Ministry Update – Political/Coronavirus Impact

We have always known that sending a container to Cuba would be a monumental challenge that can only be accomplished with the help of our God and people like you who have a heart for the people of Cuba. It has been a rollercoaster ride with extreme ups and downs! In our last communication in March 2020, we communicated that we had all approvals necessary to proceed with shipping the container. Unfortunately, during that time period the political relations between Cuba and the U.S. rapidly deteriorated as a result of Cuba’s alleged involvement in Venezuelan affairs. This political situation has resulted in an energy and food crisis in Cuba.

In response, the Cuban government has implemented new laws restricting the importation of electrical devices with high energy consumption in order to prevent additional burdens on Cuba’s electrical grid. As a result of these new laws, our approvals were unexpectedly suspended pending the submission of a report that detailed the power requirements of every electrical device in our container. In order to complete this report, we had to empty the contents of the entire container, open every box, and log the electrical details for every electrical device! As this would be a huge project, we attempted to appeal to the Cuban government to see if they would allow our first container without this report, but that request was denied after a long period of waiting for a response. We were left with no option but to proceed with this major project. Thankfully, we had the help of over 20 members of Gospel Baptist Church! Once that project was completed, we updated our computer systems to be able to accept these new requirements and submitted the report for approval. We are currently pending the approval of this report.

Our logistical plan was also significantly impacted by the Coronavirus as we could not fly members of our operational team in or out of Cuba. This is crucial in order to ensure our shipment gets to the intended recipients. With all these challenges behind us and travel restrictions recently lifted, we are confident that our container will reach Cuba shortly. Stay tuned and keep us in your prayers!

Also, please pray specifically for the food crisis in Cuba and for normalization of political relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The crisis is rapidly deteriorating with no hope in sight. If the political situation continues to deteriorate, this will significantly increase the difficulty in sending desperately needed church supplies and equipment to Cuba.

 

Ministry Update – We Are GO!

It has been a long time coming, but our prayers and hard work are finally paying off! We have all the approvals we need to send our first container!! Our approvals were delayed due to the increase in tensions between the US and Cuba, but all that is behind us now and we are moving forward.

Now that we have all approvals on hand, we are busy acquiring last minute equipment that we held off investing in until all approvals were received. Due to the delay in the approval process, the high amount of donated items we received, and the possibility of further political degradation, we decided to increase the size of our first container from 20′ to 40′!

Because of this, we have used the extra space to send additional items we have stockpiled, and desire to use the space left in our extended container to send 24x sets of desperately needed sound equipment. The total cost of this investment is $7,974.75 and includes:

24x Harbinger M200-BT Sound Systems (pictured)
48x Shure PGA48 microphones
48x 25ft mic cables
6x 10-packs of Guitar Strings

A BIG thank you to Gospel Baptist Church for their special offering towards this purchase that totaled roughly $1,500! We would also like to thank Walter Caston from Guitar Center for offering us a substantial discount on this high-quality equipment.

We still need about $6,500 to make this final inclusion a reality. Would you help the people of Cuba by either praying specifically for this need, or making a financial contribution?

Typical Sound System in Rural Cuba

DFC Provided System

In other news, we also got word that the Coronavirus Pandemic coupled with recent political tensions between the US and Cuba has triggered a country-wide revival! Churches in Cuba are fuller than ever! One side effect of this is Cuba now has an even greater shortage of bibles. The Cuban government has granted a rare approval to the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba to import as many bibles as needed to fill this great need! With this permission in hand, we are now able to import bibles, but we need to find a ministry that will be willing to donate them (Reina-Valera 1960). Would you join us in prayer for this specific need?

Iglesia Bautista Zayas, Mariel

Requested: 5/20/2019
Requested by: Yaislen Pérez Cruz
Pastor: Yosmeidys Recamiel Castañeda
City: Zayas-Mariel, Cuba

Critical Needs
Audio Equipment (Speakers/Mixer/Amp)
Microphones with cables
Children’s Bibles (40)
Bibles (Reina-Valera 1960)
Sunday School Materials

Iglesia Bautista de Mariel

Requested: 5/10/2019
Requested by: Ana Maria Gonzalez Silva
Pastor: Janfry Rodríguez Marcheco
City: Mariel, Cuba

This church has a large group of children. Children’s materials are needed. They also have a dining room that can serve the elderly in the community, but they need tables and chairs. They have a musical group for praise and worship that has instruments, but the audio system is in very bad condition. They are in the process of building a new educational building and need some tools.

Critical Needs
50 chairs
8 folding tables
1 amplifier   fulfilled!
2 speakers   fulfilled!
4 microphones  fulfilled!
2 large pressure cookers
1 projector for children

Other Requests:

office supplies (a printer, a laptop, ink for the printer, pens, clippers, diaries)
children’s toys, books, Sunday school materials, and music
clothing
prescription eyeglasses
1 hammer drill
1 polisher
1 hand saw
various pliers
2 ceiling fans

Iglesia Bautista La Hermosa, Cueva Fria

Requested: 1/8/2019
Pastor: Danilson Hernández Jiménez
City: Cueva Fria – Baracoa, Cuba

Critical Needs
Audio Equipment (Speakers/Mixer/Amp)
Electroacoustic Guitar
Drumset
Digital Piano
Laptop
Projector
Printer
Sunday School Materials (20)
Mountain Bikes (3)

Iglesia Bautista Rios de Aqua Viva, Baracoa

Requested: 1/4/2019
Requested by: Yosney Labañino Furones
Pastor: Eneider Labañino Nuñez
City: Baracoa, Cuba

Critical Needs
Laptop
Projector
Audio Amplifier
Mixer
Children’s Bibles
Bibles with large letters
Toys for children
Bicycle

Other Requests:
Printer
Drill
Flat screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver

Iglesia Bautista Luz del Evangelio, Baracoa

Requested: 12/27/2018
Requested by: Jorge Elio Arguello
Pastor: Yurleidy Dominguez Vega
City: Baracoa, Cuba

At this time, they are working on construction of their church building. They are requesting your prayers on finishing this work.

Critical Needs
Projector
Laptop

Other Needs:
Electric drill
Sound Amplifier
Toys for Children’s Ministry

 

Ministry Update – Donation Drive & Cuban Convention President Visit

We have been working hard to fill our next container! The tangible supply container is about 35% filled with donations that were largely supplied by members of Gospel Baptist Church in Bonita Springs FL during a Donation Drive we are currently hosting there. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

We also recently had a rare opportunity to host a visit from Dariel Llanes Quintana, the current President of the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba! He was invited to the U.S. to attend a church convention in Orlando, FL and preach in a few churches in Miami. We took the opportunity to pick Dariel and his wife up and drive them to Bonita Springs so we can show them our ministry first hand and spend some quality time getting to know each other more. He was emotionally taken back by all the hard work that was going into our ministry and said: “now I know how to pray for this ministry, and will pray more fervently than ever”.