The story I shared with you ... about the Cuban pastor, confronted by a government authority ... who told he could shut down the pastor’s growing church — with 1,200 members ...
You’re going to love “the rest of the story”!
This new, wonderful “happy ending” begins, strangely enough, in the hospital. The pastor is battling a double kidney infection. But when we came to Cuba a few weeks ago, he asked for permission to meet with us on important ministry business. Highly irregular — but the Holy Spirit was on the job! The doctor was somehow “persuaded” ... Permission granted!
The pastor had turned off his cell phone during his entire hospital stay. But now, during this brief, temporary break, he turned it back on — and found that he had several voice messages. As he listened, I watched his face change. His eyes began filling with tears.
It was voicemail from the man who had tried to shut him down.
Back then, on the day of that miserable confrontation, the pastor had offered these parting words: “There is nothing you can do that God won’t turn for my good.” And he quoted Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to those who love God....”
“Whatever you do,” the pastor concluded, “will work out to be a blessing for us!”
Now, the pastor was hearing — via voicemail on his cell phone — the rest of the story....
Life went on. The official had problems of his own, at work. The chief of security for the province, an exceedingly difficult man, was adversarial toward the official. One bad day, they clashed in the worst way. The conflict was so fierce, it soon escalated into a fistfight!
But fists didn’t settle this matter. No matter what happened in the fistfight, the chief of security had the upper hand — greater authority and power.
So the official was charged with assault — and sent to jail to await a court date.
After nearly a month behind bars, the official was released — and he went straight to the pastor.
“I have not forgotten the words you said to me when we met in my office,” he told him. “I have been filled with hope, just knowing that God works all things together for good for us, even if our enemies try to harm us.”
The pastor was quick to stop him. The promise of Romans 8:28, he explained, isn’t just for “anybody.” It’s “to those who love God.” The pastor began to explain the difference ... explain the Gospel ... explain the great gift of grace....
And now, suddenly, the official wanted to jump to the “right side” of the proposition! He wanted to be counted among “those who love God”!
Right then and there, our pastor friend led that government official to Christ. From that day, he began to disciple this new believer. The official was very faithful in his attendance at Bible studies. He wanted to know everything he needed to do to be right with God — so he could receive the blessings of the Lord!
But his court date approached, and the government had more jail time in store for him. Now, however, there was a HUGE difference. The official was convinced that now he was “on company time”! All things were working together for good for him — since he was among “those who love God”!
Eventually he completed his sentence and walked out of prison a free man. Soon he learned that his dear pastor friend was in the hospital fighting a double kidney infection. Immediately he called the pastor’s cell phone — and left a voicemail.
It was the voicemail that I watched the pastor listening to....
“My dear brother,” the official began, “I just got out, and heard that you are in the hospital with a double kidney infection. I want you to know that I have begun to pray for you immediately. “I also want you to know that I have two healthy kidneys and a liver — if you need any of my organs. I want you to have them. We are brothers!”
We sat together, tears in our eyes, and thanked God for His matchless grace. It’s amazing and beautiful to see how God is at work, as ever and always. We counted ourselves blessed to be right there, as beautiful miracles of grace were happening...evidence of His incredible love for people! A happy ending...of eternal significance.