For fifty years I lived in Cuba, the land of my birth. During that time, no one spoke to me about God or spiritual things.
In 2006, I moved to Temuco, Chile, to join my son who was already living there. My heart was empty and without direction, and my home seemed to be filled with hopelessness and anguish. I searched desperately for answers.
One day, I met a man called Andrés in the neighborhood. He greeted me and we chatted. This man, Andrés*, turned out to be a man of God who, with patience, listened to my desperate questions. One evening, he told me something that unlocked the door of my heart to God: ‘Mercy, till now, you have only demonstrated your inability to manage your life. Why don’t you give your heavy backpack of concerns to God?’
Three day later, I was born again as a child of God, and everything in the world seemed different. I was ready to give my life to God.
Back in Cuba, I started sharing and talking about my newfound happiness and faith with my family and friends. Some didn’t believe me; others questioned whether I had changed (since outwardly I look the same). But I knew that everything had changed for me since I met Jesus.
Some of them soon discovered that God could change them too. It did not surprise me since I have learned in my own experience what God our Father is capable of doing in his sovereignty!
Life in La Habana, Cuba is not easy and many problems remain. The sun burns hard sometimes but our strength through Christ grows more than ever. Today, I meet with Christians of different denominations and l am able to love and serve together with them despite our differences. The influence of the NAMS base community in Temuco, called ALP (The Light of the Word), is great and deep in me. The truth of God’s word has brought light and life, and our prayers are heard!
When I was a new believer, I used to ask more than I thanked God for. Now, I thank him everyday and ask what He wants for me to do and how He wants me to live. Thank you Father God, for your love and life, for laughter and tears and for making me into someone you could use for your glory.
(* Andrés Casanueva is the NAMS team leader of ALP base community in Temuco, Chile. He is also the regional leader of NAMS for all of Latin America. )
Mercy Carbonelle divides her time between Cuba and Chile. She has been trained as a NAMS leader and with her husband Richard, are helping to plant and lead a small NAMS community in Cuba.