Tagged: cuba

Cuba

 Mission Trip to Cuba

April 22nd – 30th, 2013

By the Grace of God, I ministered in Cuba together with brothers Johnny Buia, Edgar Garza, Johnny Brici (from God Will Provide) and my son Eli Lupancu. As we passed through Customs in Holguin, we remembered the Romanian Customs 35 years ago (especially since we now had 10 Bibles with us and they are not friendly with missionaries). We waited for Pastor Juan Luiz Font Ruiz and his wife, Evangelist Lisney Marayi Sanchez Calvino – founders of A Dios Sea la Gloria (to God be the Glory) with the motto, “..with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. This is the second trip to Cuba that BHIM has made. As we arrived in the Hologuin, we had the first worship with the brotherhood in the Rama Del Reino area, town of Alsides Pine on April 23rd. At this church, we had the privilege to preach and teach the Word of God and Brother Edgar was the anointed translator from English to Spanish. Sister Lisney ministered during the service as well and eight people have received Jesus as their personal Savior.

<< Maria, Juan Ruiz, Lisney Calvino, Manuel Rosa, Constantin Lupancu, Johnny Buia, Johnson, Edgar Garza – after the service.

The current reality of Cuba is one that we have seen in Romania three or four decades ago. The elderly remember how valuable it was to have toilet paper and this is how it is now in Cuba – things that we take for granted are very valuable there. They buy the food using a ration card. Cuba is isolated.

Only by using the card can anyone buy bread, oil, sugar, etc. Communism here is not like that of the one in Russia or in atheist Romania; this one is blended with serving the evil one. It is said that even now some in the Government are bringing offerings to him that came "to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" John 10: 10.Are you thirsty? Buy drinking water from private distributors. >>

On Wednesday morning, people from our group shopped together for strict needs (soap, rice, cooking oil, meat) of 40 poor families using two cars, and we distributed them to families with sick people and elderly in Holguin. Before departing from their houses, we prayed and we gave them some money. It was a tiring but blessed day. The Bible commands us to do good works and to be the first ones doing good deeds. “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things” Titus 2:3.

On Thursday, April 25th “Evangelism in Holguin under the open sky”. I preached about “The Bible, God's Love for us”. Our group brought greetings to people there. Five little girls praised the Lord through a play. Sister Lisney ministered also. Chris, a five year old boy played an instrument. The Lord set some people free of evil spirits. This was the second time when I saw a shorter leg being extended. Many have testified their divine healing. In Cuba, the streets were very clean. We felt like this is a nation locked behind decorated bars. Even cars at night are parked behind bars. Windows, doors and open spaces at the ground floor and first floor are protected with bars. Cuba is the country with the most ancient cars used as taxis, followed by horse wagons each one having six passengers, and after them tricycles. Horses are specially "equipped" to keep the streets clean, but old vehicles pollute the air. Older Russian cars have their home here like: Volga, Moscovici, Lada and the old “Zil” trucks. I saw also an ARO Romanian truck. Many people are traveling in trucks. On Friday I visited the city of Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of the Cuban revolution.

<< (Fidel and Raul Castro). Santiago is Santiago, Rebel yesterday and welcoming today. Always heroic. – is advertised on the placard.

Cathedral Ecclesia was built in 1522.

