By Laura McKillip Wooden 

As a toddler within the Fifties and ’60s, Harry Douglass sat within the pew at Mountain View Church of Christ in Phoenix each Sunday morning and Sunday evening. He cherished church, and he cherished listening to his pastor, Don Mitchel, passionately preach attention-grabbing sermons. What he actually cherished, although, was listening to visiting missionaries who stopped in for Sunday evening providers. They confirmed slides of the individuals they labored with and advised tales about their lives in faraway locations. They not solely advised of their work however of the necessity for extra individuals to comply with their examples and share the gospel with those that had by no means heard about Jesus. By age 10, Harry had accepted Jesus as his Savior, and by 12, he determined God was telling him to be a missionary.  

Trying again at his childhood, Harry sees how this determination to work cross-culturally made sense. His mother and father labored for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (now the Division of Indigenous Providers). They lived in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Reservation, the biggest Native American reservation in america, when he was born. They later moved to San Carlos Apache Reservation, additionally in Arizona, the place they lived among the many Apache individuals.  

Rising up, Harry’s pals had been Native American youngsters and youngsters of different authorities employees. He cherished the distant, nation really feel of the reservation—the closest metropolis, Globe, was a 20-mile, gravel-road drive from his house. Greater than that, he cherished the opposite youngsters he performed with, and he grew to like and recognize Native American cultures. From early childhood, Harry realized that not everybody lives the identical in america, and he realized to respect the variations amongst individuals. 

MINISTRY IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS

Following his name to ministry, Harry graduated from highschool and attended San Jose Bible School, now William Jessup College, in California. He was excited concerning the prospects God would open for him, and he was not disillusioned. Throughout school, Harry met Lew Cass, a missionary to Brazil. Lew’s testimony finally led Harry and his spouse, De, to take their youngsters, Fred and Bernadine, to Brasilia. They lived for a few years in Brazil and even had their third youngster, Helene, there. When their youngsters had been grown, De and Harry joined Group Growth’s work in Argentina. In 1992, they determined to affix OLE, Oregon Latin-American Evangelism, and proceed working intently with Group Growth. Since then, the Douglasses have labored in Hispanic church crops within the Northwest United States and Mexico.  

Whereas working with Hispanic individuals amongst new church buildings within the U.S., Harry and De met some Cuban refugees who had escaped the communist island nation; they arrived on boats within the Southern United States. A pal in Oregon had stopped to assist some Cubans who had been stranded with automobile bother. The pal launched the Cubans to Harry and De, who started learning the Bible with them of their house. This small group turned an enormous group, which met for worship within the Douglass house. They finally established a Cuban congregation, the place Harry and De served for nearly 20 years. Not solely did the Cuban refugee group hear concerning the gospel by means of this work, however God opened doorways for Harry to make 52 journeys to Cuba for discipleship coaching, evangelism, Bible research, and sensible ministry. Harry and his fellow Group Growth employees, Eric and Chris Barry, started utilizing Disciple Making Motion (DMM) strategies. DMM focuses on organically multiplying disciples in communities. They’ve led coaching on this type of outreach within the jap a part of the island twice and hope to proceed. 

CHALLENGES 

COVID-19 has offered many ministry challenges in Cuba, together with a scarcity of drugs, gear, and services.  

“Many Cubans have died for lack of care,” Harry studies. 

Moreover, it was unlawful to congregate previously 12 months and a half, although home church buildings continued to minister in small teams all through the COVID disaster.  

“Now that they will meet in bigger teams once more,” Harry explains, “their devoted ministry to the in poor health and to those that lacked drugs and enough meals in troublesome occasions has resulted in lots of extra coming to Christ.”  

At one latest celebration, 213 individuals gathered for worship, fellowship, and meals, and 15 individuals had been baptized. 

Amongst Harry’s most rewarding blessings has been seeing new leaders stand up within the Cuban Christian group. Although missionaries couldn’t be bodily current for 2 years in the course of the worst of the pandemic, the individuals continued educating, serving, and baptizing new believers. Now they’re engaged on their very own and are able to persevering with with out outdoors management. They’re “faithfully being his servants and a shining gentle to the communities and authorities leaders of these communities,” Harry says. 

Beto, one of many males within the DMM coaching class Harry and his fellow employees began, moved to the jap a part of Cuba to start disciple-making there. He quickly was working with two teams, one within the nation and one within the city.  

“After some months, Armando [Harry’s fellow worker] and I had been capable of spend time with these individuals,” he says. “And after a while of preaching and educating, 23 new followers of Christ had been baptized. The subsequent week, 67 had been immersed into him one afternoon.” Beto continues to disciple those that made selections to comply with Christ.  

THE FUTURE 

Harry plans to return to Cuba with Eric Barry and Saul, a Venezuelan coworker, for DMM coaching within the western facet of the island, outdoors of Havana. Harry’s long-term purpose is that Cuban Christians would actually decide to DMM ideas to assist extra individuals study Jesus and develop relationships with him.  

“Our God continues to work in all types of circumstances, by means of all types of devoted disciples of Jesus,” Harry says.  

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