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Logo of ASI 2016: Called. Chosen. Committed.

Furnace of Affliction: Miracle in Cuba 2

Alexis Abrahantes Carralero

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Alexis Abrahantes Carralero's mother gave birth to him under miracluous circumstances.  Harboring the secret of a Christian heritage, she was pressured by her husband and by the law to refrain from sharing her background with anyone--including her son. To share this information with her son would put him and her husband in jeopardy. What happens in this episode of Alexis' life is a thrilling tale of suspense and intrigue.

Presenter

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 4, 2016
    10:30 AM

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Amalie father. Thank you that you have brought us all together from different corners of the world this morning so that we can explore a little bit of you. Lord who are going to talk about faith and times of difficulty and we're going to talk about how God and you are and the strength that follows us wherever we go through our generations from generation to generation and Lord. We ask that you open our ice and open our hearts and open our years. So we can hear that gentle whisper to come to you in Christ going. We asked things human. I'm going to spend my time or are also going to go over my time again. If you brought your Bibles or your cell phones where you have your Bibles open up to Psalms twenty two. And I would like somebody again from the youth here to come up and read some Swinney to one through four. And my God my God why has thought for sake of me worth while so far from helping me and from the words of my room. Oh my God I cry in the daytime but I hear it's not in the night season and am not silent. But our holy old vowed that and how it is the praises of Israel our fathers trusted in the they trusted and now did just deliver them. So last night I was sharing your story of a very large family of twenty eight branches that today has over a thousand people and. They cut a little stone and about a single branch of that family who became I fantasized because of a gentleman name and money went. People who went door to door bringing the message went. I've been to some was first. Beginning in Cuba and I shared with you the story of a little girl who was born into that family by the youngest member of that family when he got married and whose father died when she was three months old but he had a dream and he commissioned his family to raise his daughter and the part about and to some so that when he would be resuscitated and the second coming. He could see his daughter and his descendants and so this little girl grows up. Becomes a beautiful woman marries in the midst of the Cuban civil war when Fidel Castro comes to power. Now when Fidel was coming to power. He never said that he was a communist. He said his revolution was as green as a palm trees and little by little things began to change the first thing that he said in a speech is arms for what. What do we need weapons for we wanted this revolution. So everybody has to turn in their weapons. And so the population was systematically this armed. Overnight the next thing was process for what we should all be equal. So there will be no more classes. So if you have a large house were confiscated and we will break it down to several houses so that those that don't have houses can have houses. You don't need all that clothes you don't need all those nice things you don't need your car. We will tell you how you will live. We will tell you what you would need. We will tell you how you would dress. We will tell you how to educate your children because obviously this is I couldn't do it right. So we will tell you how to do it. Right. And overnight Christianity became outlawed almost incense pastors were sent to the Yuma concentration camps and laypeople churches were ransacked and pillaged and anybody that was viewed by the government to be an outsider was in fear of their life so Cubans who had never immigrated a project suddenly began to spread all over the world and you'll find Cubans today Mongolia and you'll find them in Africa and you'll find the most really are and the most unlikely places you will find the Cubans like the modern one of those ancient Jews that spread all over the world trying to flee the terror. But Sumatra stayed in Cuba and decided to become a new person I knew woman that could survive in that sort of world so. After the revolution had triumphed and everything began to change. She began to change with it after her grandfather died she decided she was going to leave the church forever. That surely God was not so good because he had seen the struction of an entire civilization and I permitted it. And so that was a cruel God and she didn't want to serve a cruel God so she decided that there was no God and that she was going to be self-reliant and have no faith and she left for have on the capital city of Cuba to become a commercial I'm going to straighter and be on her college and the midst of that she divorced her first husband and began to live like a single mother. I'm going to take you back again and time to another. Family. You've heard about a couple that was. And I'm going to tell you know about the Upper Hunter S. I never speak about the Upper Hunter S.. Because they're how turbulent and perhaps art history the opportunities are actually a family of other last names but that have adopted that name their very engine family that goes back to seven hundred years of continuous history and I'm going to take you back to Spain in the one nine hundred twenty S.. The Duke of overhunting was the marshal of the Royal Courts of Spain there his Majesty often says the thirteenth. That's the highest ranking position inside of Royal Court and I was civil war was breaking in Spain a terrible civil war. I was going to flood that country and blood. He had a son in those days people of that rank that in go to school that had tutors that came to their homes to tutor them. And this young son had a tutor who unbeknown to anybody was a socialist. And this socialist tutor believed of course and the destruction of the classes and inequality and other things that the family didn't know and he began to educate the Robert and those ways when Robert grew up and became a young man