Traveling eastward we arrived at Guantanamo where Christopher Columbus arrived in 1494. At the entrance of houses of the believers is an emblem with a shield, a cross and a sword. In US these kinds of emblems are posted by security companies that protect homes and businesses. In Cuba, next to this emblem, you can read; "Protected by the Blood of Christ". Pastor Jose Martinez (Assemblies of God) gave us good news of the spreading of the Gospel in Guantanamo. Puerto Ricans have brought the Gospel to Cuba 71 years ago. They are very well organized. Our group bought goods for 60 poor families here: rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, etc. – distributed Sunday at the "Good Samaritan Service", which is part of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Cuba. I remember that when I was a child in Romania, babies were swaddled in cloth diapers that were washed by hand. Here pampers are washed, dried and re-used. Lord, give us wise hearts to know to administrate the gifts we received from You only for Your Glory. We need to be wise with our health, money, time and many other blessings. In Cuba, foreigners are not allowed to sleep at private houses; they have to use hotels only or authorized places. Our group slept at the Guantanamo Hotel (2 stars) where the rent for one day costs more than a monthly paycheck of a Cuban worker. In the spiritual blackness of Cuba, Evangelistic services are accompanied by signs and wonders and many souls are coming to the Lord. During sister Lisney’s last Evangelical crusade in Guantanamo, it was estimated the participation of 10,000 people filled the streets. The Spirit of the Lord came down upon them and until late at night people were weeping, surrendering to the Lord and glorifying His Name. Despite the opposition of the enemy and his priests who opposed the preaching of the Gospel through bloody sacrifices and praying that preachers will die when they get there, the Lord worked powerfully among these people. A person possessed by an evil spirit came in and asked for a glass of water. Instead of drinking the water she broke the glass and jumped to kill sister Lisney, but… "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4. We should not forget this truth when we pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, when we suffer or when we are persecuted. “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward”. Hebrews 10:35.

In Guantanamo, on Friday evening we participated with Pastor Jose Martinez at the Ladies’ Meeting. I preached about the fact that we have to know God's Will not only from the Bible, but we need to have our own experiences with Him, and so must our children, coming after us. We continued to visit the Eternal Refuge Temple where Br. Johnny Buia preached about: "You cannot serve two masters" (2). The Church was very receptive and the Holy Spirit moved during our prayers. The pastor’s son had a big motorcycle accident. He testified that by the grace of the Lord now he is totally restored and completely healthy. Alleluia!<< Eternal Refuge Temple – on Friday night.

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” Heb 10:24. Are we ready today to suffer or to die for Christ? In the chapter of Faith (Heb. 11), we find about the true Christians who, for their belief “They had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings; yes, more of bonds and imprisonments. They were stoned to death, sawed in two, tempted and slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and the caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise” Where DO WE STAND in regards to the FAITH?? The communist motto: SOCIALISM OR DEATH, (in Guantanamo). Written on fences is: Long live May 1st, the day of solidarity.

The position of the Cuban communists is clear, "SOCIALISM OR DEATH. Can we declare: CHRISTIANITY or DEATH? They fight for something which is temporary. Do we fight the good fight of the saints so that we can spend eternity with the Lord?2 Tim. 4:7-8. Are we ready to give our life for our Lord Jesus Christ who first gave His life as a sacrifice to redeem from sin and death everyone who believes and trusts in Him? Someone said that if we are not ready to die for Christ then we are not ready to live for Him. We have to live “as Jesus walked" 1 John 2:6. Beloved, we have to come to what apostle Paul said: "according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20.On Saturday April 27th, in the evening, we participated at the Evangelical Campaign in San German. On the way there we had a flat tire and many times the electrical power in the sanctuary was interrupted. The spiritual battle was in full swing. Satanists brought their sacrifices also. The enemies wanted our death, but “But deliverance (Victory) is of the Lord” Prov. 21:31.

The crowd that gathered there was of about 3,000 people. The Lord used sister Lisney in a special way. Deliverances from bad and noisy evil spirits took place and many divine healings happened. Over 50 people wanted to confess their healing. The growth of the demonic activity is a sign of the end times.“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” 1Tim. 4:1

“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Rev. 12:12

Even at midnight some people were still confessing their sins and weeping, they were asking for prayer. Beloved, let’s work while it is still day (John 9:4). Hallelujah to the Lord! San German – more people were outside all around the house, in a physical and spiritual darkness. The Lord healed and delivered many people here. On Sunday, April 28th, we ministered in the morning at the Good Shepherd Church in Holguin. Very surprising that Christians in Cuba are celebrating the National Week of the King's Palace. The topic this year was “..enter the King's Palace!” Psalm 45:15.

