A Lifetime Commitment to Evangelism and Discipleship
Armando and Liset Diaz are committed to a lifetime of laboring among the Hispanic community—regardless of where that may take them. So far, that commitment has taken them from their native Cuba to Guatemala, back to Cuba, and then to the United States where they work among the Hispanic community in Miami, Florida.
Armando grew up in a middle class atheist family in Cuba. After coming to faith in Christ he was arrested by the Cuban government in 1993 for preaching the Gospel and being part of human rights organizations. He spent 10 days in prison and two years under house arrest. He and His wife, Liset, married in 1995 and they began to minister together.
“I remember in 2000 when God asked us to go to Guatemala to be trained in counseling and discipleship,” says Armando. “After six months of training we were supposed to go back to Cuba to launch The Navigators ministry there.”
That brought about a crisis of belief that required faith and action. “If we went back to Cuba,” says Armando, “there would be no freedom or opportunities for us as a family. We could have stayed in Guatemala or gone to the States. Finally,” he continues, “we decided to do what God was telling us to do and we went back to Cuba—and we’ve never regretted that decision. Then in 2006 God opened the door for us to come to the United States and to minister in Miami.”
Still, they faced serious questions about their decision.
▶ Am I good enough for this?
▶ Will people accept and understand my calling?
▶ Am I prepared for this job?
▶ Do I have what is takes?
And yet, through their ministry, God touched thousands of lives and the impact of their ministry in Cuba continues through the people they discipled. “Last year,” says Armando, “I had the opportunity to go back to the island and it was a great joy to see so many of our disciples now serving God as pastors, missionaries, and leaders of the flock.”
There are, however, huge opportunities for ministry among the Hispanic community in the United States. Consider these statistics:
▶ Hispanics have the highest high school dropout rate of any ethnic group in the United States (6.7 percent).
▶ Teen pregnancy among Hispanics is the highest of any ethnic group.
▶ Latinos are one of the fastest growing segments of the Muslim community.
It’s a daunting challenge. And yet, Armando believes, “When you obey God, He will accomplish His work through you.” He remembers seeing this principle in action.
“When my wife first became a Christian she visited a hospital in Havana where one of her best friends was doing her internship as a family doctor,” Armando says. “Liset joined a group of medical students who were chatting, and eventually the topic of God came up. She shared with them how God had transformed her life.
“Some of them asked questions,” he continued. “Others challenged her. She went home and forgot about it. Eight years later she received a letter from one of the students (by then a prominent pediatric doctor in Havana) telling her how grateful he was for meeting her that night because her words had softened his heart. Two weeks after their conversation he had opened his heart to Christ.”
Today 54 million Hispanics live in the United States, especially in places like Florida, where Armando and Liset have lived since 2006. “Many of them,” says Armando, “are captives to our enemy—whether they know it or not. Our mission is to deliver them from captivity so they may know God and serve Him.”
That’s not something that will happen overnight. Armando and Liset are committed to a lifetime of laboring among Hispanics—wherever God leads them.
Who is God leading you to reach? Where will that take you? And what can you do to equip yourself wherever God may send you?