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Furnace of Affliction: Miracle in Cuba 1

Alexis Abrahantes Carralero

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Alexis Abrahantes Carralero begins his 6-part story by detailing the intertwining histories of his family, their faith, and that of Fidel Castro and the cultural revolution that swept through his home of Cuba.

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Alexis Abrahantes Carralero was born in Havana, Cuba, during the height of the Cold War, to a father who was a communist diplomat and member of the military class. He witnessed the religious struggle of underground Christians who still worshipped in spite of severe oppression and persecution. He soon joined those believers. In the midst of Alexis' conversion he suffered a severe accident, which led to a series of miraculous events that eventually brought him and his mother to the United States. 

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  • August 3, 2016
    7:30 PM

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Good evening. God bless everybody here. I'm so glad that I have been given this privilege to come and speak to you. I think that this year I have spoken throughout the United States and several countries. My story of how I came to God. But this particular time. I believe that Satan through every single obstacle possible so that I wouldn't be here tonight. And I first I didn't want to accept that engagement. And I respected like Jonah when he was. Going to be sent by God. And I began to pray that God would use me. And so I'm here tonight. As much to speak as also to speak to myself. And to be reminded. By the miraculous power of God. How many of you here. I have encountered. Hands. We're going to be talking about miracles all throughout my speaking engagements and the next few days. And before I begin with my own story. I have to relate the story of other people. That lead to my own story. You probably might be wondering why these guys up there are dressed in white. With a bow tie on. And the reason why is because I am from Cuba. I was born and. Plus I love her and the capital city of Havana. And tonight I'm going to be talking to you about pre-birth Aleutian era Cuba. And I'm wearing a Cuban way of it up and this is the way. That the why of it. I was worn before the revolution. So I was one properly with people tight. The why of it is a peasant garb. That I came to being and the eighteenth century and the province of Soc to speed it was in Cuba. And or Originally it was what it was worn to be able to hold of us and the pockets. Now I don't know how true that was because while I was staying. Lin and you can't take the stings out. But it represents a Cuban flag. House three lines in the back with this small folds that represent the rank of that person inside of Cuba's society. And it has exactly twenty seven buttons. When this guard was taken to have been a nobody where wanted to wear it. So the Cuban tailors of the upper classes refined it in the bow tie and the French coughs and the cufflinks and it is now never actually worn very rarely with the bull time so I want to take you back more than sixty years to a very different Cuba before I begin. Let's have a word of prayer and we're going to open our Bibles so that we can invite the Holy Spirit to be here with us tonight. It's markets there I'm the father. Thank you for bringing me here even and part against my own will. Thank you for reminding me of your love for each one of us and for myself. I ask you Father that your son your angels. So they can minister and open our hearts. And so that we can see a mighty power all through these days coming into the power. I prepare us for a future uncertain. And they give us strength to face whatever challenges we may have. In our lives today and in the days coming and going always that you are in control. Forever and ever. Because you have created us for your glory. Thank you Lord in Christ living and man. I want you to open your Bibles. And Psalms thirty four. Lately it seems like the news are getting worse and worse and you know times don't seem to be so certain anymore and we don't feel safe as we used to. I certainly seen a great change during my own lifetime and I'm only thirty five which to many of you I'm sure must be very old. Some thirty four verses seventeen to twenty. And I would like for one of you to volunteer and come and read it to us. Anybody here that would like to be brave. Come on come the righteous cry and the Lord hears and deliver them out of their troubles the Lord is not on to them that are of a broken heart and Savior such as many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him. Out of them all. He keep us all his bones not one of them is broken so not one of them their bones are broken and I was in my time or because I've been known to speak for hours on end and so I spoke five hours and a half. Once I had a gathering without taking a break. So I have half an hour now. I've stolen some minutes and. I want to talk about two different families and tonight we're going to talk about the couple let us. And the reason why is because these two families have formed a story that you're going to hear. And the early twentieth century a man by the name of look all you got on there had