Br. Costica Lupancu and Edgar Garza spoke. Br. Johnny declared: “The Lord, our King who keeps His promises”. He concluded with the two calls "come" which found at the end of the Bible. One, for the Lord Jesus Christ, called by the Holy Spirit and the Bride, the Church and the second call is to the unbeliever made by me and you. Hallelujah! "And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17.

In the evening, the Lord gave us great joy at the Evangelical Crusade, held under the open sky, in Alsides Pino; divine healings and deliverances took place and people surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. I recorded two divine healings on video. Sister Lisney commanded: "In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, increase, increase, increase!" and the shorter leg was growing until it was equal to the healthy one. Hallelujah! A man besides me could not raise his arms for one whole year. When the LORD touched him, he raised his arms straight up and with tears in his eyes he confessed the miracle of the Lord. Children remained with their parents until late in the evening. Sunday school teachers brought them to special classes, by age, to teach them the Holy Scripture. It is not too difficult for them to raise their hands up and to praise the Lord. How true the Bible is: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6.

Br. Johnny Buia is preaching translated by Br. Edgar. Here we met a Romanian lady, who lives in Cuba for 35 years. She is a university professor, she loves the Lord and she brought her nephew to the Palace of King Jesus. The majority of the houses (in town) have two floors. On the flat roof, some have a "cage" where they raise pigs. A pig roast was prepared over-night and was our food for the whole church. We traveled to Playa Bianca (White Beach) by truck and cars for relaxation and a water baptism, in the sea, N / E of Holguin. It was very hot and the sun was burning.

Twelve candidates have confessed before witnesses’ seen and unseen, their decision to serve the Lord until death.

I remember Pastor Richard Wurmbrand’s book: “Fill the Void!” In these days when the doors in Cuba are cracked open let us hurry to fill the spiritual void with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The spiritual battle for the souls of Cubans is in full swing. The Lord's question echoes in the spirit… "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Isaiah 6:8. You answer? Each of us must be, in one way or another, part of the World Mission. Think in global terms. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. ” Hebrews 13:20-22Rev.

Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

  

Cuba

Hope for the Cubans

January 5th – 11th, 2012

Dear mission partners and friends,

A new year of blessing has arrived. The 21st century is described by amazing shifts that are taking place in our generation. What an amazing honor it is to be alive and serve God’s purpose in this generation. Edgar Garza and I had the opportunity to witness to a country that has been close to the Gospel for many years due to the political situation. The gospel of God’s Kingdom has been preached in the entire world as a witness (Matthew 24:14). With a humble heart, we want to thank God for the opportunity that he gave to us to refresh and bring hope to many churches in Cuba. God gave us favor and resources to impact and bring the message to renew their hope.

Cuba is an island that Christopher Columbus stated that this was the most beautiful land he had ever seen. In Cuba, everything is different from the rest of the world. It happened that ten years ago Rev. Robert Brown from Chaplains for Christ had obtained a religious visa to minister to the people of Cuba. He held seminars to inspire and motivate volunteer from churches to setup a prison ministry among the Cuban believers. At that time, access to the prisons for ministry was not allowed but due to a certain number of political events that took place and this facilitated more freedom to the Cubans. Pastor Alexander Santiesteban Fernandez attended the seminar ten years ago was very inspired and moved to take action and so he established Capillanes por Cristo in Cuba and he became the national president of the organization. Jacinto Jane, who resides in Miami, FL., used to pastor a few churches in Cuba for many years and had a lot of contacts in Cuba. He joined us in our mission to Cuba. We departed from Miami and after a very short flight we arrived to Habana (the capital of Cuba). The way we were welcomed into the country amazed us considering the communistic government. They did not search us or our bags and received us with smiles.

We departed to the city of Cotorro and even though we were very tired, we were invited to the church service at Iglesia de Dios de la Profecia that night, pastored by Moices E. Hernandez. Then we stayed at Brother Fermin Landana’s house overnight. Brother Edgar Garza shared his testimony about how God saved his life and how he keeps his fire alive that the Lord will save others by his testimony and sermons. I shared what God put in my heart to encounter God’s presence which will make a difference in the life of people. We were impressed with the love, passion for God and joy of the Lord that the people expressed.