and the Civil War broke out. He went to fight against front cause forces which were the monarchist forces in the midst of the Civil War and the monarchy was overthrown and the king had to go into exile in Rome and with him. The marshal of the court. The Duke of opera HUNTY SON. And one day the Duke of overhunting got a telling. From in Rome. That said your son has been captured by the monarchist forces and will be executed. Next week. So this man moved haven't seen and heard every connection. Every person that he knew begged and humiliated himself to save the life of his son who is now the shame of his family. And he was able to gain a pardon from General Franco and the young man instead was sent into exile. When he reached Rome to see his father his father wouldn't see him. Because what a horrible disgrace a man that was fighting against his own people and so he was sent off packing to Cuba where the Upper Hunter S. at large sugar plantations and the province of my dances. And he was sent there to go out Ministry those lands which had been kept even after Cuba had become independent from Spain and this is how Robert Tarver hunts he's gets to Cuba and the early thirty's. He is disgraced he is humiliated. But he has a plan and his plan is to right the wrongs of history when he gets to Cuba. The first thing he does is that he sells all the lands that his family had held for centuries and he went to find the slaves the descendants of the slaves that his family had owned that had worked those sugar cane fields for centuries. And he spread all the money amongst them. He sold the mansion that they had had and gather all that money and spread. Amongst all the descendants of those slaves and then he bought himself a very modest house and the end to live a normal life the life that anybody would live without any privilege and to that young man was born several children his oldest son also Robert for Robert was a dynastic name that has followed that family for several hundred years every firstborn was name Robert to this day. And. That first born son went with his father to the Cathedral of God in us the town where they were living. And in the Cathedral of God of the house. There was several Guild the chairs at the very front of the church where the opera Hunty sat as their position and Kurd and his father took him there. He said I want you to live in a country where there will be no more gilded shares where everybody has the same rank and the same place and so this young romantic young man he began to dream of making that true because at the back of the cathedral. There were no more chairs and people had to sit in the floor. And he wanted a country where that was not happening. So when Fidel came with his dreams of equality and fraternity. He immediately found love with it and he began to work very hard for it and his father encouraged him to do so. And the young men they sided to fight in the Army. He had been already educated and the military for diplomacy and through the years that the revolution came. And to existence. He had been married and had also gotten divorced and had to pair twins from his first marriage. He had dedicated himself completely to the work of the revolution by the one nine hundred seventy S. He had already fulfilled several missions military missions military missions for the Cuban communist government and by the time he was the ambassador of Cuba to Chicago Slovakia and Romania. And he had heard about this legendary solitary beauty that attended the ballet season every year and she sat by herself. And all the officers and the academy. They all wanted to get a date from this beautiful woman with translucent green eyes and dark hair and none of them could get a date. So he made a bet that he was going to get that beautiful woman to go out for him for dinner. So he went to two entire seasons of the ballet trying to get a word and two years so that he would just get a single moment to say a word to that beautiful woman and so on. They got his opportunity. She looked at him with disdain she was cold and calculating. And she was conceited and hard and. And he kept on trying. He knew that there was something behind those beautiful green eyes that could still be reached and till finally one day she said I'm going. You can take me to dinner. And I was the beginning of a beautiful romance. And they decided that they wanted to get married. And this is when a series of secrets began to fall apart. Nobody knew who that woman really was. For she had erased systematically all of her past. So that she could force a new identity so that she could be anonymous and this new society that wanted to exterminate the same people that she had belonged to and so when she wanted to get married. The government that an investigation because Roberto out on this was a member of the tenth Division of the ministry interior of the armed forces and the diplomatic corpse. So if you belong to that you couldn't marry whoever you wanted you could only marry who the government. Achieved a good investigation off and approved of that person because when you married into that sort of rank then you belong to that upper echelon of the Communist Party and they have to know that you're not going to betray the cost. So they begin to do an investigation on Bice. And when the investigation came this huge folio came back. To throw it out on this and it said on the Folio. This. Citizeness is not approved for Union. Because she has inside of her the evil seed of religion. Her family has found that schools and clinics. It with religious institutions outing them they were bored. See which really at that time in Cuba. It was like about a word and she will be trade the revolution. It's only a matter of time no matter how much. Revolutionary she may seem. She still has that in her. So he will not be approved. Girl get out on this couldn't take no for an answer. He was madly in love with this beautiful woman. And he was able to get a reprieve a compromise and the compromise was that if they were married and the government would approve the union if they had any children that child could never know who she was. The secret of her identity would have to be maintained forever so that that child would not learn about the religious past of her family. And so it was that they married promising that if they had any children that child would never