“Maria, come stand next to me.”

I was not prepared to hear those words from the pulpit as the Great Commission was being preached at my church to nearly 800 women in Havana, Cuba.

“As you all know, God has called Maria to be a missionary from Cuba to the Middle East. Although you are a 4,000-member church, you have never sent a missionary from this congregation, and she has a call from God on her life!”

My heart raced as large cloth map of the world was wrapped around my shoulders.

“Maria, God has called you. Now is the time for us to pray for God to open the door so you can go.”

I walked to the center of the church wearing the map of the world like a shawl. I felt the hands of my sisters on my shoulders as the entire sanctuary erupted in prayer.

The next morning, I met with ILI President, Wes Griffin. I looked him in the eyes with deep conviction and said,

I am a Cuban woman. I know how
to live on nothing. God has called
me, and I will go to the Middle
East to share Jesus with women
and lead them to Christ.

Maria is an ILI alumnus from Cuba. One week after her church prayed over her, God opened a door, and she accepted the call to be a missionary in the Middle East where she plans to lead women to Christ.

*For security, the leader's name has been changed.