Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The children in Cuba are delightful. I will never forget them.
I was given the most amazing opportunity in 1994. I was sent to Cuba on a mission trip. Yes, Cuba, the last communist stronghold in the world. I got up close and personal to what government control looks like.....total government control. I got to see up close the "utopia" Castro created for the people of Cuba. I will never forget seeing a guy who couldn't ride a bicycle because he had been waiting for six months to get a licence for their bike. It was their version of the DMV....everyone's favorite place to hang out.
We would just walk around the streets of Havana and talk to people. Most people were very scared to speak candidly, but every once in a while someone would talk. A lot of times it was the older people....those people who were there when Castro came into power in 1958. They would literally whisper to us....everything was on the QT because they have seen what happens to those who speak against the government, let alone Fidel Castro. They told us they had been wrong. They thought Castro was their savior....they thought he was going to spread the wealth and everyone would be very well off. They were counting on the government taking care of them. And now they are saying, "We were wrong". I asked those willing to speak to us if this was a widely held viewpoint. They said it was because things were very tough in Cuba. Shortages are widespread. The government is not efficient and the government is failing. Corruption is present. They said Castro did what he said he would...make all of the citizens equal. Yes, they are equal....equally poor. Nobody really makes much money at all. People rarely can afford an automobile. Those that have automobiles are vintage 1950's models. Government officials had newer model cars. It is very sad. We visited with an elderly medical doctor and his family and they lived in a very small apartment and they did without a lot of things we take for granted. All the people are equal....all the people are very poor. There have rolling black outs. Food is hard to come by. I ate a lot of mangoes and grapefruit because that is what was plentiful.
The best part of the trip was the people. I also found out that Cuba was in revival. The churches were coming back to life after years of not being permitted. Castro had started turning a blind eye to religion and the people were worshiping daily. It was really very interesting to see these people who were "poor" but were so spiritually rich. I think there must be a math equation that would fit this....wealth would equal complacency and need seems to precipitate faith in God.
I am wondering if our Lord is going to give us a Cuba like experience so we can go from complacency to faith. The election is coming up and I am fearful for our country. There are many in this country that want CHANGE....and so they will vote for change. The Cubans got change when they trusted the government to take care of them.....and if you get to meet some of these wonderful folks ask them if the change is what thought it would be. I think they would give our country a warning as we come up on the presidential election.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
This is the "Give It Away" concert and the message was timely and wise. One disappointment was Guy Pennrod.....the one with the cool lonnnnngggggg hair (yes, folks I am a child of the 60's) was not there. I really do love his voice, but Mark Lowery, who Jim and I just LOVE was there to take his place. We have been following Mark's career for over 20 years and he is wonderful. We have heard he has had some health problems and were very sad to hear that.
If you have the opportunity to go hear/see them......please do. I heard one little guy about 16 talking out in the foyer at half time (oops I am watching a football game as I hammer this out), and he said, "I thought this was gonna be sooooo boring, but it is really good!" He was with an older couple....grandparents perhaps? Anyway, we promise you will be well entertained!! On top of that you will be blessed. The Lord was glorified. The fact a lot of people are being challenged with trials at this time.....some on stage had battled with cancer......they still praised Him and told of how their trials had deepened their commitment to the Lord. I always marvel at testimonies such as these.....but the Lord takes what is ugly and uses it to His glory.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I am praying America will vote for experience. I don't think either candidate is perfect and John McCain was not my pick for the Republican candidate, but I believe we need to pray and choose the person who is the most likely to keep us on a path of freedom and independence....the path our founders started down.
Please pray the Lord will have mercy on us and we will find ourselves with a new President who is willing to seek the truth and do the right thing....a President who is pro-life.