Hutia, the Hunter
By Henry & Arleen Stubbs
Freddy avoided looking down as he climbed higher and higher in the swaying treetop, some 60 vertical feet off the ground. Determined not to go home from the hunt without providing for his family, he chased the evasive Hutia out onto the very tiptop branches. The Hutia, Cuba’s largest endemic mammal, is a large tree dwelling rodent that grows to 2 feet in length and weighs up to 20 pounds. A live Hutia can sell for nearly a month’s wage ($30) in Havana. Hunting without guns requires strength and bravery. This day, however, did not end well for Freddy.
Focused on the Hutia, he chased the animal out onto smaller and smaller outer branches high off the forest floor, when suddenly the limb supporting him snapped and he plummeted more than 6 stories to the ground. Falling miraculously and precisely between two jagged tree stumps, Freddy survived, landing on the ground with a broken spine, several fractured ribs and a punctured lung. Two friends, hearing his cry, ran to help. Together they carried Freddy to the edge of the forest where they summoned a horse cart.
Freddy passed in and out of consciousness as the horse cart bumped along, constantly jostling his broken spine and bones. He was barely able to breath in sufficient oxygen. At the edge of a dirt road, his friends appealed to a farm tractor driver with a cart to take him to the nearest paved road where an ambulance picked him up.
As you may have already feared, in spite of several operations over the next eight months, the only movement possible for Freddy was shaking his head ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ With the crushing sense of his loss, his inability to take care of his family, to pursue the hidden dreams of his heart or to just be normal, Freddy cried often in anger and bitterness as he thought about his accident.
As he lay in bed, he remembered his mom taking him to church as a boy and the stories from the Bible that spoke of a powerful God. Could they be true? The more stories he tried to remember, the more he wondered if the author of those miracle stories would listen to his own painful story and help him. “What do I have to lose?” he thought.
Alone one night, in a Cuban hospital bed without chaplains or counselors, Freddy cried to God, asking for faith to believe in Him, that God would forgive his years of putting Him out of his mind, and for his lack of belief. Freddy states, “To my surprise, I immediately sensed that God heard my cry and that I was accepted and forgiven. I felt a peace I had never known. I asked God to take all of the remains of my life and all of the little I had left, but to give me this one thing, the presence of Jesus in my heart.” Freddy continued, “From the moment I invited Jesus into my heart, I knew I had made the right decision as hope and energy returned to me.
The next morning, I asked to be placed in a wheelchair in a sitting position and rejoiced for how well I did. The day following, I asked to be taken to the new church (World Youth Group plant) in my town. I went joyfully and had no pain. In fact my pain is totally gone now. I don’t need any more pain medication. I am now moving my arms and beginning to get a little feeling in my lower extremities and I know God is working.”
The World Youth Group medical missionary Bible worker couple in Freddy’s town began applying treatments to the bed sores Freddy acquired in the hospital and studying the Bible together with him and his wife. Just recently, Freddy, his wife, and eight of their friends were baptized. Freddy declares; “Yes, I’m an invalid. I can’t chase Hutia and do the things I once thought important, but I’ve never known the happiness I now know. With all I am, I am grateful God saved my life, allowing my testimony to impact many which are now studying the Bible with my pastor and giving both my wife and me the joy of eternal salvation!”
Henry & Arleen Stubbs oversee World Youth Group, Inc, a ministry which is currently reaching 44 cities in Cuba with Bible workers and health evangelism. There are yet 500 cities left to reach. You can learn more about their ministry here: www.worldyouthgroup.org
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World Church Prayer Requests
January 19 - 26, 2020
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for those that are experiencing great personal hardships right now, whether through loss of loved ones, through natural disasters, or other trials. Pray that they would feel God’s presence near, even through the storms.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray specifically for the Southern Asia Pacific Division headquarters, the Adventist University of the Philippines, AIIAS, and our church members near Tagaytay, who are dealing with the aftermath of the Taal volcano.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for our members in Australia who have been dealing with ongoing drought and fires. Pray that God will send rain, relief and protection.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for our members in Puerto Rico who have been dealing with a series of earthquakes. Pray for peace and courage and provision for their needs.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for those in Indonesia who are dealing with flooding casualties. Pray that God would enable people to bring in supplies and that church members can assist those who have been displaced.
• PRAYER REQUET: Please pray for the government leaders of our various countries, that God would continue to guide and direct events according to His will, and that through these events people would recognize that Jesus is coming soon.