Telling Our Stories Week 11
Renee Kincaid, Bayshore UMC, Tampa
My name is Renee Masvidal Kincaid. I was born in an idyllic, paradise island called Cuba.
My father, being the first Cuban-born Firestone Company manager in Cuba, realized knowing English was important for a child’s education, so I went to an American school in Havana for 12 years. God was preparing me.
How could I have known that, 26 years after I was born, my Paradise Island would change into the worst nightmare when the Castro revolution turned beautiful Cuba into an oppressive socialist country?
Being Catholic by family tradition, I knew Jesus was my Savior, but knew nothing about Jesus being my Lord and the Word of God.
In 1961 I left Cuba, two months after the defeat at Bay of Pigs, vowing never to return to my native land until the socialist regime ended. I lived my life in the United States not keeping in touch with what was happening in Cuba.
In 1980 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at Bayshore UMC. Since then, the Holy Spirit touched me and made the Great Commission a reality in my life.
In 1996, as I was getting ready to retire from my secular job, Bishop Henderson appointed a task force to re-establish relations with the Cuba Methodist Church, and I became a part of the Cuba/Florida Covenant. After 36 years of leaving Cuba, I returned and was amazed to see how God’s Holy Spirit had given Cuban believers a spiritual revival.
Since then my husband, Pete, and I have gone to Cuba on 10 mission trips. God has used us in strengthening many sister church relationships. We thought we were going to help Cuba, now a third-world country. Soon we realized that our Cuban brothers and sisters were the ones impacting us to grow in faith and perseverance. In the U.S. we have material things; in Cuba, they are blessed with a special connection to the Almighty.
When groups return from Cuba mission trips, there’s such joy to hear them say what a difference this experience has made in their lives.
Our home has become the Bed & Breakfast for many pastors and missionaries from all over the world. Our spirits have been fed with their blessed presence.
Working in God’s service for over 15 years has shown us that functioning in His purpose for our lives brings the greatest fulfillment - the PEARL OF GREAT VALUE!
My biggest dream/challenge now is to pass the Cuba Great Commission mantle to the new generation.
Up Next Week…
Rev. Dan Casselberry, Ortega UMC, Jacksonville
Rev. Casselberry shares the story of how small groups and mentors contributed support to his discipleship journey.