Everyone sings in opening exercises
Pastor Elmer Lavastida teaches the junior high class in VBS
The youth leader teaches one of three children’s classes.
Recreation in the church inner courtyard is a hit.
Adult teacher Aristoteles shares how God provided for him through his granddaughter and neighbor while sick, just as God provided for Ruth.
As the world faces economic difficulties, Cuba is no exception; in addition, the country is contending with poor harvests months after violent tropical storms. Life is becoming more of a daily scramble than before – for money, food, and transportation. In uncertain times, what brings hope?
Second Baptist Church of Santiago set their ministry emphasis for 2010 on the theme: “God opens the door to a new decade, let’s enter with confidence!” based on Rev. 3:7-8. Seeing what was happening around them, it seemed appropriate to use this same theme for their Vacation Bible School as well.
The Editorial Group I work with (and whose ministry you support) wrote Vacation Bible School lessons for preschool through adult levels based on this door theme. God opens the door to: salvation, faithful commitment, growth, service and a confident future. After conducting a teacher orientation at the church, I then had the privilege of seeing the lessons put into action while visiting their July VBS. The children’s classes were overflowing and there was also a good adult turnout. What a contrast to the annual carnival that is held a few weeks later at the end of the month, promoting lots of conga parades, excessive drinking and partying in the streets when people go into debt to forget their troubles for awhile.
Writing the youth and adult lessons was a blessing to me as well; particularly the last lesson on the book of Ruth which helped reaffirm a truth we should know so well but sometimes forget.
In the first place, Ruth chose an uncertain future when she threw her lot in with her mother-in- law and her God. She left all she had known to go to a foreign country with strange customs and take on the responsibility of supporting Naomi. Ruth had many needs, including work in order to feed the family, protection, health and friendship. God provided for her present-day needs mostly through the generosity of Boaz. But God went above and beyond, securing Ruth’s future by providing her a husband, property (the inheritance), and a son. Like Ruth, we who trust God can count on his continual presence in our lives, both now and into the future, even through times of uncertainty.
I thank the Lord that I have seen this to be true in my life, and I’m sure that you also have found it true. Praise God! I’ve also seen God’s provision for my ministerial needs through your financial and prayer support. Thank you, God is using you as he did Boaz to bring blessing to Ruth and Naomi! Your gifts have been used by God to touch the lives of many people, like those who attended VBS in Santiago (many of whom were visitors). Pray that those both new and old in their faith will have this confidence in their future with Christ.
There is still a need for additional funds to underwrite the financial support for my ministry in Cuba. If the Lord is leading you to participate in this way, International Ministries has a special promotion to provide an “Extra Lift” for missionaries still needing to reach 100% of their financial support goal. Through September 27, new recurring commitments ranging from $20 to $100 per month are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar for one year from Extra Lift Matching Funds. More information about this opportunity can be found at: http://www.internationalministries.org/drives/extra_lift_matching. I believe that God wants to provide for future ministry in Cuba as he provided for Ruth’s future. Let us pray and work to that end together.