By Franco Gennaro
Published April 26, 2008
Champions for Christ – Latin America
Church thrives despite hardship and persecution
HAVANA (FRI) – As I stare out the window of my shabby 12th-floor hotel room overlooking the city of Havana, Cuba, I think through this past trip which has been both exciting and sobering. I have had the privilege of not only ministering in various unregistered (non-government) churches, but also encouraging pastors in private meetings.
These men and women are the heroes of today. They have faced persecution, poverty, sacrifice and terror and are still living through it. These brothers and sisters often go without food due to the economic crisis. This is especially sad when I realize that they live just 90 miles from the United States.
In spite of these incredible hardships, there has been an explosion of revival and an incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this island. Most church buildings are jam-packed, with standing-room-only crowds. While in the 1960s and 1970s many church buildings were closed down, today lines of people go out the front doors of churches – even into the streets. Recently, many congregations have doubled, and even tripled, in attendance.
Even more exciting is that fact that 70 percent of church membership is under 30 years of age. There is a spiritual hunger among youth in Cuba like never before. However, because of this growth, the government is now beginning to crack down on the local churches, as it perceives Christianity to be a threat to its future existence.
On my first trip to Cuba in 1993, there was more of an openness to Christianity in the government. Now, there is growing suspicion, fear and worry that this Christian revolution is getting out of hand. Restrictions and harassment toward ministers have become commonplace, with some churches being closed by the government. Though a good international public relations image has been recently created by the country’s leadership, behind the scenes there is great concern that allegiance to communism is faltering.
Another method being waged against the phenomenal church growth is the promotion of a substitutionary religion in Cuba – Witchcraft. The government now openly states that Brujera/Santeria is the “official cultural religion” of the island. In any government store you can find entire sections devoted to the sale of artifacts, dress and instruments for the practice of this demonic spiritual substitute. Moreover, Cuba has sponsored international conferences and workshops on the introduction of Santeria.
Missionary Hudson Taylor said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed!” The trumpet sound is clear. In addition to sending Champions for Christ evangelism teams to Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Nicaragua, we will proceed this year with an outreach to Cuba.
Forerunner - Home » The Champion » The Champion - Volume 1
Your comments are welcome!
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)