While we are having a more formal Care for Cuba report during worship on April 15, I wanted dash this advance word to our Pioneer Family that God heard your many prayers and manifested His blessings in a mighty way. Truth is, over the years we’ve learned the power of Pioneer’s (your) collective praying—and this time was no exception. So—on behalf of the six Pioneer pastors and nearly 30 Andrews seminary students—please receive our heartfelt thanks for your intercessory partnership in this vital mission.

Our hosts for the ten days and nights of our mission—the faculty, staff and students of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary outside Havana—welcomed us with typical Cuban warmth and  hospitality. Add to them the many on-the-ground pastors, Bible workers and volunteers (who really did the heavy-lifting before our team even arrived), and factor in our fearless leader and gifted administrator—Fernando Ortiz, Director of the Master of Divinity program at our seminary here—it truly was a Spirit-anointed team of workers.

Oh yes, power outages and water stoppage are staples of Cuban life these days—but the people of that island (the largest in the Caribbean) resiliently live above such western annoyances. And we brought back a heart-full of memories and new Cuban friends.

It felt like a non-stop wall-to-wall full-court press (to mix similes). We left for Cuba 2AM on a Thursday, and we arrived home 4AM this Monday, exhausted but exhilarated (if you can combine those two realities) with Heaven’s abundant blessings during the ten days and nights of our mission.

And the numbers? Praise God—we’ll make sure to include the statistics, video and pictures in our April 15 report—but suffice it to say the numbers established a new benchmark for Care for Cuba’s evangelistic mission. Which leads me back to our gratitude to God and to you for your prayer partnership with Him and us. 

Yes, it’s true—the best is yet to come—but what has already come is proof of the veracity of Jesus’ promise to Paul regarding Corinth, another seaport city: “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid . . . because I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10). Indeed He does in Havana, too. Amen.