Last week I traveled to Cuba with with my missionary friend, Bruce Camp to evaluate opportunities for future ministry. It turns out that Cuba is a very appealing mission field: It’s close, just south of Florida, so it can be done in 6-7 days; It’s relatively inexpensive travel; and we found it be to open to the gospel and ripe for harvest.
There are two observations that stand out to me about the trip to Cuba. The first observation relates to the people and the second to the church.
First, the people… They are repressed but not depressed; kept down economically but exhibiting uplifted spirits; isolated from the world but integrated in their family communities.
The Cubans we met were friendly and courteous. The opinion of another well-travelled missionary, who has been to Cuba many times in recent years, is that Cuba is one of the most open mission fields to the gospel in the world at this time. The country seems primed for Evangelistic opportunities, especially if they are relationally based.
The second observation relates to the church in Cuba. Given the government will not allow a gathering of over 25 people for a religious activity the church has had to adapt. The pastor we met has developed a house church movement with over 104 little churches or cells as some might call them. Although one rationale for the house church concept is politically legislated it may also be the best strategically idea anyway given the country’s economical conditions. Most of the people do not own cars so they need to walk to church. Add to that, they are very poor so they would struggle to build large facilities. This way the churches are neighborhood-based, small and intimate.
The greatest challenge the pastor faces is the need to develop qualified leaders. They have raised up 40 pastors for the 104 churches to which over 2000 people attend. Most have come to know Christ through the ministry and have not had the advantage of seminary training. There is a great opportunity for over-seas volunteers to come and provide leadership training.
Deed and Truth hopes to work together with the local Pastor and other churches and organizations to return to Cuba in the future with teams to do Evangelism and Leadership Development. Please pray for God’s direction and resources to make this a reality.
Below are some videos and pictures I took while I was there. Take a look: