Date:  December 25, 2021

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

May God bless you and your family today with the peace and joy of his presence.

As we celebrate the wonder of Emmanuel: God with us, let’s also lift up in prayer all those who are unable to celebrate Christmas freely. There are so many countries in need, but this morning we’d like to share with you a recent prayer request from Reverend Jatniel Pérez, President of the William Carey Bible Institute in Havana:

‘I just want to encourage you to pray for Cuba, to pray for our people. Pray for us to have a real Christmas someday. We would like just to rejoice that God has been born in our heart.’

Pastor Jatniel explained the realities of Christmas Day in Cuba: no candles, no lights on houses, a struggle for food on the table and ongoing restrictions on their human rights.

With sadness, Pastor Jatniel shared that many Christians and citizens have had to flee the island to seek safety and freedom, and as a result will be separated from their families on Christmas Day.

‘We just want to see families together. We just want to see everybody really happy and living in freedom. So pray for us. Merry Christmas for you all. May God be blessing you.’

We share Pastor Jatniel’s sadness, but also his hope that one day there will be transformation in Cuba. This weekend, we encourage you to take three minutes to watch his video message and pray that one day, Cubans will be able to celebrate Christmas as we do.

In summary, please pray:

  • For the protection of Christians around the world who are unable to celebrate Christmas freely, or who are at risk when they gather to worship.
  • That the hope of Emmanuel – God with us – will bring comfort and strength to Christians in Cuba and beyond.
  • For all those who are spending Christmas Day separated from their loved ones, whether through imprisonment, enforced disappearance, displacement, or another reason. May God bring peace to them today.