Last week I was in Cuba for the sixth annual Assemblies of God Pastors’ Kids retreat. This was my third trip to participate in the event, although we have been involved every year since 2008, helping to connect that ministry with BGMC funds to buy the food for this amazing and hugely important event.
I spoke with many pastor-parents who told me this ministry has changed their children’s lives, the spirit in the church, and is touching the
whole country. This year 500 young people from all over this Communist country came to the city of Ciego de Avila to hear from God. Most of them rode 6 to 8 hours in cattle trucks converted into human transportation with benches screwed down in the back, during 100 degree heat.
During the retreat, they slept on the floor or on thin mattresses in the church or in the homes of people from all the churches in town. In a country where the government salary is $10-20 per month per adult, food is rationed and extremely hard to get, and government permits for religious events require months of red tape, any event like this is scheduled and planned completely on faith. The city was having an epidemic of cholera during the days of the retreat, but thanks to God and a good water filtration system at the church, not even one got sick.
The $3,000 provided by BGMC paid for all the food, 7 meals for each of the 500 people, plus most of the transportation. It also paid for all the gifts we gave every kid—music CDs, silicone wristbands with the camp theme, and laminated name tags. Before the retreat, more than 30 participated in an essay writing competition on the life of Joshua, and BGMC funds provided the prizes.
Special thanks to all of the kids who give regularly to BGMC, and to the children’s ministry leaders who believe in missions and encourage the kids to get involved. When a kid learns to pray and give for God’s work around the world, the world is changed, and so is the kid.
Raising up the next generation of God’s servants in Latin America,
Missionary to Costa Rica