Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cuba 1950's and 2004 • Joan Hust

My first visit to Cuba was in the 1950’s with a classmate from Florida Beacon College in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We stayed with Paul and LaVon Hartman from the Open Bible Church in Iowa.  This was my first real missionary trip to a foreign country.  I loved it.  It is the largest Caribbean Island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.  It was only 90 miles South of Key West, Florida. The one propeller plane trip that I was a passenger was less than an hour from Tampa, Florida where I was a student at the St. Petersburg Bible Institute.   It was the end of the reign of President Batista, and the beginning of Fidel Castro.
 It was quite evident that the local church was vibrant for the Lord, but not the economy.  Paul had an open truck.  We went from village to village, and stood in the back of the truck, and held a service in the village. We arrived unannounced but we were well received and the village folks would gather around our truck.  Paul played a guitar and an accordion, and my friend and I played our saxophones. We had a one to two hour service in every village.  We sang, played a saxophone duet, and gave our testimonies on how we became a Christian.  Paul preached a sermon in Spanish, and gave an altar call.  Many folks came forward to accept Christ in those open air meetings. Paul and LaVon would return to minister to the people who gave their lives to Christ after we left and returned home.  Paul and LaVon worked in Cuba for fifteen years.  When they returned back to the states they worked with the Spanish families in the Tampa, Florida area. 
My second visit was with a team from Bethel Baptist Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2004.We were welcomed by a local pastor and his family in the city of Cienfuegos.  I met many wonderful families, and the fellowship was precious. We had meetings out in the country in a barn, and some in houses where we would stand as there was not enough room for everyone to sit down.  We went house to house during the day and were transported by horse and buggy.  I had the privilege of visiting the home of Marta. She spoke Spanish and English.  Her daughter brought her Bible to her that was wrapped in cloth to protect it. Her lovely daughter accepted the Lord after we gave our testimonies and we had a precious time rejoicing in His love.    
Do your best to tell about JESUS everywhere you go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Burundi, Africa • Joan Hust • Interview

Where in the world is BURUNDI?

Why is there a trail up to that rock with grass huts and no people? So I walked up there. It was the famous meeting of Dr. Livingstone and H. Stanley that took place in 1871. The inscription on the rock: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Let me ask you a few questions, Joan.  I don’t really know anyone that has gone to Burundi.  You hear of folks that visit many countries in Africa, but you are the first that I have heard of that has gone to Burundi.  I can’t imagine what enticed you. What were you doing there?

I joined a Church Partnership Evangelism (CPE) team from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Their ministry goal is to make disciple-making disciples and plant church-planting churches.  The strategy is to equip people in evangelism, discipleship, and cell or church planting, and then to engage you in the task. It is a short-term mission’s ministry with a long-term impact.  The goal is to initiate those who make professions of faith in a discipleship course led by the lay person who brought them to the Lord Jesus.

Tell me more about who you traveled with, how much it cost, good exchange for your US dollars, how many flights, what did you actually do, and would you go back?

I traveled with a friend from one of the Life churches in Coeur d’Alene that I have known not only for a long time but was on a China mission team with me a couple of years ago. We were most compatible, and a lot of fun.  We both accept the definition of a missionary by Oswald Chambers “A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by God.  The great controlling factor is not the needs of people, but the command of Jesus.  The goal is to be true to Him to carry out His plans. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Matthew 28:19”

The exchange rate for the dollar was average.  Some of my money the bank would not accept.  The reason being they only accepted 2003 to the present year.  Some of my money was before 2003.  Accommodations, food and travel were included in the total cost of the trip which was under four thousand.  Travel was five flights, 48 hours, two days and two nights one way.

Let me address the issue of just what my schedule was every day.  I got up at six am, and was at the breakfast table with the team at seven thirty am for breakfast, prayer and praise.  After breakfast we were taken by van or car by a driver assigned to us to take us to the location of the villages.  We joined local church people and walked up muddy, wet trails to villages not seen from the road.  I was introduced and I gave my personal testimony, plan of salvation, and asked them if they would like to accept Jesus just as I did when I was a teenager.  Many came forward; return dates were set to disciple them, and connect them with the local church in one of the villages.  We did this every day.   We had a late lunch daily that was prepared by the ladies at one of the vacant homes.  There were many vacant homes due to the war when so many were killed.  It is a difficult existence there as the local people struggle to get their lives back together.  We were back at the center before dark, dinner was served, praise and prayers, and off to sleep under a mosquito net that draped down from the ceiling. Once I hit the “City of Bed Springs” I do not remember the lights being turned off, people talking, dogs barking till my roommate said “ Good morning, Joan. We have another day to tell the story of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Burundi”.

Would I go back?  Why would anyone ask me that question?  What do you think?

PRAY for our dear brothers and sisters in Burundi.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Drive Through Botswana, Joan Hust

I drove through Botswana with girlfriends to go shopping for food and clothes in Johannesburg when I lived with my family in Zambia.  We had a lot of fun.  The border inspections coming and going took hours, and it cost five hundred dollars deposit to enter the country. When we returned to the border the officials gave us back our deposit. The people were very friendly and spoke English.  We saw a lot of wildlife especially we all enjoyed seeing so many elephants, giraffes, zebras, wart hogs, one huge tortoise only once, more impalas than you can count, monkeys chattering mostly as the sun goes down, and a herd of wildebeest. We stayed at a very nice Christian guesthouse, and met several missionary families.  We joined them for Sunday morning and evening services.  One of the church families invited us for high tea which was a new experience for me.  I did not know what to expect. 
Pray for the Botswana people to be encouraged by the fellowship of their local church.  It was a blessing to worship with them. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Florida Southern College Memory

It was a typical warm, hot, sticky day in class at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida.  I had a seven am class every morning Spring and Winter semesters. I was approved to take twenty one credits so I could graduate early as I had been offered my first teaching position sight unseen in an elementary school in South Florida.  My classes were over at eleven forty five am, and I ran all the way to work as I was a car hop at a local drive- in restaurant. I arrived on time for the noon to six pm shift. I changed clothes in their restroom, and one of my class mates picked me up after work with her dad’s yellow Nash, and off we went to help provide the music for a tent revival.  A young man from Georgia in his second year of Bible College was in my class was holding a tent revival.  He was such a quiet, reserve person, but when he preached he had a lot of enthusiasm. I played the saxophone, Tillie played the accordion, David played the trombone, and Tommy played the guitar.  The Lord really blessed us as we played our instruments, sang, gave our personal testimonies, and took turns delivering the sermon. When the altar call was given folks would come forward and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. 
Thank You heavenly Father for using me to reach others and tell them of how You gave Your only Son to die on the cross so that they might live. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Missions to Bermuda • Joan Hust

It was our first year of marriage that Bill’s parents, Dr. Philip and Margaret Hust invited Bill and I to join them for a week in Bermuda.  We were living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and there were daily flights to this lovely paradise island. We were most fortunate as the flight was only an hour, and we walked down the steps of the plane the sun was shining, and the taxi driver was waving his welcome sign.  We met people from all over the world.  A driver had been arranged to drive us all over the island.  We enjoyed the calypso music everywhere we stopped to eat.  We were able to watch a lot of cricket; Bermuda has a top notch cricket team.  The food was great.  We tasted the Hoppin’ John casserole made of papaya, rice, and peas.  We had hash for dinner one night made from shark.  I especially liked their sweet potato pudding that was made with orange juice.

Please pray for those living in Bermuda.