I (Duke) just got back from Cuba in what was a very quickly assembled trip. Marie and I had been visiting family in California and Texas for the Christmas holidays and were on our way home. We had stopped for the night in Abilene TX and we're preparing to head to Hot Springs AR to be with my parents the next day when I received a call late on Saturday night from Jim Taylor, the pastor of the Pointe Church in Brandon Ms. Jim asked me if I was available to go to Cuba with him on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM from New Orleans. Jim had intended to go to Cuba towards the middle part of the month but the COVID requirements changed suddenly and they announced that beginning Wednesday you would be required to quarantine upon arrival to Cuba and he changed his plans last minute to get in under the requirement. I just laughed. I thought he was out of his mind and told him so but as I thought about it I realized I was ready to go. I had actually grabbed my passport and thrown it into my backpack before we left for California thinking there was some minor chance we might want to go over into Mexico while we were there. So when I realized that I had everything I needed Marie and I talked and she thought, yes, this is something we need to do. So we drove from Abilene to Brandon on Sunday ran around on Monday all day trying to get my COVID test so I could fly and was able to secure that in New Orleans Monday night. So Tuesday morning we flew out. We found out later that there was another team from Ohio that had been supposed to join us that got turned back at the airport because of vaccine requirements and such. So it felt from the start that this was a God thing that we really were able to put it together in such short notice.
We visited churches in Jovellanos, Cardenas and Santa Marta. I found the Cuban churches to be very hungry for the Spirit of God. There was so much expectancy wherever we went. There were several meetings that were predominantly Pastors and Leaders while there were 3 open meetings that were packed with people.
The surprise to me was that every meeting primarily centered around prophetic ministry. I had heard we would be ministering to Pastors and I had, in my mind, a picture of what that might look like. I had my tools, charts, sermons, teachings all ready to go. But when we were on the ground, I never pulled those out. It was always about “What is God saying right now to these people?” Over and over again I watched as Jim and I gave a word and we could would it settle on someone and deeply impact them. I had several people tell me that they had been asking the Lord for confirmation or a word and that they received the exact answer through what Jim or I spoke over them. One woman told me “Your prophetic words have encouraged and strengthened us. That is what all of our leaders need.”
In one meeting we had exclusively Pastors and Leaders. In that meeting I simply recounted the challenges of the past couple of years and admitted that it had been difficult as a leader. I began to prophesy over the group and concluded with “Well done my good and faithful servants.” The spirit of God came on the room as many began to weep. I walked person to person and laid hands on each one and repeated “Well done my good and faithful servant.” It was a holy moment.
I have been processing this since the trip. Marie and I started this journey with a simple word from the Lord that said we would go “encourage and strengthen the churches and leaders.” My interpretation was that we would go teach and equip using the models and revelations we had received over the years. I still think that is true but I think I have underestimated the power of prophetic ministry in these times.
We have partnered with a couple of ministries that I am excited about. We are working with Matthew Helland through his RUAH School of Prophecy. I believe this relationship is far more important than I did when we first proposed it. We are also partnered with Roger Cunningham and will be joining him in some of his events this year.
Since Marie and I left the pastorate, we have logged just over 7000 road miles and I took a Cuba trip. That’s in 30 days. We have ministered already to literally hundreds. We would ask you to cover us with prayer and to ask the Lord if you should partner with us with a monthly financial commitment in this mission he’s called us to. No amount is insignificant and we thank you.