Shine His Light

Happy Sunday! I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be home. We had an amazing trip to Cuba but there really is no place like home.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhereI’m still trying to process my whole trip. There was so much I saw, so much I learned. There’s a piece of my heart that will always be in Cuba and with all the beautiful people I met.

I want to write about my trip because I don’t want to forget it. So over the next few Sundays I am going to share about my trip and tell you what God taught me while I was in Cuba (and believe me He was teaching me a lot!).

Several of you have commented about it being a third world country. I was told by our group leader (who is in Cuba a lot as a missionary) that it is a third world country. I have never been to Africa so I can’t compare it but I will tell you that they are not only poor but they are oppressed by the government. It is easy to see how the people of Cuba could lose hope.

I met several pastors and their families in Cuba, and this is one of them. What a sweet family!

Cuba tripThis is their home and where they hold their church services. You are not allowed to build a church building in Cuba.

It was hard for me to see and to imagine living in this home. It had been in much worse shape and they had worked hard on it and they had pictures to show us. They were so thankful for this home.

Cuba trip-0This is one of the two bedrooms in the home.

Cuba trip-1This is their kitchen. There are no granite countertops, no wood or tile floors and certainly no dishwasher.

Cuba trip-4
Cuba trip-3And lastly, this is the street they live on and what they see everyday.

Cuba trip-2
They were so honored that we had come and visited with them but they had no idea what a blessing they were to me and to our whole team.

As I thought about Cuba and all that is going on in our world and in our own country, this song kept going through my head.

Acts 1:8 says, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Let’s shine His light wherever we are in the world!

Have a blessed Sunday!

For more Beauty For the Heart posts go here.

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18 Comments

  1. WOW! Thank you for sharing. As Americans we sometimes take things for granted. I’m looking forward to your post about this trip.

  2. Thank you Cyndi! I can’t wait to read more about your trip. This family looks so happy! Seeing inside their home does remind me how materialistic we can be, always wanting more and better. I am also reminded of a song titled Trailer Hitch by Kristian Busch that talks about how we can’t take it with us when we go, and you never see a hearse with a trailer hitch. Those of is that live in America are blessed in a lot of ways, for sure. God bless those doing His work in areas where it’s really not easy to be a Christian.

    Welcome home!

    1. First of all welcome home! And thank you for such an inspiring message and song. It’s just what I needed today! I’m looking forward to more posts about your trip.

  3. Thank you Cyndi for the pictures. I never visited my parents country, but was told so many sad stories of what has been done to the country that was so beautiful years ago. So sad. Praying for everyone in the country. Maybe one day it will be as it was….a beautiful country. Thank you.

  4. Refreshing to read this post. Although I’ve never been I have heard from friends who have visited there many times. The only thing they talked about is the 5 star resort they stayed in and how gorgeous their surroundings were. By the pictures you’ve shared that certainly is not the norm for the people who actually live their lives in Cuba.

  5. I look forward to seeing more photos and reading more about your trip. It’s hard to imagine the day-to-day lives of these people. It reminds me of a phrase I heard from one of my students when someone complained about a problem they had here in the U.S., “That’s a first-world issue.” He meant it was a blessing to be able to complain about such a minor issue.

  6. I wish we could have this video/song could light up the social media.
    I also want to mention the unfortunate folks in several parts of this wonderful country who have barely better than the home you shared. Also, the multitude of folks on the streets in so many cities.
    we must let our light shine everywhere.

  7. What strikes me most about these pictures is the kitchen. I can tell the family takes pride it from the curtains on the wall and the other items they have hanging. So much love there. God bless them!

  8. Cindi, thank you for blessing me with this post. I was touched by the photos and the simple beauty of their kitchen and home. It humbled me and reminded me to be grateful for my home and yard. Your post has greatly encouraged me with a new, fresh perspective. (I came to another city to caregive for both of my aging parents who had chronic health issues.) I was travelling back and forth between two cities, until it was apparent to me I needed to be with them 24-7. (My parents never asked me to stay with them, but I knew they needed my help.) So what we thought would be a few months, turned into 8 yrs.) I was so glad we had that time together, although my life has been on hold for all those years and then more.

