As we turned from the asphalt road on to a dirt/mud road Pastor Carlos words echoed through my head, “this is not a road you want to be on if it is raining or wet.” That was not a problem today as the sun radiated through the dirty windshield of our fifty-year-old Russian car. Our car had road clearance of about three to four inches so this was no four-wheeler we were riding in. There was not a cloud in the sky and that was the reason we were wandering down to this remote village.
By the time we pulled up in front the church it was probably 11:00 a.m. and the Cuban sun was “hot” to say the least. Sitting there waiting in the shade was the pastor, his wife and the total church congregation. That totaled somewhere in the range of fifteen to twenty people. The church was leaning slightly to the left with cracks between each piece of siding that you could see through to the other side of this humble house of worship.
They had a makeshift shaded area covered with palm fronds to protect us from the sun. The table was set full of food and I know this little village had sacrificed much to provide this meal. By this time the sun had moved and direct rays were shining across their faces. Each face had a story to be told, the wrinkles of time and hard work were apparent on many of their faces. Yet, the inquisitive brown eyes of the young peaked through church pews and the cracks in the walls to see this strange white-haired American man. They had never seen anyone that looked like that.
By this time the entire village had gathered, it was standing room only with people hanging in the two windows on the left side of the church.
As I started speaking, I notice out of the corner of my eye this dark cloud in the horizon. My message was on Peter’s faith or lack of faith as he walked on water. I was speaking and as I glanced out the window hole that horizon cloud was now a black billowing cloud looking but minutes away. I continued talking about Peter’s faith and him stepping over the side of the boat walking toward Jesus. All of sudden a cool breeze came through the window telling you rain was approaching, all I could think of was Carlos words, “this is not a road you want to be on if it raining or wet.” Well it was too late to worry about that now. The coolest of the breeze was refreshing but do you know we never received a drop of rain. Jesus words, “You don’t have much faith,” rang through my head as we drove over the winding dry road to the awaiting asphalt. We had not traveled one mile until signs of a torrential rainstorm were visible on each side of the road.
I know my Cuban brothers and sisters and the lack of faith is not one of their shortcomings, but I sure fell short that day.