of religion. I went to share His love and to communicate the support of the church of Argentina, but I received as much, or more, than I gave.
The Lord ministered to me through a 21 year-old girl. I went back to Argentina with a word for my life. The Spirit commanded me that when I returned to my country I was to claim, intercede, and ask forgiveness for the prostitutes, for the homosexuals, for the crime of bribery, and for the rulers and authorities of my country. The Lord showed me that He is more concerned with the biggest sinners than for those who do not believe they are sinners - those who fill the churches with their outward appearance of good - faultless on the outside but filthy on the inside.
In the days before a great spiritual revival there is often a noticeable increase in private and public sin. In the days that we are living we are witnesses of scandals and acts of moral and spiritual corruption like we have never seen before. The senseless acts of injustice and ungodliness are before our eyes, and many times are accompanied by the applause of society. This happens as much in Cuba as in Argentina and the rest of the world. We Christians cannot resist the blows of sin and stand firm against the direct attacks of the forces of darkness unless we are well equipped with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and are full of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
God also did something special for my wife. The Lord wanted her to share in the various churches a word that He was showing her in the book she was reading. She is timid; tears flow easily, and the pulpit terrorizes her, but she obeyed. It was very important for her to see how her words flowed just like chatting with friends. It confirmed what a brother had said to her before living Argentina, "Don't worry, only trust God to fill your mouth with the right words at the right moment." Thank you, Lord, because You never embarrass Your sons and daughters!
We heard many testimonies, but I would like to highlight one from a 21 year-old youth. He gave his testimony of how tremendously sinful he was. He wore earrings, rings and every bit of the clothing of a "rocker". In his encounter with the Lord, the Spirit sweetly asked him, "What are these earrings for? What are these rings for?" That was all it took! The transformed "rocker" was now in the pulpit, meticulously dressed, even wearing a tie, and preaching with the anointing and power of God. His message was hard. He spoke of holiness. He preached that it didn't matter if the church was overflowing, it only mattered that there were truly converted lives. It mattered how they were at home, with their families and friends, and not only how they behaved in church. The Lord had spoken to him a few days before from I John 2: 6, He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
One of the lessons I learned from this trip is that the main opposition to the move and work of God does not come from the government authorities, but from the established church. This is as true today as it was in the days when Jesus walked the earth. How hard it is for man to understand God! His ways are so much greater and higher than our limited minds can understand.
The day that the church of Christ in Cuba becomes united - beyond denominations, jealousy, and egotism, and the Lord works in the hearts of the authorities there, (which without a doubt will be soon), then we will see great evangelical campaigns throughout all of Cuba with thousands surrendering their hearts to Christ. This country will be won for Him.
In conclusion, I want to thank God for His covering during the
trip and for His faithful provision of room and board. Above all,
I want to emphasize that we felt His presence accompanying us the
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