A Christmas Story from the Past
In 1969, the government ended Christmas as a holiday in Cuba. The government began to allow Christmas holidays again in 1997 out of respect to Pope John Paul II who was going to visit the country after Christmas.
(Source: Chase’s Calendar of Events)
Read the information above about Christmas returning to Cuba. Then read the story below, which was first posted on this site several years ago.
The Christmas-in-Cuba Kids
Every morning, the kindergarten class at a Christian school in Florida prayed for nations around the world. They used an alphabetical list of countries in a prayer guide to help them. Soon they got to countries that begin with the letter “C.”
At about the same time, their teacher, Mrs. Carter, began reading aloud to the class from the book by C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. “In the story,” said Mrs. Carter, “it is always winter, because the evil queen forbade springtime. Most of all, she forbade Christmas.”
Mrs. Carter told what happened in her class next.
“When we read in the prayer book about Cuba, the children were very interested. They especially wanted to pray for Mr. Castro (the leader of Cuba). So every day we prayed for God to soften his heart.
“As winter drew near, some of the children asked if Mr. Castro allowed Christmas in Cuba. I said that I thought it had been many years since the Cuban people were able to celebrate Christmas openly.
“The children felt it was very important that we pray for God to move Mr. Castro’s heart to allow Christmas. At first, I was concerned that the children might lose faith if their prayers didn’t seem to be answered. Then God began to place a burden on my heart for Cuba as well. So every day we prayed that God would bring Christmas to Cuba.
“Not long after that, I saw a news story that said the Pope might go to Cuba. [The Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church.] The story said that he wanted to talk to Mr. Castro about several things. One of the things was allowing the Cuban people to celebrate Christmas! At once I saw the mighty hand of God at work! I couldn’t wait to get to school the next day to tell the children that God was opening doors to answer our prayers!
“We continued our prayers and I wept for joy when I heard that Mr. Castro was going to allow Christmas to be celebrated in Cuba that year. It was a great encouragement to Christians in Cuba.
“When Christmastime came, the children all told about seeing news stories about how happy the Cuban people were to be able to celebrate Christmas. One of the children said, ‘Now that Christmas has come, winter will soon be over for Cuba!’
“Later, in February, workers from The Voice of the Martyrs took some Bibles and guitars that our school helped purchase to Cuba. They were used by the underground church there. This was a tremendous blessing for us as well.
“You know, God wants to work through willing hearts. As the Bible shows in the story of Daniel and others, some of the most willing hearts are inside of children! To God be the glory!”