twenty eight children. Two of his wives died in childbirth and the third one survived. All of those twenty eight branches that got a little. There over a thousand descendants today. And during the early Earth part of the twentieth century. Cuba it was a Catholic nation very thoroughly Catholic and the beginning of the twentieth century Kubo still a Spanish province and many Cubans considered the sub's Spaniards. But a national character was beginning to form. And look at how they all got a little fought and the War of Independence and established many of his children too prominent positions and the province of and the Oriental part of Cuba. The family was very ambitious they wanted to found different companies and businesses and they wanted to prosper. So they began to marry. Well. And they wanted to expand their horizons. One evening a solitary figure. Walking in the countryside. I arrived at one of their country states. There they do not want to families such as the couple little suspend half their year in town and have to be here in the country helping with the harvests of whatever they were producing. And this gentleman his name was his last name was. And he had heard a message that had really touched him. And he decided to go to this farms throughout the countryside. To each farmer to bring this message the message of I've been to some. And so he got to. To this estate late one night and asked to for hospitality. At the time the world was very different and people were used to taking in strangers and having them live with them for sometimes months. So he gathered that family and began to tell them about the God that he had just discovered with a message of Adventism. Now this was a very strict Catholic family. And they heard this message rejected it. But in the family. There was a young son and his name was other matter and he was touched by that message. So he began to meet in secret. With this gentleman. And began to explore and open the Bible and the Lord called on him. And this idea that he was going to be baptized. Now he had a great dream and that dream was that his family would be united. Under that same message. So he began to talk to his father to his mother to his grandparents and little by little the example of his life. Began to change his family's views on others to some. At the time of his conversion. He was only fourteen. And within a couple of years his entire family. On the branch that he belonged to had converted to Adventism. Now in those days people married very young. And by the age of seventeen he had picked the bride and the whole family gathered. To. To be present at their beautiful wedding. And so there she was. And her white satin gown and a country church full of all the kind of little. And the future seemed for all these people perfect. Promising. And they were married much to the great joy of the families. And some months later. His wife became pregnant. She gave birth to a little girl. Now this young man he wanted to make his mark and he wanted to make his own family prosperous. So he accompanied his father and many business trips and many of these trips were done on horseback late at night to reach many of the other farms where they were doing trade and and one night they got caught in a terrible storm and when they arrived at the town in mind it was very ill. And so he stayed at one of the houses of his family. And he got progressively worse and worse and worse. And his family began to this pair and began to look for some doctor that could help. Specialists were called for no. Nothing was spared to try to save them. But the doctors than actually know what was going on with him. So he felt that he was about to die. His little girl was three months. So he gathered all of his family. All the heads of those twenty branches around his death bed and a house. I was not his very own house. But that of some of the members of his family and he entrusted him trusted his little girl to his family. And he said to them. I want you to promise me that this little girl. Will be educated within the principles. I've been to some because when I am resurrected. I want to see my daughter and my descendants and I will be my greatest joy. And so obvious family members both Catholic and Adventists took a solemn bio. To protect and to educate that little girl. And so that is how I got a letter which is her name. Begins to grow up around her grandparents and hearing the stories of her father who passed away at the tender age of eighteen. And. She was always followed by the legend of her father's devotion to God. And by that promise that he wanted to see her again and he wanted to see his descendants. And so she was educated and sent away to have been to school called the College of the until the college with of the entails was a unique institution in the Americas. You could go from the first grade all the way through your college and graduate with your college degree at the College of the UNTIL. And it was the only institution in the Americas where that could be done. It was famous throughout the Americas because they had a very non dairy. A group of. German cows have been brought to Cuba specifically for that dairy and it was like the most advanced dairy and up province and. So the school took great pride in their their products and selling them