After we rested in this town, we headed toward Camaguey city early in the morning. On our way to Camaguey we stopped at Ciego de Avila city and helped some people with needs. We arrived in Camaguey in the evening. Pastor Mariano from Iglesia El Paraiso (Paradise Church) welcomed us from his church home. We greeted that church and prayed that night with them. In the morning, we headed towards Holguin city. On our way to Holguin, we stopped at a town named La Manteca (the lard) where Pastor Jacinto Jane was a church pastor for eight years. We had the opportunity to stop at the local church to help them by giving them goods and money. La Manteca mainly consists of farmers. In the afternoon, we arrived at Holguin where we attended Iglesia El Buen Pastor which is pastored by Samuel Rebuyfero. At night, even though they were celebrating Christmas according to the tradition, the pastor allowed all three of us to greet the church. He treated us with dinner before the church service. There, we met Pastor Alexander and part of his Chaplains team of about twenty five volunteers. In the Chaplain office, the volunteers for prison ministry gave an amazing testimony of how the Lord opened the prisons for the Gospel and how every church participated in the Chaplaincy ministry. Some of the testimonies that were presented were:

A sister with a plastic leg claimed that even though she doesn’t have one of her real legs, she has both of her spiritual legs to serve the Lord as a volunteer in prisons by bringing the Gospel to the inmates. Another sister who was about seventy-two years old had a stroke and the doctors claimed that she would be unable to walk for long distances but she promised to the Lord that if she would get well, she would serve the Lord with all her heart. The Lord healed her and now she is dynamically involved in prison ministry. The Lord softened another sister’s heart who used to be one of the toughest prison guards in the Cuban prison system. Now she is born again with the fire and desire to transform other people’s lives.

One brother who gradually lost his sight became very depressed and was on the verge of committing suicide because he saw no purpose with his life. The Lord brought him through a series of events to know Him personally and get involved in prison ministry together with his wife. It was a great encouragement for us to challenge our own people to do something for the Lord to keep the fire and desire alive. Through any physical obstacles God’s grace is sufficient.

We spent that night in the city of Holguin and departed at 5 a.m. towards Camaguey and stopped by the town of Sibanicu where we visited Pastor Adrian Rodriguez an old friend of Pastor Jacinto Jane. We spent a few minutes overseeing the church installation. Pastor Adrian told us a story of a time when he rode his bicycle for 133 km in 6 hours to attend his church service. We arrive in Camaguey that evening and in the morning we attended a Chaplains gathering. About fifty Chaplain Volunteers attended the local Chaplain meeting. We encouraged and motivated them to fervently continue serving the Lord with passion and strong desire. During that meeting we met the previous national director of Chaplaincy in Cuba, Francisco (Pancho). Pastor Benjamin from Templo Aleluya (Hallelujah Temple) invited us to his church for Sunday service. This church is one of the largest churches in the Assembly of God. After the service, we got together with the Chaplaincy group and encouraged them through prayer and blessed them financially. We also gave some bibles to the church members because there is a great need of bibles in Camaguey since they claim that bibles are not allowed to be printed in the country.

Afterwards we departed towards La Habana, Cuba where we spent the night. In the morning we headed to Pinar Del Rio – Pastor Jane’s hometown. We then visited Iglesia Dios de la Proteccion which is pastored by Pastor Eliseo and helped a few needy people financially in the town of San Luis. We finally arrived in La Habana and the next day we visited the Cuban Superintendent of Assembly of God and he told us some history of the church of Assembly of God in Cuba, its growth and the changes they are currently facing. The same day, Pastor Moices Hernandez and brother Fermin took us to the airport where we headed back home.

As we started the year of 2012 in the mission field God promises blessings and great things that He has in store for us as we encounter His presence and seek His will first in obedience and submission. If He is for us, then who can be against us? Rejoice and unite with us as we continue to fervently serve our Lord Jesus Christ to whom belongs the Glory and Honor, Amen.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team