Abdiel, our ministry founder, had always wanted to visit his mother country, but could not due to the political relations between the USA and Cuba. As a result of the decreasing political tensions between the USA and Cuba, both Abdiel and his wife, Jessica, decided to seize the opportunity and visit Cuba. While there, both Abdiel and Jessica witnessed first hand the enormous impact the US embargo has had on the country. Despite extreme economic conditions, the Cuban people are educated, well mannered, friendly, and hospitable. They visited several churches throughout Cuba and saw first hand the fruit of the hard work of the local churches there operating with virtually no resources. To GOD be the Glory!
Although the word of GOD will never return void and the Cuban people will make due with whatever is available to them, the churches of Cuba are plagued with difficulties that come as a result of not having things we take for granted. At first glance, churches within major metropolitan areas look no different than many of the churches in Latin communities in the USA. It’s only when you look a little deeper that you realize how great the need really is. Children’s programs are being held in empty rooms without so much as a crayon, visual aids, or any other sort of teaching aid. Nurseries can only rely on the warm caress of other women as cribs are not plentiful enough (or safe enough) to be used outside of the few homes that are blessed enough to have one. Written materials are non-existent, and only a handful of churches on the island have things like computers and projectors. The only tangible materials they have are ones a family member in the USA can afford to send them. That kind of help happens infrequently and in many cases stops coming in altogether as many defectors move on from what they left behind and/or can’t afford to purchase goods and pay the high costs of shipping them to Cuba. The people that do, usually, can only afford to send the most critical needs, so things like crayons take a back seat to other things that are considered more important.
The most striking thing they learned was that sending money, although helpful, can only help so much as there is literally nothing to buy. Not even nails. Supplies in Cuba come and go. One month things like nails can be purchased relatively easily, the next month you cannot find them anywhere, sometimes for 3-6 months or longer. Although the Cuban people are resilient, even pastors struggle with discouragement as they are largely left to fend for themselves as even their supporting organization operates with extremely limited & unreliable resources. The leaders of a major church organization in Cuba told Abdiel that after their stapler broke beyond repair (which they have been using since the early 1950’s), they searched the island for months and could not find one. A family member in the USA had to ship one to them. They waited a couple more months before finally receiving it. He showed Abdiel what they sent… a Swingline Miniature “Tot” Stapler which they still relied on till that day.
After witnessing these things, an immediate burden for the churches of Cuba was realized. Both Abdiel and Jessica have dedicated their time and personal finances to setting up and overseeing the ministry of procuring and fulfillment of basic church supplies to assist in the discipleship of the church body in Cuba. Today that church organization has new staplers (and much more) thanks to this work, but hundreds of churches on the island have needs that are yet to be fulfilled.
We have no political agenda. We leave the politics to the politicians and respect the laws and sovereignty of each country. We only seek to encourage and supply the churches of Cuba with the things they need to operate effectively.
Join us in this important work, we need your help!
Pictures of Our Trip in 2018