Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Evangelizing Cuba For Christ

View Point

Free to share their faith

By Linda Gilden

One of the first verses you learn in Sunday School is the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). As a child, going to all nations seems pretty daunting and unattainable. But as your understanding of Christianity grows and you commit your life to serving God and yield to His leading, the world becomes smaller and the need to share your faith becomes more urgent.

As part of fulfilling that command, the Southern Baptist Convention recently shipped almost 84,000 Spanish Bibles to Cuba. The International Mission Board (IMB), an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced they were sending the Bibles to be distributed in both Western and Eastern parts of Cuba. This is the third shipment since 1999 and the total number of Bibles sent by the Southern Baptists is nearly 500,000.

Kurt Urbanek, IMB Strategy leader for Cuba, says, “We are grateful the Cuban government opened the doors for the Bibles.

In 1992, the Cuban government redefined itself as a “secularist” nation rather than an “atheist” one. This opened the doors for Christians to meet without permission, and as a result the Cuban church began to grow rapidly. Since the change in Cuban national classification, God has blessed Cuba and magnified the efforts of Christians there to win others to Christ. There are no longer enough churches to hold all the believers. The church-planting movement has resulted in more than 650 churches in this small island nation and over 6,500 house churches.

Luis Emzo Acosta, now living in the United States, grew up in Cuba attending a Methodist church. He says, “As a young musician, I sang in many different churches in Cuba. The reception was overwhelming. Since Cuba became open in 1992, many popular musicians have visited the country. Often all the people couldn’t fit in the building so they spilled out onto the streets. These people were there because they loved God. Not only Christians come but also non-Christians. They love something new. This has been a good way for non-Christians to hear the gospel as the musicians fulfill the Great Commission.”

Now that Cuba is open to those who want to share their faith, you can help encourage them through your prayers.

For Cuban Christians, just seeking to win fellow Cubans is not enough. They, too, want to reach out to other parts of the world as directed in the Great Commission. “We believe it’s God’s time for Cuba – not only here but also to send missionaries to other nations,” says Juan Carlos Rojas, president of the Western Cuban Baptist Convention and pastor of Havana’s Calvary Baptist Church. “We want to win the world for Christ. And we believe we can be a part of – and are a part of – what the Lord wants to do with the world.”

Linda Gilden is director of writing programs for a popular Christian communication organization. She not only writes full time but also directs two writers conferences, speaks, edits, and enjoys encouraging writers to fulfill their writing dreams.




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