By Drake Mariani | Wednesday, May 27, 2015
This is just too awesome. I have to keep this short for some of you and others want the whole enchilada...you'll have to have me come and share it with you or your small group or Sunday School class.
I was asked to fill out this form after we got back..."Your most memorable moment". I started out "You've GOT to be KIDDING". Then listed 21 "most memorable moments".
Giving God the Glory and Thanks to You
Ah, first...I want to do two things. Be certain God get's all the glory for all that happened. Second, that you know this was your fruit too. You have much to be praising Him for because your gifts of money and prayer definitely yielded fruit in Cuba and my life. THANK YOU from the bottom of my rapidly beating heart! And, Gina did marvelously "home alone". She also thanks you very much!
First time sharing Christ (with much trembling of heart), 3 of the 5 in this home in the mountains were named Jesus, Marie and Elohin (Elohim is a name for God). I just laughed inside. The senior 77 yr old was Blah. Yes, that's all his name is. Blah received Christ with the rest. We had this new church plant's first church meeting in Blah's home that eve. Jesus looked especially different (clean and bright!). I told him so and he said, "Well, Drake, that's because I'm a new man." I had never used that phrase.
Are You Reading Scripture to Remember? Or Reading to Forget? Proven memory system gives you and your family instant, on demand access to God's love when you need it the most. If you're like most people, you forget most of what you read. You pick up a book, read a paragraph, and then look up and ask yourself, "What did I just read?" Sometimes reading is like those times when you drive long stretches down the freeway. You knew you were driving but you can't recall anything about the trip.
Me doing the "roses" illustration (that's all I could find for a dozen roses) that salvation is a gift. Hubby bringing it to his wife is really hurt if she offers him Money! What a crackup this was!
That evening, I moved one step further in one of the two lessons God taught me in Cuba. Lesson: "Let ME do it...don't always feel you need your ducks in a row. You're limiting Me." Earlier in the week, I had spoken in an evening meeting (prepared 2 hours before coming to Cuba). But, I had about 10 minutes to prepare for this one. Guess which one was "unbelievable"!
Rosalita and her mom Santa trusted Christ. Rosalita's husband and I had a wonderful time, but he wasn't ready. They came to church that night. You could easily trip on their rocky, uneven dirt floor. 74 yr old Ofelia finally understands she cannot get to heaven on her own and yields to Christ. She walks 1.5 miles in the pitch black to a little house (35 in one 7x15 room) and brings 7 of her grandchildren from 9-16. 3 of them trust Christ in the meeting.
Midra, a young mom, crying all the way through the presentation as we stood in her rocky floored home, then saying "No, I have my own way of believing."
Feeling quite insecure as 3 gruff looking men said OK, we'll listen. The face of one particularly made me cry out inside "Help" to the Lord. He looked so upset. These men's faces became ever more interested as they focused on the Evangecube each time I opened it up another time. They prayed out loud to receive Christ. As I walked down the path, my interpreter said that upset man yelled "Thank so much for the gift of Jesus Christ!" Oh my goodness! If I could have stopped and gotten alone, I would have cried.
Chi Chi's eyes widening during the gospel and saying, "This is what I have wanted all my life. I have only hoped I could go to heaven." (got a great picture of her on my lap) Aunt Chi Chi is 84 :)
Cuban pastor for one neighborhood I worked two days in, hugging me from the side and saying, "Oh Drake, I'm going to miss you so much." He had labored 3 days a week for 6 years and had 9 members meeting weekly. I had gone only to homes he hadn't talked with before and God was mighty. Over 40 came to the evening service.
Lesson #2 Pray instantly. Aloud if with someone. Now. My clear natural tendency is to say when there is a "situation", "We have a problem here"...and begin to discuss how to resolve it. Repeatedly my leaders did it this way "We have another opportunity to trust God and see how He is going to get the glory, let's pray." End of story. I have already seen that bless me, God and those around me numerous times since coming home.
Some of the $20,000 retail medicine you helped provide. I was blessed to pray God would get the glory as the local pastor on the left dispensed it via the MD on the right (believer).
We're reaching the edge of a "too long" newsletter here, so, I'll give you the results of the 19 of us doing evangelism for four days and again, give glory to God. There were 31 small missions who had their numbers strengthened. There were 15 new mission churches started in homes. 222 folks said they'd "think about it" and 539 people (nearly all adults) decided to trust in Jesus Christ alone, not their works, for salvation.
I am told my mouth was like this in many pictures. Oh well, we laughed a lot (as usual, "at me, not with me" most likely! Who knows, it was FUN.) I was nervous as I began preaching and worried they'd get bored, so I repeatedly had them stand up, sit down as I supposedly looked for the Scripture. (gotta get that blood pumping so they don't fall asleep!)