Dear friends and loved ones in many places:
The year 2011 has been a tumultuous one. Wars, revolts, overthrow of governments; likewise, natural disasters and, perhaps worst of all, the specter of hunger. In the face of all these disorders, we would do well to listen to the witness of Cuban Christians, who, in the midst of many limitations, continue to declare “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is in control of everything. His good purpose will finally triumph, in our lives if we will only trust him, and in the consummation of history.” Do you believe it?
In the Methodist Seminary of Havana, work and activity have been intense. There are more groups of pastors coming for a “marathon” of three weeks of study. Recently I have taught courses on The Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, and on Early Church Fathers. Likewise, I have been working with colleagues in the preparation of the course on Biblical Hebrew for coming months. How do you fit the study of a language into the tight formation of the “marathons”?
I have continued in close relationships --even at a distance! – with my Peruvian, Cuban and now African family! In Peru, grandson Marcos has overcome his health problems, has graduated as a pastry chef, and now is trying to break into the hard world of the workplace. Granddaughter Karim continues her studies of journalism in the university. In Cuba, several younger families offer me great affection, and want to care for me day and night! Among them, daughter Tulia and her family are building happy relationships in their new assignment in Matanzas – serving the oldest non-Roman Catholic congregation in Cuba. And in Africa, son and daughter Leo and Cleivy, Cuba’s missionaries to Angola, find that the good Lord is giving them the “gift of tongues” to minister effectively in the Portuguese language, as they teach demanding courses in a Methodist seminary and also are in charge of an orphanage 24/7. They are experiencing great joy in their service. Please pray for all these!
Likewise, in these days and weeks, a dear Christian friend from Argentina, Dora Garcia (“Beba”), is once more visiting Cuba to carry out her unique ministry of prayer and intercession.
In these tumultuous times, may the Christ of Christmas and Easter fill you with faith, hope and joy day by day. And may God’s richest blessing abide with each of you, now and always. In Christ’s great love,