Dan Warne is the host and Bible teacher for El Faro de Redencion--Haven Ministries' radio program for Cuba (broadcast on TWR-Bonaire), and on today's Footsteps, Dan shares a listener response from a pastor named Rodolfo. In his note, Rodolfo talked about living through the "Special Period" or the "hard times." Historically speaking, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the nation of Cuba lost a huge amount of support from their communist ally. Cuba's economy suffered greatly causing a severe food shortage. The Cuban government officially called those years of famine and hardship a "Special Period in a Time of Peace." But, even through the toughest years, including persecution from the government, the Cuban Church continued to grow. And today, they rejoice! How can this be? Let me point you to Romans, chapter 5:
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:1-5, ESV)
I'm sure those verses are precious to the Cuban people because they've lived and rejoiced through suffering. All of us can learn something from the example of our brothers and sisters in Cuba!
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(Photo of Andy Napier and Dan Warne)