Cuba appears in the media a lot these days. Rising need drives desperate people onto the streets. It is difficult to get essential goods, and the cost of living has increased enormously. However, these times of crisis also open new opportunities for our partners. This is what the churches around Havana have experienced and they continue to grow despite the difficult situation.
The church in La Perla has existed for seven years. Regardless of the external circumstances, the leaders and staff will continue to be strengthened and supported so that the work can be shared, and the ministry can continue to grow. The congregation places particular emphasis on helping and accompanying our brothers and sisters in need. In addition, lunch is cooked once a week for a dozen elderly people. The church prays that they can expand this ministry to meet the specific needs of more people. They hope that by doing so, they will also be able to serve their families, many of whom are non-Christians, with the gospel and practical help.
In recent months, missionaries Sergio and Regina at the church in Abel Santa Maria have particularly experienced the importance of communion in small groups. Two or three families meet regularly for church services and prayer groups – this strengthens and encourages them. The corona pandemic has also forced families in Cuba to spend a lot of time at home. This made it particularly clear how big the problems are in many marriages and families. The church members in Abel Santa Maria immediately saw this as an opportunity to serve the people. Marriage counselling is a new branch of work within the church.
In addition, there was a big need for “meaningful engagement” at home. The congregation is now distributing a weekly package with films, music and books with Christian content, free of charge. In this way they can approach people, develop relationships, and pass on content about the Christian faith. Again, and again people experience the transforming love of God.
Based on reports from Yosvany Padrón and Sergio Gomes
The brothers and sisters in these two parishes currently have concrete plans for the future. In La Perla, the church has already been able to buy the property next door. They are planning a new building here in order to better serve the neighbourhood. A small multifunctional centre with the name “House of God – Gate to Heaven” is to be built. The Bible clubs, with which they reach around 100 children on the street every week, would also find a home here. (YouTube Video)
The Abel Santa Maria congregation is praying that a small sports field can be built for them. Inspired by the mother church of Santo Suarez in Havana, under the direction of Daniel Gonzalez (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipnmprs7YIg), they want to reach children and young people even more through sports ministry. The first actions and small sports groups are already taking place with the support of volunteers from Daniel’s church and therefore a new space is needed for them.