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Ray and Sarah Reynolds went back to Santa Clara, Cuba for an 8 day mission trip February 17-25.  They were able to survey the work in the remaining 8 congregations that were not visited in November and visit another church family in Remedios.  The goal was to encourage more congregations and visit as many brethren as possible.  Most days there were at least two Bible studies and meetings.  We had three baptisms and purchased our first ever CHURCH BUILDING!!! Praise the Lord!  The brethren now own the Villa Clara church of Christ property in downtown Santa Clara.  It was formerly a pharmacy and personal residence.   Many new contacts were made and personal visits were made in the homes of potential prospects for Bible study.  Since leaving there have been many baptisms and Bible studies!

 

Previously.... November 1-7, 2016... Frank Hughes, Edelto Villa, Ray Reynolds, Sarah Reynolds, Luke Reynolds, Seth Reynolds, and Izak Reynolds travelled to Santa Clara, Cuba for a mission trip.   The goal was to visit and encourage the congregations we currently support in the region.   Specifically they focused on the city churches within Santa Clara, Manicaragua, and Sancti Spiritus.

When Edelto and his family the left the work a few years ago, moving to the states, we were supporting nine congregations in Santa Clara, eight in Municipio Villa Clara, and ten in Sancti Spiritus.  Our work consisted of 38 preachers and hundreds of members.  To be honest, things digressed somewhat in Santa Clara because of lack of organization, but things are turning around!  Noel is doing a great job in getting things back on track!  However, the churches in Sancti Spiritus and preachers have tripled!  God is good.

To learn more about this work and the exciting changes that are taking place... please contact us.  Follow our FACEBOOK page for new updates.  https://www.facebook.com/GSCOCCubanMissions/

  
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Six Things That May Hinder Your Prayers - by Edelto Villa

Six Things That May Hinder Your Prayers

Have you ever prayed and there hasn’t been any answer from God?  Have you felt helpless and overwhelmed because of that?  Might not be the right time for you.  It’s in God’s time, not in your time.  But it could also be you!  Yes!  There are things we do, or don’t do, which according to our LORD May hinder our prayers.

1) You are a Christian but you still are leading a sinful life.  Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  John 9:31says, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”

2) You are a Christian but you may still have idols in your heart.  Ezekiel 14:1-9 says,  “Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;  That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”  Also read Matthew 22:37-38.  May only statues and wooden carvings be considered idols?  What other things can become idols in our life?

3) If  you have an unforgiving attitude towards either your neighbor or your brother/sister you are sure to be putting obstacles in the way of your prayers.  Matthew 6:12-14 says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”  THE LORD taught us to forgive in his so-called ‘model prayer’ and Mark through the Lord’s Spirit writes HIS OWN WORDS WARNING US again in chapter Mark 11:24-26 saying “therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  Look here. . . . you ask believing you are going to receive but before you pray make sure you don’t harbor any grudge against anybody, and if you do, go settle it before you pray to your Father so that don’t get in the way of your prayer.

4) Check it out! You may be praying for the wrong motives. That is quite possible!  James 4.4 says, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Praying should have as its highest priority to give glory to GOD, first and foremost.  Our LORD gives us example after example on that in His own prayers to his Father.  And we should also ask in our prayers for things which may bring glory to him.  Like praying for the growth of the church for new workers;  to keep us away from temptations; to help us provide for the needs of the saints;  to restore to health a brother or sister if it is God’s will, etc.  Because things like these glorify our Lord.  Take a look at I Corinthians 10:31 which says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

5.) A bad relationship with your spouse may also hinder your prayers.  Peter says something that may surprise many married people who are in Christ.  I Peter 3:7 says, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”  Interesting, eh?  Try to remember that the next time you have a fight with your spouse.  Did you all remember how successful your prayer life was during that time?  Well, I can guarantee you all that, according to the HOLY SPIRIT, it shouldn’t have been very successful at all!  These other Scriptures might help you to understand the importance of treating your spouse well and living in harmony with each other.  You can use these other passages for reference and further study: Matthew 19:3-9, I Corinthians 7:3-5, Ephesians 5:25 -33, Colossians 3:9.

6) If you  are stingy and you close your heart and your hand when you see a brother in need that might also interfere with your prayers.  Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whosoever stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”  Philippians 4:15-19  says, “For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my  necessity.  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”  When you provide for the saints in need, that sacrifice smells good to GOD, it is acceptable, and it is well-pleasing to him.

What’s hindering your prayers?

CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE - FEBRUARY 2010

Winning souls, planting churches in the heart of Cuba

Santa Clara, Cuba, founded in the late 1600s, sits near the geographic center of the island and was the site of the final battle of the Cuban Revolution in 1958. Minister Edelto Villa has helped plant seven churches in Santa Clara and the surrounding region. He also works with about 25 Cuban evangelists — some in the extreme eastern city of Guantanamo. 

“God has allowed through his grace that many folks in the center (of Cuba) are worshipping Jesus — and in the right way, the way he intended for us in his covenant,” Villa told The Christian Chronicle. 

Villa is one of 34 Cuban evangelists supported by the Gulf Shores, Ala., Church of Christ with assistance from the White Rock Fund in Texas. To help support the work or for more information, see www.gulfshoreschurchofchrist.org.

 

** The preceding was published on page eight of the February issue of The Christian Chronicle.  We appreciate the attention that The Christian Chronicle has given this great mission effort.  If you would like more information about our ongoing mission effort, please feel free to call us at the church office and we will share even more GOOD NEWS about what God is doing in Cuba!!!

Pix from Cuba (for recent updates see our FACEBOOK page)

      

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 GULF SHORES CHURCH OF CHRIST

 P.O. BOX 223 

GULF SHORES, AL  36547

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