This morning would prove yet another work of God as my parents flew from Miami to Havana. At the time of their check in, they still had not gotten their religious visas. They didn’t even have a tourist visa. The agency that arranged their travels made it very clear that if they had not received the religious visa prior to check in, they would not be permitted on the flight. That time had come and Miguel didn’t even have the religious visas in his hands to send a copy to Miami. Even still, Miguel assured the agent over the phone that the visas had been approved. That wasn’t sufficient. Miguel promised he would scan and email a copy of the visas by the end of the day and he asked that the agent look the other way an trust that Miguel, whom he had never met and who was in a completely different nation, was a man of his word. By the grace of God, the agent allowed them to travel without any papers at all. At that point, they didn’t even have their tickets in hand nonetheless the various forms required for such a trip.
Once they arrived in Havana and got off the plane, there were still no visas waiting for them but it was time to go through customs with five or six suitcases full. Idol time in this situation is usually when trouble comes your way. It’s ideal to get through the process fast to avoid issues. Not even having a visa isn’t conducive to a speedy pass through.
It was at some point during this process that a phone conversation took place between Miguel and one of the senior customs officers regarding them and their visa. It just so happened that this agent was one whom Miguel had met on a previous airport situation. He recalled that the last time they spoke, her child was ill. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, he spoke with her and rekindled their brief acquaintanceship. By the end of the conversation, he asked that she take excellent care of my parents and he told her he would be there shortly with their visas.
We pulled up and the agent was waiting outside for us. She took the visas and moved them right through the process with no issue. This was a true work of God.
During the day, Lasharnda was giving a leadership training seminar to the leaders of the Seminary that Miguel heads. When I showed up there, everyone was having very lively dialogue and I could quickly tell that the event was going excellent. When I was at this same location last year, it was just an open area in the process of being constructed. I actually did an interview there with Miguel.
That afternoon, prior to the last group arriving from Cancun, I had the opportunity to meet with the communications pastor and the senior pastor of the largest baptist church in the area. The gentleman also serves as the president of the baptist convention for the region. I had begun communicating back and forth prior to the trip and learned that we had a mutual friend in Stan Jeter from CBN. He had actually asked that I retrieve an SD card that he had left at Stan’s place on a past visit. This pastor did not know much about why I was coming but was more than willing to meet with us and permit me an opportunity to present the Today With God project.
I had the opportunity to pitch the vision of the project and the blessing to see it embraced immediately. The senior pastor saw the value in it right away and talked about implementing it into the nearly 100 home cell groups. He also shared how perfect the Lord’s timing was in bringing this project to them because they had just concluded a 3 day conference with churches from across the island. The main focus for this conference was reaching out and evangelizing to those around. They had been wanting something just like what we were bringing to be able to aid the attendees with. I could see they were visibly pleased with the project and their faith was encouraged because they had seen God come through for them in a real way. Of course, it was equally encouraging for us as this was the first ministry encounter following our entrance into Cuba. It didn’t even take 24 hours for the entire trip to be worth it.
Following this meeting, the group had arrived at the airport and we headed back to the hotel to meet them as they came in. Everyone was there except pastor Everette and Elke who had some minor delays. Praise The Lord that all 16 people were able to enter the country with not one single thing being confiscated; not a single person being interrogated or anything like that; and nobody having any problems outside of time delays going through the processes. What a huge blessing this was.
We all shared an excellent late dinner together and then prepared ourselves for the next day of ministry. Everyone had to empty all of the supplies and materials into one room so that we could organize the things going to the different places. It was a long day but one worthy of many praises to the Lord.