At the end of September, I was privileged to accompany Tony Fernández to the Global Missions Experience, a meeting of college students hosted by Harding University at Camp Tahkodah. The following Sunday, Tony, Bill Brant, and I attended a church in Paragould, Arkansas, then we returned to Harding for their annual lectures. Let me share a few bullet points from that trip.
- It did my spirit good to be with hundreds of college students who are interested in seeing God’s kingdom grow around the world. Their fervor, their optimism, their dreams… they lifted my spirits greatly.
- Tony did an amazing job helping these students learn about what God has done in Cuba, how the church has grown through trials and not merely in spite of them. Over 800 people heard Tony’s message.
What may have been a highlight for me was the market Tony and I helped with. We put on our best “native” garb and manned a vegetable stand (and Internet cafe, though we had neither Internet nor coffee). The GME participants had to come buy from us with money they had been provided. We mainly spoke to them in Spanish as we bargained our way through transactions. It was a lot of fun.
- The Pine Knot church of Christ in Paragould was founded in 1841. There is a cemetery next door which is part of the church’s grounds.
- Bill Brant did a good job of telling the Hope for Life story and giving people a vision of what we do. And Tony preached an excellent sermon.
- My presentations at Harding were very well attended and went well. I love getting to tell people about the principles in Church Inside Out. The material in that book reflects my passions more than anything else I’ve ever written.
- Tony got to share with people at Harding what prayer has done for the church in Cuba. Always a joy to translate for him.
- We went to a concert by Yariel Olivera. Tony and Yariel did a duet on Guantanamera