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Jump-Start Your Day

Thursday, March 8th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

GRACIAS SENOR

"...we 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 fine cigars.

 

But amid the oppression stands a happy holy hopeful people. I spent a week in their company. They called my "talks" (1 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 Senor.

 

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.


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