and they were famous. Now at that time Hugo was a very different country than it is today. Cuba was a very advanced society at that time. It was the third greatest economy and the American hemisphere a tiny little country but the early part of the twentieth century was producing more doctors didn't Britain. It was the greatest producer of sugar in the world and the third largest producer of rice. And its economy was rich and prosperous. However Cuba. Like all the other countries of the world suffered many social maladies. And so during that time period. There was a farm nearby where another family lived. That was well known to the country little. And end up farm. The owner of the farm was a space near to that had come to Cuba to fight against the Cuban independence but he had stayed in Cuba. And decided to make his life and the Cuban government of the Republic A LOT him to do so. He was a prosperous farmer. And something however was amiss and that family. This was a time where social conventions were extremely strict. So ladies of those classes were supposed to go around with you know ladies in waiting and I'm sure fur and a fan and gloves and Ambre laws and they had to write you know on horses size saddle eccentric cetera et cetera. And this man divorced his wife which was a huge scandal at the time. And married his. Made. An uncouth woman who didn't ride horses side saddle and carried a gun in her belt. And this of course scandalized all of polite society. And they didn't want to have anything to do with that family. So the children of the Union were snubbed. Nobody wanted to invite that lady to their so here as to their gatherings or to the balls or to the theater. And those children began to feel that snobbery very acutely. And hatred began to be born and the heart of those children towards the society that surrounded them. Now Little see America little. Was would come over and play with this little boy's. And we get to know them. And she would invite them to the little chapel that her family had built. And they will come over to see to enjoy Bible studies and B.B.C. and all these different parts of the family in the car a letter was invited and to a certain respect. Now one of the little boys will grow up to be Fidel Castro. The dictator of Cuba. That would plunge Cuba into now more than sixty years of tyranny. And so she got to know this family and her life continued on. And she went to the college and then tells But when she went to the College of the until now as a teenager. The little boy Fidel Castro. Had been exiled to Mexico. And a civil war was beginning to brew. And. The winds of war were beginning to gather and one night she was sitting with her grandparents and the living room of a country estate. And there was a gentleman radio. And they would love to listen to the British B.B.C. They were the best news. They had in Spanish. And this gentleman was giving a speech. His name was Winston Churchill. And he was saying low and Iron Curtain is the sending upon the greatest and oldest capitals of Europe. And he began to describe how wherever that Iron Curtain fell darkness mystery and evil prospered. The evil of communism. But communism was really far away and all to Europe and Russia and Poland. One by one after World War two Korea the great amount of Eastern European countries began to fall behind the Iron Curtain. And that evil began to spread throughout the world. But in Cuba. So far away. Nobody could ever dreamed that communism could possible cross the Atlantic and settle and that tropical paradise. So prosperous. So up and coming so cheap and glamorous something like that could not happen in such a happy society. And so she looked at her grandfather who was listening to was to ensure sure. And she said because she called him papa. Do you think that Iron Curtain could ever come here he said no not in Cuba. We're safe from that. We'll get the exiles coming from those lands. And they'll prosper here. But that will never happen. Cuba. Where religious nation. We fear God and communism is exactly the opposite of that. And so this young lady the not become any more proxy applied. Yet that little boy that had grown up with her. He had that seed inside him the seed of communism. And when he came back from Mexico. He began to fan and those flames of war. And different aspects of communism began to a rice. Now by the time. Cuba happened under a dictatorship. About the start and Cuba had had up until one nine hundred forty one of the most advanced constitutions in the world. And but the stuff had stopped the Constitution. And he had dismissed the Congress and he began to rule by his own will. Now Cuba at the time was a very racist and classless nation. If you belong to a certain class. You should have marry another class. If you belong in a certain race. You're not allowed to marry another race and if you did so you did that to your own peril. And this was a very strict atmosphere. And so cost for begin to use those things. Well we want to be free. We want to have a classless society. We want there to be no more racism. We don't want any more peasants. We want equality and to all the boys just see Judith that grown up and romantic reading the Romantic poets. This was amazing. Well of course we want to quality of course we're all brothers. Of