The Elijah Project Goes to Cuba
The Cuba adventure began with one woman from Ocala, FL who watched Catching Faith eighteen months ago. She was intrigued by The Elijah Project featured in the movie and led a weekend retreat at her Florida church. She then contacted the author, Andrea Polnaszek and asked if she could translate the workbook into Spanish. After translation was complete she asked if she could share The Elijah Project, Spanish edition, in Cuba and train mentors. And train she did! She began by equipping 30 mentors from different churches across the island. These women saw incredible life change and began to share it with their neighbors, friends and fellow church memberw. The Cuban women were hungry for tools to improve their mental and spiritual health. After Ingrid Durante’s October 2016 trip to Cuba she contacted Andrea to ask if she would join her to train more Elijah Project mentors. In May 2017, Andrea joined Ingrid and met the director of the Elijah Project for the country of Cuba, Illianis.
Each afternoon we met with The Elijah Project mentors. Below are some highlights from our time together.
*The Elijah Project is for the heart of every woman in Cuba.
*The Elijah Project is the answer to the Cuba woman’s prayer.
*It changed my life.
*God sent Elijah to be like a refresher for me.
*If we know who we are - we can know what to do.
*The Elijah Project was not the same as other programs. I wanted to erase the memories of my mother and father. But when I did the timeline activity, I realized those memories were important.
*I was afraid to be a good mom. I didn’t know how to be a good mom. I rejected my child after a difficult pregnancy. The Elijah Project taught me how to love my kids and accept them for who they are.
*I moved from fear to be free. We have peace in our home now. When the mother is free - the family is free. I will tell everyone about The Elijah Project.
*The Elijah Project made me stop. It allowed me to be more sincere with God. Now I am open with God about what I am really feeling.
*I was explosive and bitter because of my past. God freed me! The Elijah Project is very powerful. After finishing the Elijah Project I see the hand of God in everything.
*Share it! Share it! Share it!
*In our culture we are rewarded for serving the church and omitting our family. The church had become my god. Now I am a wife, mother and servant in that order.
*I am now the same at church as I am at home. And the same at home as I am at church. I do Elijah Project over and over again. I never get tired of reviewing it. It helps me with new problems.
As if an afternoon full of such rich testimony wasn’t enough, we spent the evening in worship. The first church in Las Tunas, had standing room only. When I stood up to speak there were women three people deep in the alleys peaking in to listen. At the end of the talk we invited women to pray with us. We had over 150 women come forward for prayer and prayed with each one, finishing up at 12:30 a.m. The second night was a repeat of the first. I began to pray with women in English, putting my hand on their hearts - praying for our hearts of stone to be made into a heart of flesh. God sent me an angel, about 30 minutes into praying I heard a woman translating over my shoulder. From then on she stayed with me, helping me understand the prayer requests and translating my prayers. We prayed at the church in Juhani until 12:30 a.m. Then we traveled to a seaside village, and led a two day Elijah Project retreat, teaching a new group of mentors to take The Elijah Project back to their churches and communities. In the evening we had a pajama party and played the Elijah Project game. We had thirty women sitting on mattresses on the floor in their pj’s sharing their hearts with each other. The women ranged in age from 27-67 years old and when asked not one had ever gone to a pajama party before. They laughed, cried, rolled around and were engulfed by the Spirit of God.
The women have a vision that Cuba will become the first Elijah Project nation. They want every Christian woman to go through the Elijah Project and share it with their non-Christian friends until the entire nation is touched by God’s story.