know of the past of Sumatra got a little. Regret on tests was involved and some real experiments with chemical weapons and during one of those visits are brought to the Soviet Union the Cuban government told him you your wife cannot is prohibited from getting pregnant. Because you're working with this chemical weapons and so they literally prohibited him from getting pregnant. But in the midst of all that. His wife that get pregnant and when the government fund out. They went to pick up my mom and they took her to a hospital. Military Hospital and they entered her pregnancy against her will. And what they did is that they tied her tubes. So that she would not be able to get pregnant again. This poor woman was now the straw it. She felt violated because she was violated like the rest of the Cuban buff population have been violated. Since the revolution began. And her husband leaves comes back from the Soviet Union and some years later. She suddenly becomes pregnant without knowing him and how the doctors told her you need to get an abortion. Because you are now forty. And your child is going to be born with so many problems that he is going to be mentally challenged which is quite possible and she said no I'm going to have my baby and in one thousand nine hundred one. I was born and Revolution Plaza and I have been to Cuba and a building where all the diplomats and generals and colonels like my father Proton just lived. And from the moment that I was born I knew nothing at all about my mother's history. The only thing that I knew about my mother was on my grandmother who still lived in Cuba and my uncle. And nothing else. Now at the time when the Soviet Union still existed. It was almost like most of. Porton thing to show to the world that communism was superior to capitalism. So the children of all this dignitaries were educated from very early on to demonstrate how intellectually superior. Communism was to capitalism. So from very early on I began to be tutored by different people to prepare me for the stock to someday fill my father's shoes and Cuban government. Like many of the children and those circles. And I grew up. Never really knowing much about my mom and a lot about my dad but even his past was shrouded in secrecy for the most important thing that communism does to a nation erase its history and its place write their own history of the past. And so one day when I was a little boy I went to see my grandmother and her children many of many children did like to go through people's things and I did and I would go through the trial hours and see or interesting things were inside when I was supposed to and I went into my grandmother's bedroom and I opened up a drawer and I took out this huge. Album of photographs. And I began to go through this album of photographs. Filled with this huge family and all of them dressed very clamorously ballgowns and parties and all this portraits and I was like oh you know who this speech ball. So I went with this huge album I was bare of me probably black and white old photographs right into the living room where my father a four star Colonel. Very serious. I was talking to my grandmother and I threw the album on the floor and I go I boil a Guinness only to put on us who are these people and my grandmother turn pale and she was already very pale but she turned pale deaf. You could almost see through her. And my father kept of very quiet and looked at her and she said no no. Nobody had all this are just all photographs from neighbors. And she closely album and she talked away. And an hour more what I couldn't reach so I wouldn't ask any more questions and that day as I was going home with my father. I kept on asking my father you know who are those people and my father said well those people are people from the old age and dimply on this the day before the revolution. And they don't matter anymore. You don't have to worry about that. And those are the pictures of all of my mom's huge family which were now spread across the globe. And I noticed as a child that my mother was a person that you couldn't really reach. She was distant cold and one day I noticed something very interesting. She sat and in one of the rooms of our apartment and our apartment complex every room was bugged. So I D. end of every month a libretto about this thick would be sent to the Ministry of the armed forces so that my father would sign off on it. And on that libretto was every conversation that my parents had hot during that month including their intimacies. So every single room of that apartment. Was bugged. And my parents knew that they were bugged and they couldn't they couldn't really take any of those books down because the government's understanding was that you were allowing them to hear your conversations. Many of the people and building were working for espionage. And my father was one amongst them. So he would go and travel to Europe and he would act as a professor and several universities in Europe where his job was to infiltrate you. So that you would be the next cell to destroy your society. His job was to tell you that the society that you live in is unfair and cruel and that in order to get. Equality. You have to destroy that society. So he was working in espionage. And one night very late at night. I saw my mom going to one room that she cleaned very thoroughly and she sat and a rocking chair and she started to cry and she started to sing sing words that didn't make any sense to me I would lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help my help cometh from the Lord which made haven't and Hertha. He will not suffer they for to be moved. He that keep if he will not slumber behold he that keep with Israel. Neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is they keep or The Lord is they shape up and a right hand the sun shall not smite the by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will preserve the from all evil. He shopper served I saw the Lord chopper serve they going out and they coming in from this time forth and even evermore. And she couldn't finish that song. Because her sobs would muffle her voice. And I thought what is so powerful about who is this board. What is she talking about in that song. Why is she crying so on console the plea. When they got a letter was the majority of which ninety eight percent of which left Cuba. The very last of