course. Let's join hands. And joined this movement now but the star was a mulatto. And this immediately isolated him from the upper echelons of white Cuban society. And Castro used that very wisely. To show that here was a man of that white upper crust. Who was going to be the savior. Of Cuba. And so he began to garnish power. He went to university and married and to one of the foremost Cuban just a crowd of families the AS been arts and with that union he secured the support of Cuban society. To overthrow. But this time now and those far away provinces of the or into regions of Cuba. Always still a piece. The country was be ending to rile up and they couldn't imagine that true. Mr Chief could come of all this. Now the directors of the College of the until I thought that everything would be safe. Most of the stuff. There were Americans. And so as the years being to pass and war debt break out. Fear began to cover the entire island nation. During that time I was sent to a little town next to the one time no American base because it was one of the safest place to be. Because as the armies of each side would come into the towns they would commit terrible crimes and the populations especially beautiful young woman. So she was sent there with her family to pass the. But war. And at that time. Her family was extremely anxious that she should marry and marry quickly because uncertain times were approaching that time in Cuba you obeyed what the head of your household said. So if you were told that you had to marry John Smith you married John Smith whether you like John Smith or not. And so her family. Very much that I matchmaking. And I married her off to a gentleman who was not and I happen to us much to the chagrin of her grandfather. And so this young lady is so only thrown into a world very different from her own. And she begins to really rebel and her new found wealth. Now she had a slew of servants sure first. The best clothes that could be brought in from Paris and all the other European capitals. Jewellery that she had never worn and things that she had never had. And the simplicity of those early years began to fade away. And she became a glamorous socialite. And during one of those during those years. She began a friendship with a Russian countess that had decided to leave live in one of the most remote parts of Cuba where she built a castle. And she would visit this Russian countess in one afternoon. The Countess having lemonade with her looked into her eyes and she said Sumatra. Communism is coming to Cuba. I have run away half a world to escape. I ran away from Russia where my entire family was killed. I run away to Poland where I was persecuted. Then I went to Bohemia. And then I had to cross over the Atlantic to escape communism but communism is coming. Late at night and the streets people have began to scream. Death to the boy to see. Down with the others to crowds death to the artist to gratz. The very Eccles of Russia that they had lived through almost a world away began to be heard again and this time in Cuba. And she said to see a motto. You better start packing. You better start putting your jewels away. And your money and you better go. Because when they come they will you. All of you will go down with this. And your class will pay with blood the injustices of sentries. And looked at her and said Right. That's going to happen here. Where my family so well connected where everybody all sorts of papers. Where our name is a check and blank. That's never going to happen in Cuba. Our system is different. We're not like the Russians. We are far more developed our country is prosperous we have an educated majority. That's never going to take off here. That's very sweet. But we're not going anywhere. So the war continued. And one day I'm on classroom Fidel Castro's eldest brother out of arrived at that you don't want to which was at the time. The House of Sumatra us. And. Costume was an intimate friend of trolling. And that got a little US had done a great deal to supply arms weapons money support. And intelligence to the rebels. And Ramon sat down with Charlie and he said. I want you to make your bags and go to the bank this very night talk to the president of the bank and remove all your money from the bank and get on the next plane to the United States. Because by the morning. Your estates will be confiscated and will be nationalized by the new rebel government and she thought of course. That's impossible. We have provided support money sacrifices even blood for this rebel cos they will never betray us and this way if anything we will do better under this new government. For nine hundred fifty nine for they'll try on finally marched and to have an up to the great majority and joy of the population because he had said once I am in power. I will restart Blish the one nine hundred forty Constitution the Congress will meet again will have our democracy back the Republic will be reestablished. And so everybody had supported him. Shelling said to come on go home will be fine. If anything happens tomorrow I'll just write a letter to Fidel and everything should be alright. And the morning the entire state was surrounded by soldiers who came and told. Charlene Conrad he was no longer. Adam or ma'am or Mrs whose comrade. Everything that you own now belongs to the