Thursday, March 8th, '18
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message by Kris Jackson
boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your
persecutions and tribulations that you endure" (2 Thessalonians 1:4 NKJV)
The cars are all pre-1959 because of the
embargo, except for a modest number of 2000-2003 models that have been recently
imported from Europe. I kid you not, '51 Chevys and '55 Fords are still on the
pothole plagued highways, their original parts retooled, patched or
jerry-rigged. The motors are diesel, the fuel, black-marketed. Maybe a quarter
of the homes that do have running water have actual toilet seats. I watched the
only two TV stations, the government-ran news agency and old reruns of American
soaps dubbed over in Spanish. Most people hitchhike. That includes single
women. An internal surgeon that I visited with makes twenty-five dollars a
month in convertible currency. Eating beef is against the law. Internet is
against the law. So is about everything else. I counted fifteen flies on the
rim of my cup at one time during one meal. Abject poverty, yet the state-owned
billboards continue to call for revolucion al final. "Keep up the fight,
soon the whole world will be just like us! Bravo!" I can't say much more
because of future visa applications but at least this nation does boast some
But amid the oppression stands a happy holy
hopeful people. I spent a week in their company. They called my "talks" (1½
hours each) testimonies because preaching there is, used guessed, illegal.
Still hundreds gathered together with hunger for the Word. We had people
listening through the barred church windows every night with packed audiences
inside. In one province operating evangelical churches have increased six-fold
since 2,000 yet their pastors earn at the most a few hundred pesos a month
(about what the surgeon makes). The growth comes mostly through home cell
groups. The churches use creative drama, have exciting Latino praise music and
powerful altar services. All that, while meeting in a tin garage, a rented shed
or maybe even out in the open air. Caribbean Christians aren't interested in
the high steeple/haughty people model now prevalent in America.
They just want to worship God and win souls. Thanks for the eye-opener...gracias
And thanks for the fresh chilled pineapple and
mango drinks each meal. Thanks for warming the bucketed water for my shower.
Thanks for putting a fan in my room. I was irritated by the short in the
microphone for awhile until it dawned on me that there is no Radio Shack on the
island, not a soldering gun in town. They served me their finest food, and now
that I'm back home, I know their generosity means that this week they may have
to do without. In eight days we never went to a public store, do you know why?
There are no stores. Early in the morning street vendors pedal cheeses, bananas
and bread, but it's not like you can go down to K-Mart and buy a light bulb.
One host pastor told me that someone in church recently testified that they
prayed for a bar of soap and God came through for them; hallelujah! When's the
last time you prayed for a bar of soap? In America prayer isn't needed because
we can put it on a charge card. There their only hope is in God. It made me
think of the believers in Smyrna to whom Jesus praised, "I know your works,
tribulations, and poverty (but you are rich)..." (Revelation 2:9) I was told the
trip would do more for me than I would do for them. That assessment was right.
I didn't eat half as much at the buffet as normal when I finally got back on
the American routine. We have really got it made in this blessed nation. Anyone
who leaves it wants to kiss its ground when they return. Gracias Senor.