We came to impact Cuba, but Cuba impacted us so much more with its dynamic growing churches and amazing leaders determined to win the entire island for Christ, concluded Southern Florida District Missions President, Dennis Moore, after returning from Cuba.
A group of seventeen from the Southern Florida District visited Cuba June 9-18 through a special religious visa. Work & Witness Coordinator, Rev. Roy Shuck, led the group, along with Rev. Robert Prescott, who is the Nazarene Mesoamerica Regions Coordinator for teams visiting Cuba. A special charter flight from Miami International Airport provided transportation for the team.
The team spent most of its time working on forming and pouring columns on a duplex with 8 apartments being constructed for retired Cuban pastors on the grounds of the Nazarene Seminary in Havana. The team also spent time helping to construct a concrete wall on the boundary of the seminary.
While in Cuba, the team visited twelve different churches. In just a few years the Church of the Nazarene has gone from 18 churches with 250 members to 111 (government sanctioned churches) with over 9,000 members. Amazingly, there are an additional 600 preaching points and house churches. The government relaxed its rules and does not require a permit for small groups to meet with 15 or fewer attendees.
Cuban District Superintendent, Leonel Lopez, told the group that in 2015 over 4,000 lay leaders will be trained to begin several thousand new preaching points throughout Cuba. In the past two years, 760 lay volunteers have devoted 50 Saturdays to training and planting new missions.
Dennis Moore expressed special appreciation to the Southern Florida family of churches and individuals who raised $12,000 to assist in the construction and expansion of our church facilities in Cuba.
Rev. Lopez encouraged the group and Nazarenes to remember to pray for Cuba in two specific ways:
1) That the Cuban church will remain faithful to Jesus and not be de-railed by non-essential concerns.
2) That pastors and their families will remain faithful to Gods service – despite the overwhelming hardships and challenges they personally endure.
The group earnestly prayed for Rev. Lopez and his family as their last important task before departing Cuba.
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