people. Please get your purse and a company else into town. And she was not allowed to take even her dog. From that house. The entire house was inventoried down to the buttons and the pins and the pin cushion. So that not a single item could be removed everything was nationalized by the state. And so this lady walked in shame because she couldn't get into her own car or allow her own child for to drive her because now the chauffeur was a member of the people. They were not allowed to have any servants. And saw a series of new Lost began to emerge. People couldn't wear suits. The bow tie was removed once and for all from the why of it are a symbol of privilege and how to start prosy. And so Cuba becomes a new country a country where you have to remove your top button. And if you don't you'll pay for it with your life. And at this time persecution began. The fairy first thing that Fidel did was to destroy completely the artist Argosy and the Borgias the class. So each house was inventoried. A list of forbid him books was made. And in that list were the Bible. And all the works of Ellen G. White. And great pyres were made and the population gather to see all those works burn every. Library was ransacked looking feverish for the desire of ages for the great controversy for the Bible and for a whole list of books that they wanted to erase from Cuba and from Cuban society. The next thing was to pillage all the churches of Cuba the shrines and the cathedrals all of them suffered four hundred sixty seven years of culture began to disappear right before everyone's eyes. Every family was now a target the simple fact of wearing a tie could identify you with a bird or C. and I was enough to arrest you. And so I reign of terror began. And the car a little US began to flee. To every corner of the globe. Today they are caught a little in Australia and Argentina and Mexico and Italy and Spain and the United States a country that had never emigrated begin to spread across the globe and disgrace race against this terror. And people overnight last absolutely everything they had their bank accounts were frozen all their goods they had to leave their houses with their pictures and sight of their picture frames all their memories all their belongings the work of generations was erased overnight. Their estates that you don't want to have been confiscated by the by the new government. And so they watched how they began to take all the livestock. Several generations had served there to create this incredible amount of laughs livestock thousands upon thousands of couse. And it took an entire month day and night to march all those cows out of the you don't want to. Now there was a special call. They see. Give an American name. She had been brought in and side of a hat of one of the keepers and she her mother had died giving birth to her and so she was raised by the family. And Daisy was a pet. And the whole family. Kept Daisey much like a dog. So they say he would sometimes come right through the central door of the of the house and into the living room. And so in the midst of this one of the servants decided he was going to save D.C.. So he sent a telegram. And he said they see is being marched off with the rest of the cows. So I got it you know heard one of her last nice dresses and her hat and she walked over to the new government offices and she said you know my car they see is my pet and I need to rescue her from this from this I think group of cows that you have taken off to the capital because she's not a regular cow she's my own pet and they said OK well. You can try to find her. But we're not going to help you. So she wrote to the next authorities and to the next authorities and she followed the train where all those thousands of cars were being carted off to the capital and each province this train picked up more and more cars until it was hundreds of cars carrying all this thousands of life stocks. And when she got to have a No she met with Fidel himself to save D.C.. And Fidel said Oh yes. Go and see if they see. Let's see where Daisy is. So they walked over to where all the carts were and they opened them all and inside of the carts. All the livestock had died. For it taken weeks for them to be carted off without water or food. And Charlene got on her knees and started crying she said. What have you done this is the work of generations. This is the wealth of the nation. What have you done. Why are you destroying Cuba like this amongst those cows was Daisy. And like they see every other part of human society will be touched to destruction. Soon I Ventus were being carted off to concentration camps that you mop. We keep the Sabbath. We don't eat pork. We are eccentric we're unique. And Christianity was the pillar that upheld bored to a sea values. So I had to be wiped away no matter what the sacrifices. And as different members of the family were being carted off the ones that did not escape to concentration camps. Her grandfather stayed true to his faith. Now to go to church. You had to hide in the dark. You had to hide your Bible. Lets you be arrested in the streets but he kept on going to church. He was an elder of the church. And one night he gathered. His remaining family the very few and up and spread throughout the globe and he read those versus the righteous cry