International Ministries

An Altar in the Wind: Cuba Journal Entry #3

June 29, 2015 Journal
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God Is In This Place

Altars are places of recognition.  In Genesis 28, when Jacob was running for his life from Esau, he fell down exhausted and slept with a rock for a pillow.  His dream that night was a vision of a stairway where angels were going up and down.  God stood at the top and  promised to give the land upon which he was lying to him and his descendants.  When Jacob awoke he set his rock pillow as an altar and said, “GOD is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!” He was terrified. He whispered in awe, “Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.” From that point Jacob knew that God would be with him and provide for his needs.  He knew that God’s promise would be fulfilled through him.

A Vision for Land

We sat in a tiny room.  Three members of the board of the Fraternidad de las Iglesias Bautistas Cubanas were there to welcome us and share a vision. For the next hour we talked about the 7 and 1/2 acres we were sitting on.  Max Hill, Regional Minister in West Virginia, has been traveling and working among the Fraternidad for the past 24 years.  He found out about the land many years ago.  He  and other Cuban leaders prayed and met with the owner.    The owner said the land belonged to his mother and there was a full price offer of $30,000 US on the table.  The Fraternidad shared why they were interested in the land. The owner shared that his mother wanted the land to be used for religious purposes and agreed to sell it to the Fraternidad.  Max thanked him and then shared that there was a little problem.  They did not have $30,000 dollars!  Instead, Max made an offer of $15,000 on an installment plan.  The man considered, and agreed!  Surely, God is in this place and God keeps his promise of a land for his people.

What the Dream Looks Like

The vision for this land is to develop a facility that has a sports area, a meeting room for 400-500, a kitchen and dining room, dormitories, a chapel for worship, and rooms for classes and conferences.  They want the facility to be open to all believers, especially the poor churches so they have access to places to meet, and are able to take theological and ministry classes.  They want it to be open to Christians all over the island so they can foster unity—all of God’s people coming and going, “Up and Down the Stairs.” They plan to cultivate crops and an orchard so they can be self sustaining.  They plan to cooperate with the government’s program of providing homeopathic medicines by planting medicinal plants for the surrounding community. It is a vision that totally relies on the breath of God’s Spirit.

The Green Windmill

In the back of the property there is a windmill. On one of the blades is written “Molino Verde” - The Green Windmill.  That’s what they call this land and the vision God has given them for it.  It is a staggering, God sized dream.  A $2,000,000 dollar facility for all believers in a country where, if you think—even  for a moment about the available resources –you  would conclude that it is impossible.  But we all walked away from that tiny room believing in the vision! There is something beyond what you can see, going on in this place.  Surely, God is in this place!  It is an awesome place.  God keeping his promise of a land for his people.  La Fraternidad of Cuban Baptists have seen God’s dream, and erected an altar in the wind. 

It made me stop and ask, “Is there a dream I need to recognize, an altar I need to build, because God is in this place?”