them. Gave a commission to a young woman. Her name is but sayd that he died too. But sayd that he came from a Catholic family in the region of butter core in Cuba and she converted to out into some and it was her great dream to be a bible worker. But she didn't have the money to go to the College of the until the. So she decided to work as a servant and side of the House of loose got a little who was another member of the Got a little family who was Catholic loose got a little it was a famous socialite. Very frivolous woman that only believed in the power of her things and her connections but bedside as example begin to work a miracle in that woman's heart and before years time she had converted loose got a little and her entire family and that side that you don't all became a member of the far. Really rather than a servant of the family center and part to the College of the entails where she became a bike to work. And she was one of the very last members of the College of the until before he was moved to Puerto Rico for the Castro at the time of the revolution went to the College of the UNTIL. And he promised demonstration that the college would not be intervened. That it will continue working. Two years after that the soldiers came to get the boys. All the boys that were done starting at the College of the UNTIL such were removed so that you mob concentration camp. The choir gathered by the trucks that were going to cart them off. And there was a quartet and one of the boys was under twelve and he could not be taken to a concentration camp because he was so young so they filled the truck with the rest of the boys and their American teachers were going to come accompany them and they began to sing. We shall meet across the river and that truck left and left that one young kid sitting there a singing by himself until he finished that him. We shall meet. Across the river. And I was privileged enough. Five years ago to meet that quartet the members of which also five and they all met again and sang once again we should meet across the river. And then the people that were left because of the until as were the young ladies. The life of the College of the until school was regimented by bells and closed by the College of the UNTIL is the. Knowledge of something. CLARA. And a lot of this plantations going all the way to something glad I have bell towers from the colonial period. So when the soldiers came to remove the young ladies to a victim from the College of the Intel's one of the ole days. Locked herself where the bell was. And she began to toll to Santa Clara for help. And soon enough the tolling of the bell was heard by the College of Santa Clara. And our college would begin to toll to the plantations nearby for help and each belltower began to toll until I reached the city. And all at the bell towers of Santa Clara began to talk back and their tolling was tolling of funeral because they knew it couldn't help them. And that day the college it didn't tells was closed forever. And haven't as education was lost in Cuba to this day. That night they gathered all the of interest of something quite out of the main church and they brought in three buses. And they filled the three buses to take people to have an army to make them flee to leave the country because they didn't want any more religious people and the policeman who was a rabid communist when he saw all those people there getting into the buses with the children with very few belongings that they were allowed to take he said something very interesting. All the angels of Santa Clara are leaving us we will have no more interest in something glad. Now Betty was given the commission by Luce to go see my mother every year and to remind her who are the gods who is the God of her father's. Against all odds. Every year she went to see my mother. Now for a religious person to go see a member of the military class at that time in Cuba was a tremendous danger because Cuba had an active a series of last called the last against diversion of idolatry and if you are caught this NG a member of the Military Cross to proselytize. You could be sent to jail or to a working camp for a period of ten to twenty years more specifically in the Isle of Pines where the marble carries were the signed for you two for your lungs to be destroyed in a matter of years. So every year but cider went to go see so much and secret her job or her office or wherever they could meet risking everything to tell her come back to God risk it all. And see him out. I would look at her and say Don't you see I'm married to a colonel to a diplomat Ambassador. If I come back to God I will be breaking all the laws of diversion of idolatry and I'll be sent away to work in camp until I die. My son will be taken from me and will be sent to a reeducation camp until he's twenty one and then delivered to the most common is member of his family. Our lives will become hell on earth. There is no way I can come to God even if I wanted to I am sitting inside the mouth of the line. And in the midst of all this a great change began to happen. One night I was sitting with my parents at the Lorca theater. Seeing a performance of Swan Lake by the famous Bolshoi. Russian ballet. And in the midst of this beautiful performance. I began to see all the aides of the generals and colonels come up to them and quickly whisper something to the ear. It was a talker of one thousand nine hundred nine. And my father's a the camp came up to him and said sir. The Berlin Wall is fallen and my father got up from his chair. Turned to my mother and had a massive heart attack. He knew what that meant. He was rushed off to the hospital where there were guns tried to save his life. He knew that if the Berlin Wall was breaking the Soviet Union was going to crumple the subway Union which was going to last a millennium. And he knew that if the subs Union crumbled. Cuba's economy would crumble also. An F. change would come to Cuba. Maybe the roles would be reversed and maybe after the border seize had been hunted down and exterminated the next ones would be the military class of not communist Cuba. And so I have to be recovered from his heart attack the Cuban government sent them off as a special envoy to Romania and Romania. He was press and went Charles just called the president of Romania who was a dictator who was dragged through the