It started with spiritual warfare... Our 13th conference in Jagüey Grande began with fighting spiritual warfare! The host pastor, Gabriel Rodrigues Cabeta, had unexpectedly been admitted to the hospital in excruciating pain earlier in the day. Our team jumped in to help the church leaders prepare, and the evening session proceeded as planned. Ramón, one of the DTI Cuban leaders, led a prayer vigil for the pastor, asking that whatever was binding Gabriel physically would be loosed in the spiritual.
The next morning Pastor Gabriel was able to attend, and within a day he rode his motorcycle to pick up needed provisions!
God’s leading in choosing this location for our 13th conference was evident, as the Pastor already believes in spiritual growth through multiplication, which is what we promote based on 2 Timothy 2:2.
The church has sent missionaries to surrounding areas and has multiple church plants, with over 500 people in their sphere of influence. The missing component, however, was the personal discipleship model that DTI teaches, Pastor Gabriel shared.
Iglesia Vino Real
We are confident that this conference will produce fruit for the Kingdom through transformed lives and single-minded purpose!
Church Parking Lot -- mainly bicycles!
Our in-country leader and coordinator (Luis Alberto Hernandez Bermudez from Hermanos en Cristo) reported the positive impact the discipleship has had on their churches in Cuba. The pastors have unity and solidarity.
Luis also stated that the leader in the Santiago area (where we held a conference 4-5 years ago) is using the DTI materials to train all his pastors in that area, and there are never enough manuals for the need. That's why we left a donation with Luis to print more books.
In October Hermanos en Cristo did a census of their churches, resulting in closing some ineffective churches. However, they also realized that those churches that were implementing DTI were healthy spiritually and growing. The net result was an increase in membership.
He said that the discipleship process is working in Cuba, and the DTI principles have become part of their culture and doctrine.
OUR TEAM: 7 Cuban Couples + Frank & Jeannette Meitz + Pablo & Martha Garcia
Another Highlight: our Cuban Team!
We are excited about the spiritual and leadership growth in this team. Two younger couples were trained in the pre-conference and by observing more experienced team members.
The team is strong and continuing to take on more leadership and ownership and being creative in the dramas, as well.
New drama: What happens when you have TWO steering wheels/ drivers?
Crash! It doesn't work. Who is in charge of YOUR life? God doesn't want to be your co-pilot!
Converted Satan Worshiper!
On the last morning we heard brief testimonies from each of the nine small groups.
One young man, who had previously been a Satan worshiper and a brand-new believer for only two weeks, was a sponge during the conference, being discipled in the sessions.
He has been launched to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as his faith grew throughout the week and is now excited to start mentoring another person!
While we always take reading glasses so the people can read their Bibles and DTI manuals, this year we were given older prescriptions glasses by multiple supporters.
This necessitated people trying on many glasses, but resulted in HAPPY people when they found glasses that had the correct prescription!
The "new believer" baby is always a hit with all the children -- many of whom don't have dolls.
Her mother told us she had been praying that we would give her the doll! This grin materialized when we asked her if she would take care of "Roxana" and be her mother!
Her father is a missionary pastor and her mother helped with the cooking.
Please pray with us for our next trip in 2020!
Do we go into more populated areas near Havana, back to the "Orient" where they are clamoring for us to return, or to a new province where we don't have many churches? Our host Luis will investigate each option as we all pray for where God wants us to go next.
A Marriage Conference -- by Pablo & Martha Garcia
39 couples came to the government campground the week after the DTI Conference to learn tools for counseling couples in their church, and to strengthen their own marriages.
Instead of small groups like in the DTI conference, each couple spent time working on their own marriage.
God can use spiritually healthy married couples where both have made a Lordship decision to mentor and counsel others. That's part of the abiding process.
Have you read the DTI Devotional on YouVersion? In the YouVersion App: search forDTI.
Or toaccess the devotional on your computer:Click here.
Have you read Yvette Carter's story?
Jeannette Meitz collaborated with Yvette to tell how God took her from running the streets, being homeless, to a new life in Christ with marriage to a pastor and a ministry.