Book Review: Donde Esta Willie Santiago? Stories of Cuban Revival

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I have the remarkable privilege of being a part of a team that is headed to Cuba in a few months for a mission trip.  What an incredible opportunity to learn about a country that has been closed for so long.  I want to learn more about the gospel ministry that is taking place in Cuba before we go so I have some idea of what to expect and how I should be praying and preparing my heart and my team before we go.  I ran across Donde Esta Willie Santiago? Stories of the Cuban Revival by Pastor Jim Phillips on Amazon.  Willie Santiago is connected to the ministry that we will be serving with and I was so eager to hear his story.  After reading this book, I can’t wait to meet him and learn more about what he has seen in the midst of the revivals that are taking place in Cuba.  Thank you for praying for our team as we prepare to go!

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Communism boasted against the Lord and Christianity by stating, “We will let the older generation have their religion. We will educate the young people and they will have no need of God or religion.” Location 81
  • I had been given a Spanish Bible before I left the United States. I felt such love in my heart for this man. I pulled the Bible out of my briefcase and gave it to the husband. Location 304
  • Willie explained to us the difference between dollar gas stations and pesos gas stations. Tourists may only buy gas and the other products offered at a dollar service station. The pesos filling station is only for the Cubans. Location 323
  • I can put a church planter in a town for $10 per month. Location 344
  • We need the power of God to do the work of God. I Cor.2:4-5 states, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (KJV). Location 868
  • The Lord allowed me to enter into His revival. I never wanted to seize control. I never believed that the Cuban church wouldn’t keep going forward without me or American money. I did believe that we could make it a little easier, plus it is good to have friends as we build the Kingdom of God. Who wants to do this alone? I have played on numerous teams in sports. It is a rewarding experience to have good team members with you; how much more in the Kingdom where Jesus told us to love one another and we are working together on the greatest team and for an eternal reward. Having lead through several building programs, I almost went hoarse preaching, “Many hands make light work.” In Cuba there are many hands. Location 1101
  • I try to stress this to every person that I have introduced to the foreign field, “Your heart will be touched by the needs that you will encounter. Be careful that what you promise you can and will fulfill. It is better not to promise than to promise and disappoint someone. In other words, let’s have the character of Christ in this matter. I believe that we do more good by delivering even more than we promise, but great harm if we disappoint.” Location 1111
  • Cuba directs a new convert’s zeal into the work of the Lord and into a team ministry. “You don’t have to be a superstar to contribute to the team. As you grow we will delegate more responsibility upon you.” Location 1234
  • Instead of, “Are you stealing my sheep.” God give us a Kingdom mindset. Location 1248
  • Willie has a plaque on his wall that reads: Faith Involves Risk Location 1564
  • I started talking about multiplying disciples by planting churches. I want to try to illuminate this method a little more. Think about an apple seed for a minute. (I know that most apple propagation is done by grafting/budding to reproduce a true duplicate of the original but bear with me, please). Plant an apple seed, provide a favorable environment, and give it some time and a tree will grow. Soon you have an apple seed machine. It can continue to produce apples, which contain seeds, for generations. Every seed is capable of growing into a seed-making tree. This is like planting a church. The seed is God’s word – the gospel being preached to others. The fruit is the very nature of God in peoples’ lives. Look at all the fruit that can be produced as years go by. Every person won to Christ is capable of reproducing more Christians and even more churches. But let’s be greedy for the Kingdom. Why not plant a whole orchard! Then you have acres of fruit-producing, seed producing trees. Let’s get greedy and plant a whole bunch of churches. That is what is happening in Cuba; they now have a church planting movement! Location 1642
  • While I was speaking to the gathering of pastors, I decided to tell them the three main things I was hearing prophetically. I began, “God has spoken to this nation and said there would be a great revival with signs and wonders. This we are seeing all across this island. He also said that Cuba would become a Christian nation. The third thing that I have heard the Lord say to Cuba is: you will send missionaries all over the world.” Location 1668
  • First, leaders should use their talents to include as many other workers as possible. Location 1795
  • On the topic of efficient systems, at the top is the choice to use team ministry; Cubans work together. They choose church principles straight out of the Book of Acts, especially prayer and Spirit-filled ministry. In addition, they have had to use primarily house churches, by necessity. They quickly, but gently, disciple new converts into the work of the Lord. This has resulted in a church planting movement. Location 1929
  • It is hard to give concrete statistics on the church growth in Cuba. I have a few that have been passed on to me. • In 1990: • The Baptists had 238 churches, by 2010, they had 7,039. • The Assemblies of God had 89, by 2010 they had 10,776 • The Methodists grew from 8,000 members to 36,000 • Some estimates place the total number of new churches to be about 16,000. Location 2456

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