The once prosperous country of Cuba is in great need. Churches in Cuba are no different. Basic materials required for churches to function are either rationed or unattainable in Cuba. Rural churches in Cuba have even greater needs. Disciples for Cuba is a ministry of Gospel Baptist Church in Bonita Springs, FL that directly ships tangible church supplies in bulk via ocean freight to churches throughout Cuba. Our reach extends to over 2,136 conservative churches in Cuba.
What Do You Send to Cuban Churches?
Tangible goods we send include Bibles (Reina-Valera 1960), Sunday School materials/curriculums/teaching aids/games, nursery toys & furniture, tracts, pews, folding chairs/tables, audio/visual equipment & cables, computers, office supplies, mountain bicycles (to facilitate the transportation of missionaries to remote areas in Cuba that are not accessible by vehicles), nursing home beds/furniture, baseball gloves/bats/balls, and more.
Our website is also designed to accept specific requests directly from pastors in Cuba. We also have Cuban nationals representing us on the island that collect needs from pastors directly as many of them do not have access to telephones or the internet. We do this to fulfill very specific needs like a particular type of light bulb, a specific tool, specific a/v cable adapters, or any other type of item we don’t normally send but will be used for legitimate church purposes. Once we receive and verify a request, we make the need known through our social media network and work to fulfill requests that are in alignment with our mission.
How Are Items Sent/Distributed?
Working in direct partnership with the Convención Bautista de Cuba Occidental (Baptist Convention of Western Cuba, a Cuban government-approved religious organization in Cuba which was founded in 1905) we plan, acquire, coordinate, seek approval, and export basic church supplies for distribution to churches throughout Cuba through a trusted delivery network operated by the Convención Bautista de Cuba Occidental. Items are distributed according to need, unless something is designated to go to a specific church (to fulfill an online request). Although all churches in Cuba are in need, a large percentage of the goods we send will go to churches in rural areas.
Shipments are sent via ocean freight from Florida to Cuba at least annually using 20ft shipping containers. All shipments are sent respecting the laws and regulatory processes of both Cuba and the USA.
How Can I Help?
There are 2 simple ways you can help us. One way is by donating your unused/retired church equipment, furniture, materials, supplies or any other item a church can use to help disciple believers. You can also help fulfill needs requested by individual churches in Cuba by browsing the Outstanding Church Requests feed on the right. Another way is by making a financial contribution to help acquire needs that have not been donated, and to help pay the enormous costs of shipping/exporting these items.
If your church would like to do more, we can help you setup your very own donation center! Once your container is full, we’ll take care of the rest. Our storage facilities are limited right now. We feel we could do more quicker if we get other churches involved.
What portion of My Contributions Are Used for Administrative Costs?
Currently, 100% of all financial contributions are used to either acquire and/or ship tangible church materials via Ocean Freight. All goods will be donated and distributed to churches throughout Cuba according to the need. All of our passionate staff are unpaid volunteers working to glorify the LORD who contribute both their time and their own personal finances to complete this important work.
Do You Sell These Items in Cuba?
All items will be donated at no cost to the Cuban people.
Are My Contributions Tax Deductible?
Yes! Gospel Baptist Church is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
What Are Conditions Really Like in Cuba?
Cuban churches and homes in metropolitan areas were almost all built during periods of economic prosperity prior to the 1950’s. As a result, churches in these areas are largely beautiful and built to last. However, most of these churches lack proper furnishings and suffer from maintenance issues due to lack of building supplies, funding, and proper tools to maintain them. Restoration projects often take several years to complete and often go unfinished for the same reasons. Many are permanently condemned. Churches and homes in rural areas resemble many 3rd world countries. They are largely shanties built from hand-cut trees, dirt floors, and plastic roof panels. The level of crudeness does vary throughout Cuba. Many shanties are built on foundations of previously built houses that have been destroyed by hurricanes or age.
The photos below should give you an idea of the conditions Cubans in rural areas are living in today. Although all churches in Cuba are in need, a large percentage of the goods we send will go to churches in areas such as this. These photos were taken by Cuban missionaries sent from Cuban churches from metropolitan areas. Many populated areas have roads that have not been maintained for decades. As a result, they are inaccessible by regular vehicles and require travel by either farming equipment, off-road vehicles, or walking. Some of the photos depict damage that was brought by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Cubans are still dealing with damage to this day. Many Pastors still have unrepaired roof damage in their homes and churches.
The average salary for most Cubans equates to about $30 US per month. These kinds of wages make acquiring goods very difficult (even if they are available), especially for churches that depend on tithes and offerings. No one in Cuba can live off just their salary and government assistance alone. Many work 2-3 jobs just to get by. Some are blessed with family in the US that send them money and supplies regularly. Possession of US dollars was a crime up until a few years ago. The relaxation of tensions between the US and Cuba has made many things easier. As a result, we can now provide assistance that was virtually impossible just a few years ago. This has led to significant recent improvements, however, rebuilding an entire country does not happen overnight. Cuba has worked hard to make internet available in certain public areas, which has allowed for better communication. We can now achieve effective logistical coordination with Cubans in the front lines. The Cuban people are now filled with hope and seeking GOD. There is a revival occurring in Cuba right now, and the Cuban people need your help!