A mountain of miracles
Simoney Girard reflects on miracles, small and large, experienced during a charity trek in Cuba this summer.
If there were two biblical texts that could sum up the Cuban trek they would be Matthew 6:25-34 and Psalm 8. Through the events of the trip and the continual presence of these two texts in my heart, God showed his awesome glory.
I won’t go into details, but when the airline said we would never get to Havana on the day we were supposed to fly, we did; when we were told we would miss our connection, we didn’t; and when they told us our baggage would not arrive until the following day, it was there before us.
I felt strongly the call to faith of Matthew 6:33 and encouraged sixteen assembled strangers that God would get us and our bags to Cuba in prompt time. The grace of God worked particularly on one young fellow, who is a sufferer from paranoid schizophrenia. He still remembers the answers to prayer and has been asking searching questions.
Perhaps it was this series of miracles that day that encouraged me to pray for everything that was lost (there were about eight occasions). For example, someone lost the lens cap to their camera somewhere on the mountain we’d just climbed. I prayed for it to be found, and it was – within minutes.
I lost a silver stud one night in the forest. I felt God prompting me to go out and look for it (in the pitch blackness). Prayerfully, I went to one spot and the tiny light flashed on it.
My exaltation caught the attention of Robert, who not only relayed it to the rest of the Mind team, but also translated it into Spanish for the restaurant staff and Cuban guides! Pray for this young man.
By the end of the week, two lovely (lapsed Catholic) ladies (sisters; one had lost her son through suicide) were also praying. Pray that God will bring them into a right relationship with himself.
God also used the greater miracle of his creation in Cuba to reveal his glory. Waterfalls sparkled with reflected sunlight; deep turquoise pools nestled in dusky caves; vast forests teemed with exotic flowers and birds.
I couldn’t help but ‘belt out’ a certain hymn while cleaning my teeth:
When through the woods and
forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly
in the trees
When I look down from lofty
And hear the brook and feel the
I had been overheard by the Cuban tour leader, who requested a repeat while we were ‘yoiking’ up a giant hill. It’s not often a communist party leader asks a Christian to sing a hymn!
One night I took my Bible and sat outside reading Psalm 8. God directed me to the stars above and I was awestruck by how vast his universe is and how small we are in the grand scheme of things. And yet this creator God, who flung the stars into space, was not too great to restore my earring to me (cf. Luke 15:8-10).
This God really cares about every detail in our lives. As I contemplated who God is, I realised that I could give up all fears, stresses, worries and anxieties to him. What a humbling experience. What a God!
And what a country! All this beauty, and yet so poor a nation. We went into a lady’s house for coffee. The walls and ceiling were bare boards; her prized possession was an 80-year-old Singer sewing machine and a rickety bed with torn blankets.
No windows, a very basic toilet, and a kitchen that could hardly be described as one. It was like living in a large, tumbledown garden shed. The Cubans are welcoming people and yet so many have next to nothing. How unlike us with our lovely homes.
So many of the Cubans are steeped in secularism, communism and poverty. It is true, recent reforms have helped to educate and provide healthcare for all; but when for some rice and flour are still rationed, and books (especially Bibles) are a luxury, it brings home the distance between rich and poor.
Please pray for Cuba. Pray for the poor, that they will know the gift of God in Jesus Christ. Pray for the government, that they will govern in truth and justice.