streets with his wife and executed like a dog. And he knew what that meant he knew the dark could happen in Cuba. And he knew that perhaps the ones drugged this time would be us. And so during that trip something miraculous happened. A great risk. My mother had become extremely nervous. And. She decided that she didn't want to live in Revolution Plaza anymore. She was seeing what was happening to the people around her and one specific case really touched her. It was the son of the secretary of the vice president of Cuba and outcast. Her son who went to study Russia. And when he was in Russia and the province of commercial next to Shina he said one sentence one that cost him everything he said well maybe Cuba should have presidential elections. He was taken from CA much come to my Sora in Cuba a psychiatric hospital where he was held down. Pinned down and submitted to so many sessions of electroshock that when my mother went to visit him a boy that he had seen grown up. He didn't know who my mother was or what his own name was. So my mother began to have a nervous breakdown. She knew that this could happen to us if we had said a single thing against the government. And so she went to see a psychiatrist and the side psychiatrist was a friend of hers because we couldn't move from Revolution Plaza wherever we pleased we had to move wherever the government would tell us that we could move. And this psychiatrist invented a new syndrome. So that my mother could have an official reason to move to a new residence and the center was a rejection of environment. She was suffering. From rejection of environment. So we were allowed to move into fountain out in the outskirts of Havana. And during this time my father was going off to the Soviet Union which was by that time completely falling apart. And one night I remember during the day my mother began to clean the entire house very thoroughly. And she was looking for the bugs the electronic bugs which were also obvious and a very low quality. And so she found one of the bugs and she dipped it in water because she knew that it would start to rust and that it wouldn't work anymore. And when the government will come to say what happened to the microphone she said I was cleaning that I don't know where it was you know how am I supposed to know where you people put these things. You know and the water got in it by accident and it's you know it was rusted I'm sorry you couldn't hear the conversation would you like me to tell you what I said. So she was cleaning her house very thoroughly. My father's age had been dismissed history for had been dismissed. And I was studying in my room. And I grew up with a very extraneous mixture of Victorian slash at Wharton slash communist education. So I was not allowed to meet visitors. I was pre-sent it. And the presentation was that you when you met whoever was supposed to be there. You said a poem by Jose Marti and you retired you were not spoken. You couldn't speak unless you were spoken to I had a little card in front of my plate at dinner that said children do not speak at table. So I wasn't allowed to speak and the table and thought was about nine. And I couldn't interrupt any conversation by adults very very strict. And so I saw this lady very strange lady come to the guard. Through my balcony window. And she there was something very different about her. Very very different. And she was dressed very modestly. She stood very erect. She had this odd class. But there was something very humble about her but she was carrying something that was a telltale sign. She was carrying a plastic bag and those bags were only carried at that time by foreigners. So I thought this lady must be from abroad or she has contact from somebody from abroad. I want to meet this lady. But of course I was going to meet her unless I was presented and I might not be presented and that she would come to our house several times so I saw that my mom had dressed and when the lady called at the garden. My mother hurried to the garden. I had never seen my mother hurry. She hurried to the garden she embraced her like a sister. And they begin to to hold arms and their conversation. Does the touching the body language was very intimate and they looked at each other their eyes filled with tears and did they laughed and had little secrets telling to each other. And my mother instead of bringing her through the from the house took her by the side. Very unusual visitors always came through the front of the house. She took her to the side and I could hear that she had taken her to a small living room that we had that was separated from the large one. And I wanted to meet this lady who was this mysterious person that my mother knew so well but I had never seen before. So tonight. I'll be talking about who. That lead us. And what she did an incredible time ask a task that follows me to this day. And what happened that night changed our lives forever before you go I want to to think. Because every one of you here can be that lady that lady who was scurrying in the night to tell somebody the message against thoughts and against all danger. And that song sounds one hundred twenty one. From where that's my help cometh my help cometh from the Lord. And tonight we're going to be exploring how that help came and the most unusual and tragic way and how God made out of a terrible tragedy. So many victories that Satan could have never imagined that all of his handiwork was going to be destroyed so quickly as bar has for prayer before God. The I mean the Father we thank you for being here with us. We thank you for sending your people out into the world to rescue the lost to rescue that sheep that has gone out into the mountains and is hanging by the cliffs. We may have some of those sheep here tonight. Today. Lord touch our hearts so that if we are that sheep. We may return to the fold and Lord if it is our time us to go out into the world to rescue those sheep give us the bravery and the courage. Give us the faith the strength to do so and to know that you will notice the. Step of the way no matter the dangers. No matter the president this was produced by audio various avenues Lehmann's services and industries. If you would like to learn more about please visit the site or if you'd like to free line service visit W.W.W. body averse.

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