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.