and the Lord here if and delivered them out of order troubles. The Lord is night unto them They are off broken heart and save it such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord deliver him out of of them all. He keep it all his bones not one of them is broken. And he said to this family although we are in the midst of hell. Hold strong to your faith. The Lord will deliver us. And his that was happening. He became ill and as the weeks progress. He got more and more ill. And they couldn't figure out what was going on with him. So they sent him to have an A to a specialist. A little bit of family influence was still left and they used every one of their connections to see what was wrong with him. He had cirrhosis of the liver. A condition that at that time could not be cured and that even today is very difficult to cure. And so began to watch her hero. Her pillar of strength begin to fade away. And as he got worse and worse. This young lady who had watched the whole destruction of her world. The end to have an increasing bitterness in her heart. And one night. After much prayer. He looked at her and he said my daughter because he had raised her like his own daughter. Don't leave the Lord. Hold true to him. But she was becoming better her friends were now in concentration camps. Churches had been set a place. The entire surrounding atmosphere was that of her. How can there be a God of love that could allow this. That could see with indifference the destruction of an entire nation. That good not intervene for his people. That could watch as they were being carted off into trains and to far far away concentration camps. How could there be a God of love that could allow her one pillar of strength to melt away like that. And that bitterness and anger and fear grew more and more and more in her heart and that night when she held the dying body of her grandfather who died in her arms she vowed that she would never again pass through the threshold of a church. She would never again buy her nice to God. For surely that could not be a God of love. And she decided that the God the God that she had known her Jew thinner infancy. Was not going to be her God for this was a new Cuba a Cuba without a bow tie. A Cuba without God. A Cuba without glasses. A Cuba where we were all going to be equal. And her heart turned to stone cold and sterile. And after that night she decided to become a different woman. I knew woman a woman that could survive in a society as cruel and as vicious as the new communist regime. Tomorrow morning. I'm going to tell you a little bit more about the story of that young woman. About what happened to her family and about another very different family a family that was still living in the Old World. And they're coming to Cuba there in this time of what he will. And then I am going to lead you through this series and to a series of miracles. A series of miracles that fulfilled that dying wish of a teenager who wished to see his daughter and to say assistant this and thence when he would rise again with Christ. We are living in uncertain times before I close. With prayer. I want to turn to second Korean to his twelfth night. And it says here. And he said unto me My grace is sufficient for the for my strength is made perfect and weakness. Most gladly therefore Well I rather glory in my infirmities in the power that the power of Christ may rest upon me. All throughout this months I've been listening to a lot of things that have scared me. Things such as. Let's make our country great. Again. Things such as I and not we. And this things I have heard before. There are echoes from the past echoes from the past that were heard in Cuba and I have been hurt and Russia before. And I wanted to read those verses to you because we are facing uncertain times. And just like that young lady. Frivolous and the joy of her Jews. And a country where everything was possible and where everything was prosperous never thought that such horrors could surround her. And that same way with that same naive Innes. We are now living today. Are you prepared when the day will come where they will knock on your house door. Are you prepared. So before we close for prayer. Think. Think about this moment in time. Your being born. I am. Countess the time is coming night prepare has borrowed some prayer. Do you have any father we thank you for everything you do how you strengthen our paths. How Lord you work through the centuries through generations. To lovingly bring your children to you. How you rescue them from every problem. From every affliction. And how you visit generation upon generation because of your love for us we thank you father. That you have brought here this group of young people the future the future of a world that's falling in slipping and two and I miss some of mystery. We ask you Father that you feel heart's. With you with your will with your knowledge that you prepare us to face the end for the end is coming right. We're seeing all the signs. It is obvious now. We are surrounded with all the preparations help us to take this time so that when the time comes. We won't be only ready for ourselves. But will be ready for the society that we can spread your life in a time of my audio services and if you are.

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