If You Take My Kiln…
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Many things have been eye-opening and inspiring to me from this trip. One of the most inspiring things for me, having a young faith, was the hope and courage that the Christian people there had in the face of adversity and oppression. One of the great stories of how they handle this oppression was the story of Cassanova.
Cassanova made massive clay pots, famous in Camaguey, that were modeled after pots that the Spanish used to bring oil to the Island Nation. He had a very large kiln that he would dry these pots in that took up a majority of his property. He also made smaller pots on which he would paint crosses or Bible verses. He would then sell these on the street while preaching and playing songs on his guitar. This, though, was frowned upon by the authorities so they sent officials in to disable and destroy his large kiln. However, they didn’t know about the small kiln he had so he was still able to make small pots. More importantly, he cleared the rubble of the kiln and made a platform from the kiln foundation and built a church. Even though the authorities tried to keep him from being effective in his ministry, he faced them and instead of submitting he built a church. Once again the authorities tried to hold him back by offering him his kiln back so he would have to take down his church. Instead, he is building another ‘large” (but smaller than the original) kiln right next to his church.
The answer and attitude he upheld during this test of oppression was amazing. If you take my kiln, I will build a church. If you try and take my church, I will keep my church and build another kiln. He never backed down in the face of adversity and remained focused on furthering his ministry.