Orestes Roca, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Matanzas, Cuba, was a guest in the Pullen pulpit on this Sunday. Orestes and six other members of his congregation are visiting Raleigh for two weeks in celebration of the 25 years of partnership between our two congregations. The text that inspired this sermon was Exodus 14:19-31.
Dear sisters and brothers, it is a tremendous pleasure for me and for the group from the First Baptist church of Matanzas to be here with you today, celebrating the 25th anniversary of our sister church relationship and the love between our congregations. It is a much anticipated event and one that we have prayed for. This gathering has been a miracle.
In 2011, Mahan Siler, one of the founders of this relationship, preached at the First Baptist Church of Matanzas and reminded us that in 1989, no one in our two congregations could have imagined that twenty years later we would have been celebrating an anniversary of this partnership.
“Would you have believed it?” Mahan said. “Of course not.” We could not have imagined that more than one hundred pilgrims would travel between our congregations, blessing each other through exchanges of love, of learning and of the shared desire to praise God and serve Jesus. All of this happened without the blessing of our governments. If anyone would have predicted these 25 years of friendship, you would have laughed at the unbelievable, outlandish and ridiculous possibility. In 1989 it would have been beyond our imagination. [Read more…]