    Your post has re-energized me! I had always planned to go back to my life in Houston, and had kept my apt. all those years. But, I inherited my childhood home, and had lost touch with all my friends in Houston. So finally, I moved all my furniture and belongings to the largest storage unit. The problem is all of my belongings are still in storage after 5 years. It has only been me, caregiving, and emptying out my parent’s home. Trouble is, It still is full of furniture and belongings. I’ve had yard sales, donated tons, given lots to neighbors. The home is still full. I never took the time to grieve and just pushed on.

    I am a person with a can-do attitude, lots of energy, and positive, but I keep getting stuck. It is overwhelming, and I always have this on my mind. I get spurts of gusto, make progress, and then I get sidetracked, or stuck. I have tried to put down roots. First order of business, was to find a job. Since I had been out of the work force for 10 yrs., that took about 1 yr. Then, I had the unfortunate experience of a lot of job turnover. Jobs lasted only 3 to 9 mos. This went on for four years, and at the last, I worked 3 part-time jobs, which was extremely stressful. So, I retired early.

    Intellectually I know I have done everything within my power to be positive and move forward, and make a happy life for myself. But, my attempts to put down roots has not been positive. I went to a church that many had known my parents and my family growing up. I participated, but there was a group of older ladies, that constantly talked about me, inventing stories, and several even verbally sparring with me at every Red Hatter’s luncheon, and Sunday lunches. I turned the other check, and kept a positive outlook.

    It got to be too much, I thought church was to be positive, and build you up. I spoke with the minister, he didn’t want to get involved, and shrugged it off. I felt so dark and depressed, tried to find a new church, but did not feel up to it. You know, meeting new people, no job, That is what people always ask when you first meet.

    So, I haven’t gone to church since. I am stuck on that too. But, your post has inspired me to be grateful for this house, and not worry about the yard needing mowing. I just need to keep moving forward with gratitude!

  9. Thank you for sharing! My husband(who is also a pastor) and I travel for missions. We have been 9 consecutive years to an eastern European country with great poverty and spiritual depravity. We are always so very blessed by the church planters and their sacrificial giving, perseverance, and great love in the midst of their earthly circumstances. One of the greatest blessings to having gone for so many years is the building of relationships. The people have become so near and dear to our hearts. I would encourage you and Wayne to prayerfully consider making Cuba an annual missions trip for you as a couple. You can be the encouragement those pastors and wives need! You can provide for them support and understanding that other missionary groups cannot because you too are a pastor and pastor’s wife. We have learned that even the smallest gesture is like a ripple in a pond that goes out and blesses many. God bless you and Wayne as you continue to serve the Lord.

  10. Cyndi,

    I enjoy all of your posts but I look forward to your Sunday posts. I check my email when I get home from church. They are always uplifting and thought provoking. Can’t wait to hear more about your Cuba trip!

  11. Thank you, Cyndi for giving….., your time, your talents, your resources, your encouragement. And to Susan, I’ll be praying for you. Love the song by Lauren Daigle… I will trust in You …..which includes the words….When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move, When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through and when You don’t give the answers as I cry out to you…..I will trust in You.

  12. What is blessing you are to us and God. Thank you so much for sharing your trip. The people of Cuba live in humble means. We have so much to be thankful for. May God continue to bless and protect all of us. Thank you Cyndi!

  13. Yes, thank you for sharing – my husband and I went to Jamestown, VA for a long weekend, and to see what our forefathers endured so that we may prosper is humbling to say the least – and then your email popped up with your experience! We are so fortunate to have a God whose plan is for us to have hope and a future!

  14. Thank you so much for your informative post. I have always been interested in Cuba. Before the regime, my father worked there for a few months and portrayed a very different story. This is an enlightenment. Your anointing is a blessing to all who read your posts and I am so happy to have found your blog. God Bless you and Wayne .

  15. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip, Cyndi! I remember my friend (from Cuba) telling me how the govt even rations their food. I can’t imagine! She said the Cuban people are so loving and if one family there has family coming to visit, they will share their food with them so they are able to feed their “company”. Isn’t that sweet? I can’t imagine living under such a dictator as Castro! I have never taken my freedom for granted.