Mon, Aug 8, 2011
We were met in the morning by our hosts and taken to First Baptist Church in Bayamo. The meeting was scheduled to start at 9 but was delayed in order to give pastors living farther away time to get there. Some of these pastors and missionaries were traveling about 30 kilometres by bus or other means to get to the conference. The meeting started at 9:45. Even at that time a number of attendees had not yet arrived.
First Baptist in Bayamo has a large 2½ story building for its 800 members. Paintings of former pastors on the wall show that it goes back to 1905. We had the privilege of meeting a former pastor who had served not only at First Baptist but in other churches for fifty years.
I spoke twice in the morning on a passage from Hebrews 10 challenging those present to make knowing and experiencing God their life passion.
After the morning sessions I gave the last Spanish commentary I had brought to a pastor from another denomination who attended the conference. It is hard to imagine how significant this small thing can be for pastors like this.
After translating the material for the messages that morning my translator asked if he could use it in his teaching ministry. The conference organizer also asked for permission to use the material in his work with youth. I was encouraged to see that what I shared would be used after I left to encourage others.
After lunch I met a Cuban couple serving full time in outreach. He was asking if we had a copy of the message notes in Spanish. I offered to send them copies of the Spanish commentaries as they became available. They appeared to be quite excited to receive any such material to help in their ministry.