The story of Rescue makes that a promise He will fulfill, “I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). To bring that to pass, Paul the Church Planting Missionary wrote in the first century that “All over the world this Gospel is bearing fruit and growing…(Col. 1:6). Because of your role with CMM that is still happening today. He is, by His Gospel, reconciling to Himself all things. Hundreds of leaders and thousands of people are influenced by grace renewing dynamics through CMM and our partners like you.
I am grateful that, in this unstable world, you have remained a generous and praying friend of CMM. As I look back at what the Lord has done this year, I wanted to highlight a few:
The ministry in Cuba continues to multiply even during lockdowns and food shortages. It has been a great source of joy to see the Los Pinos Churches make Gospel Coaching central to their national mission for leaders. The humanitarian crisis made us pivot and partner with Children's Hunger Fund so that we could help send close to 600,000 meal packs, medicines, and water filters to our friends and churches. They continue to plant new house churches (close to 100 in Havana alone) and perform baptisms of new converts across the island.
In addition, Gospel Coaching for Leaders began in England in 2019 among 6 different agencies and denominations from London to Scotland, with thousands of people in those churches. Fifteen diverse leaders completed their coaching certification and began coaching others. The Northern Gospel Powerhouse, a movement of churches from northern England to Scotland, began CMM coaching ministry among their leaders. We will next teach Gospel Coach trainers in 2022 and they will have a complete indigenous Gospel Coaching system.
Finally, I wanted to share a personal story. My friend, Frank Batista, is a talented painter who lives in Havana, Cuba. I have one of his paintings hanging in my office. On one occasion I shared with him an idea that would capture the story of God’s grace. I crudely sketched out my thoughts on a wrinkled paper and gave it to him.
He brought his God-given talent in color, design, beauty, and imagination to create an amazing painting. Imagine a desolate road with inhospitable, harsh desert-like landscape with barren trees and a few birds off in the distance.
In the forefront is the dashboard of a 1957 dented and rust-stained Chevy. You feel as if you are in the driver’s seat behind a large steering wheel looking down that long and rocky road. As you glance in the rearview mirror, you see the beauty of a lush, tropical beach with sunshine and palm trees. On the horizon, just above the dashboard, is a sunrise barely breaking across the line where the earth and sky collide. Off to the left side of the road is one faded gray, weather-beaten, two-story house with a bright red door, clear, clean, and inviting.
In this dark, yet graphic painting, Frank captured the framework of the story of grace. We are all driving a long, ruined road out of Eden, which is clearly in our rearview memory, with a ruined body and rusted soul, lost in the earthly wilderness. We long for refuge and rest, with a hope of a better future. We need a place, a home or substantial city, where we can land. Along the journey lies a bright red door (see Hosea 2:15 and John 10:9) offering a way home. Jesus made Himself “the doorway that will lead back to where we belong” (Steven Curtis Chapman, Where We Belong). On our horizon a new day is coming and all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5). And we long for that day—that day that offers us the fulfillment of grace.
Thank you for being an ongoing friend of CMM’s global mission because all over the world His gospel is bearing fruit and growing!