There were about nine of us huddled in the kitchen when the mother of the home began sobbing. At first quietly. Then no one could ignore it. Looking at my husband, Joe, I nearly panicked, managing a whispered question, “What have we done?”
It had all begun when Joe hung the phone up from a business call and turned to me, saying, “We are going to Cuba.”
“Cuba?” I responded in a shaky voice.
(Have you ever read a book and thought as you read, “God will never ask me to do that?” That had been my thought when I first read God’s Smuggler, by Brother Andrew. Little did I know that one day God would call Joe to join the staff of Open Doors.)
“We will be taking Bibles and other Christian materials to believers in Havana,” Joe explained.
“What about the kids?” I asked.
“We will have to find someone to stay with them,” Joe responded with confidence. Our closest family lived over 1,000 miles away – who would take three high energy kids for 10 days?
Now, a few months later, we were standing in this kitchen in Havana trying to be quiet so that the neighbors, or someone on the street, wouldn’t hear us. I looked at our translator for help, what was happening?
The translator spoke to the wife in Spanish – suddenly he began to cry too. I looked at Joe his face showed he was as troubled as I was.
Then the translator explained – making Joe and me break down and cry.
The mother explained, “Last week I was so depressed, things were so bad I felt we must be wrong that there is a God. I cried to Him saying that if He truly existed would He send someone to tell me. I never expected that He loved me so much He would send someone from the United States to tell me.”
Never in my life had I KNOWN that I was where God wanted me to be in a precise time and in an exact location.
It had all begun with a step of faith. I will never forget the feeling of trepidation as I looked out the window of the airplane at the ocean below and wondered what was going to happen in the days ahead.
It didn’t take just OUR faith. When we got home we learned that the couple who had stayed with our children had been chastised by Christian “friends,” “If Joe and Wanda don’t come home it will be your fault. If you hadn’t agreed to stay with their kids they couldn’t have gone.”
Now we know it wasn’t all that dangerous of a thing to do for us – it was more dangerous for the Cubans with whom we visited. However, at the time we didn’t know that so fear and trepidation was involved, requiring a step of faith, even for our children who were 10, 9 and 7 years old at the time.
What is God asking you to do to model a walk of faith for your children? God may not be calling you to go to a restricted country to bring support to the Christians, however I do believe He calls each of us to step out of our comfort zone to serve Him.
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead ” (James 2:14-17 ESV)
Kids need to experience the power of God in their lives. That happens when Mom and Dad walk a life of faith – when they are continually walking out of their comfort zone to serve God.
For this to be truly effective it must be done out of a love relationship with Jesus Christ, trusting him to give you the faith you need to follow him (Ephesians 2:8-10, Mark 9:24). It can’t be driven by a check-off list. Don’t try to look like someone else. Do what God shows YOU to do, not what someone else is doing.
Look with expectation toward the walk of faith God the Father has planned for you.