January 2023 Newsletter

Written By César Arreaga

Published January 2, 2023

Our own Christmas miracle and blessing

Saturday morning, one week before Christmas, Marni and I heard FedEx deliver 2 boxes we were not expecting. A small box contained a replacement flashlight, I had not requested, and a large box contained a beautiful gift basket from a company in Michigan, addressed to a lady in Michigan. My name was on a small label on the corner, identical to the label on the small box. After a few phone calls to the gift basket company in Michigan, it was discovered that somehow in transit a label came off the small box and stuck onto the large box, redirecting it to us by “accident.”  They told us that we could keep the basket, since it would cost too much to send it back across the border, and they would send a new one to the intended recipient.

Now a little history.  A few years ago, a friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer, and at Christmas, as their family struggled with treatment and hospitalizations, we gave them a gift basket. Every year since we have dropped off another basket. This year, with Covid slowing and his cancer in remission, we were not sure we would give a basket. However, God dropped this basket off on our doorstep from Michigan. Marni added some of her home-made jelly and squares and a few other things. We were so blessed to be able to share God’s blessing. We are just the delivery people whom God chose to bless. I phoned the gift basket company and shared with them that we were going to forward the basket, and that we believed it was not just them but God who had arranged the delivery. One “accidental” mistake and many people were blessed because of it.

Havana, Cuba

I wrote this while in Havana, and hope you will have a little taste of the night life there from my perspective.

Last night (Nov 18, 2022) at 11 pm, I was in my room in a residential area of Havana Cuba. I stopped playing a game on my tablet and just listened to the sounds outside and began to write:

I am sitting here with the window open as a still active night life constantly flows by. A wooden door closes quietly. Occasionally a bicycle taxi passes with loud Latin music blaring. The ladies on the balcony across the way click at their clothespins taking in their soaking wet clothes that an hour ago got drenched in one of the many downpours. A group of teenagers say goodnight loudly, then yell their last comments to each other from a block away as they go home for the night. Neighbors call out goodnight to each other, and what sounds like a street hawker shouts a single word every few seconds as he saunters past on the street selling bread destined for morning breakfast. Another song blares loudly then slowly quiets as someone passes below my window. Then in the background of the mix of voices, a baby cries and a child coughs. Tomorrow night I should record this, but then who will care?  It will be the same sounds for many nights after, as long as there are neighbors. Hope you might have been able to picture my evening. That went on until about 3 am, but somewhat more subdued as the night progressed.

Happy New Year

I want to thank you for your support of CMRC, myself, and all of the people we worked with this past year. Your prayers and financial support are what keeps us going. In 2023, we will continue to support pastors working in communities of poverty, as well as our Young Women in Poverty education program in the Peruvian Amazon. I hope you’ll keep reading our newsletters and Facebook posts as we report on what is happening in Peru, Guatemala, Colombia and Cuba. May God richly bless you as you pray and support not only CMRC, but many other missions and churches.

Please pray for us as we go to Peru on the 6th of January. Peru has been racked with political instability including violent protests and deaths in recent weeks. I am keeping a close eye on the situation, and am in contact with those we work with who live in Peru. This past week has seen some stability, and the areas where it is bad are cities and locations where we are not going. Please pray daily for us, as from January 9th to 14th we travel up the Amazon to the church we helped build this past year. We hope to dedicate the church while we are there. Also, we will visit Sindy’s house on the river. In the second week of our travels, we will be back on the Pacific coast – a 3 hour drive south of Lima in Canete – working with a pastor as he finishes the church renovations we funded. This is in the same area near Pisco where we worked for quite a few years.

Doug Springer
Executive Director

~ Pray for Pastors in Cuba as they struggle to support their families and minister in their churches.

~ Maria Elena in Cuba as she continues to recuperate from having a tumor removed last summer.  With very little food, Cubans do not heal as quickly due to poor nutrition.

~ Karen in Iquitos struggling with health issues.

~ Cesar in Guatemala, for wisdom and health during this year.

~ Continued financial support for CMRC in 2023.

~ Someone to work with CMRC in Canada who is young and has a heart for missions.  Speaking Spanish and a technical aptitude would be a great advantage.

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