About six months after my Unique Trip to Florida, I received an answer to the prayer I made to the Lord. After meeting the brother in Christ from Cuba, I had a sense from the Lord that indicated that I would end up with some responsibility related to the brother in Christ from Cuba. I had said, “Amen” (I agree) to the Lord and I told the Lord that I would wait for Him to initiate the next step. This was something the Lord had taught me to do through previous experiences. I listen, I hear but I don’t take action unless it is clear from the Lord that I should do so. Many times, I have understood things from the Lord and then entered a waiting period before it is time to act.
The time for action came. Fred wrote me an email and in it Fred shared with me that the Lord made it clear to him that it was time to “pass the baton” (his words). The Lord had made it clear in a few different ways that it was time for Fred to transfer responsibility for the work he had been doing in Cuba. Lastly, he said that the Lord had shown him that I was the person he was to contact and “pass the baton” to. By all human standards, this was a very unusual choice. I had zero history with missionary work or supporting it. I had never been to Cuba. I did not speak Spanish. I was 50 years younger than Fred and 25 younger than the brother in Christ in Cuba. All I had was my experience in walking with the Lord “one step at a time” doing the best as I was able to “hear his voice” and try to “obey” (something which I still fail at often). I had learned one very important thing through my previous experiences walking with the Lord.
- Whatever the Lord asks, I can do because He is my supply for all things according to His will.
As I read Fred’s email, I knew that the time had come to accept the responsibility that God was giving me. I did not feel that I was “up to the task”, but that I would just begin walking with the Lord step by step. I also did not think that I was being asked by the Lord to take responsibility for all of what Fred had been doing. I needed to pray and understand what the Lord wanted me to do. I shared this with Fred and he was in agreement with this as well.
To start, I had a few questions for the Lord. I wanted to know who else might be involved with this new responsibility, so I asked Him.
- The Lord brought two specific people to mind that I already knew. The testimonies for how the Lord included each of these believers in this effort are amazing, but too long to present here.
- The Lord also reminded me of one church that I should contact to see if they would consider providing some regular support for this work in Cuba.
- He also began to guide me to find out that the place I had very recently moved to (Charlottesville, Virginia) had several ministry organizations whose specific purpose was to support indigenous mission work* in foreign countries. Over the coming months, I had the opportunity to begin to connect with some of these ministries.
*Note: For those not familiar, this means that rather than trying to send missionaries from the United States, these organizations identify trustworthy mission efforts in other countries and support the indigenous work that is already in progress.
Each of these parties have ended up playing a role related to the ministry work in Cuba since 2009. They happened at different times and different ways. What is most important to share is how incredibly God worked out the timing and the details of this transition. Here are a few key points that all happened inside of a single calendar month.
- God ended some of the financial supply that had previously been coming through Fred
- God directed me to give my regular offering towards this ministry work in Cuba
- God connected the previously mentioned church with this ministry work in Cuba and they began giving financial support regularly
- For the brother in Christ in Cuba, there was zero gap in support for the work God had called him to do in Cuba.
Multiple things had changed, but it was a perfect transition orchestrated by God. Several people played a role in listening to and responding to the Lord, but all the credit goes to God for His masterful abilities to coordinate and carry out His work. For the brother in Christ who has walked in complete dependence, God was completely faithful to take care of him.
Looking back, I have been able to recognize something else about the timing of this transition of responsibilities. Before God included me in this part of His work in Cuba there had been about 10 years (1998-2008) of significant effort to:
- Print and distribute Fred Malir’s books for free to every individual in any kind of leadership capacity in Cuba.
- Minister to the poor & needy of Cuba through a network of christians (leaders and others) connected to the brother in Christ I had met from Cuba.
At the time of transition, God shifted the focus towards the following areas of significant effort:
- Project to significantly evangelize the entire nation of Cuba. This project built upon the network of christians who had been co-working together over the previous 10 years.
- Continue to minister to the poor & needy in Cuba
The project to evangelize Cuba grew steadily over the next 10 years (2009-2019) to levels I could not have imagined. Fred’s books continued to be distributed, but with less emphasis over time. This was done at the direction of the Lord.
This may not seem very important, but I have realized reflecting upon this time of transition and what happened before and after that it is clear that no one can mistake God’s hand on this work. All the credit, all the glory belongs to Him alone. His specific administration of this work is unmistakable. There are many more evidences that support the fact of God’s specific and direct hand on the work in Cuba.