A Golden Opportunity for the Word in Cuba

Aug_Cuba 1

Dear Partners & Friends,

“Cuba!” An island in the Caribbean, white sandy beaches, classic cars, the rhythm of rumba and salsa…what comes to mind? Many thoughts. But one that never came to this mind was a visit.

Cuba 2An Unexpected Visit

The times in which we live and the events we experience shape our view of the world. I grew up during the height of the cold war. A trip to Cuba (or Russia) seemed as likely as one to the moon. Yet, this past February, Patricio (LRI Latin America Director) and I boarded a plane to jump the puddle from Monterrey, Mexico to Havana, Cuba.

We walked out of the airport and stepped into what seemed like the set of an old movie. Sun-drenched skies, beautiful palms, classic Chevys, the smell of the sea, each made the experience more surreal. Historic Havana was an interesting mix of architectural influences, American included. It spoke of the power of the Soviet empire yet clearly communicated it was from an era long past, a state of disrepair.

Questions and Answers

Why did our partner invite us? What was the state of the church? What would we find when we met the pastors?

Cuba 3

“Hotel Nacional de Cuba”—Completed in 1930

Answers emerged. MOCLAM (a partner ministry serving in Latin America) invited us to help the church in Cuba. For the past 9 years they had worked with a dozen pastors based in Havana. These 12 have trained 100 more throughout the country. Perfect setup! The training helped them understand the Bible but now MOCLAM felt it was time to strengthen their preaching. The training helped them see Christ as the focus and fulfillment of the Bible’s redemptive story but now it was time to accelerate discipleship and encourage a movement of God’s Word. A match made in heaven! They and we long to see God’s life spread through and mature this country.

The next day we drove to our destination. We spent a few days with these dozen pastors. It was more like a gathering of old friends than a first time meeting of strangers. Welcoming and warm, they were ready to draw us in. Laughter and enthusiasm characterized much of the time. Yet, along the way we also learned that life in Cuba is hard. Ministry is fraught with difficulties, persecution common and poverty acute. The younger generation is fleeing the country in pursuit of the better life. The older one is stuck, nowhere to go and no one to help. Discouragement operates at a level I rarely see. This made them hungry. They craved the unstoppable force that brings hope and life, the Word of God.                                                                          

Cuba 4

“Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta”—Fortress built from 1589–1630.

A Golden Opportunity

Friends, I don’t know if you see what is unfolding to the south. Relations with Cuba have warmed. U.S. airlines are securing direct flights. The Cuban missile crisis of yesteryear has given way to American Cruise ships today. Investment dollars will soon show up in droves. What does this mean for Cuba? What does this mean for the gospel?

We have a golden opportunity. Three things I know:

  1. This is a moment of historic proportions.
  2. God’s Word and the good news of Jesus is the only power that will make the difference.
  3. We have the invitation and partner to bring the hope and life Cuba desperately needs.

Will you pray and give to help Patricio and his team be able to respond to this call?

With gratitude for your generosity,

Todd Kelly

Director of Global Ministries

donateribbon-copy-300x104

PS: The gospel is taking root in Cuba. The most strategic role outsiders can play is to equip pastors to study, teach and preach God’s Word. Your gift this month will enable us to do just that!

Leadership Resources

Leadership Resources exists to equip and encourage pastors around the world to teach God’s word with God’s heart. Learn more about our work, our approach, and see how your church can make a worldwide difference with God's Word.

Latest posts by Leadership Resources

[latestbyauthor]