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Mission Work in Cuba
 
 
The Rev. Danaiky Soler on her way to visit her parishioners.
The Rev. Danaiky Soler on her way to visit her parishioners.
Image by: Paul Jeffrey
Source: New World Outlook
Photo Collage: Faces from Cuba
Photo Collage: Faces from Cuba
Image by: Paul Jeffrey
Source: New World Outlook

Mission Work Cuba

Since 1998, the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) has deepened its involvement with the Methodist Church in Cuba (IMECU), developing a partnership that seeks to serve the Cuban people as an outreach of God’s love. In a series of consultations, the Methodist Church in Cuba identified several areas in which outside assistance in fulfilling its mission ministries would be welcome.

 

In order to support mission work with the Cuban people, the GBGM and IMECU negotiate with the Cuban government to obtain permission for some programs, access state resources when applicable, and apply for various licenses or permits as necessary. The GBGM has supplied grants secured from a variety of program funds for the ministries listed below.

 

Support of House Churches

House churches have enabled the Methodist Church to reach thousands of people who would otherwise have no access to the church. The Methodist Church has 108 recognized church buildings and is restricted from building more without government permission; however, it has grown by leaps and bounds by opening more than 400 small house churches. The smaller venue provides space for  people who are seeking to know God and explore Christianity with others in their community.

 

Building/Rebuilding Churches

Many of the Methodist churches in Cuba are in disrepair and need immediate attention. In addition, two new churches have received the proper permits for construction. Scarcity of building materials and of hard currency (dollars, not Cuban pesos) to buy materials has hindered IMECU’s efforts to build churches and maintain existing ones.

 

Leadership Development and Training

Training for lay leaders and ministerial candidates is a major priority for the church. Scholarships for students attending the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas are necessary if the Methodist Church is to keep pace with its growing membership.

 

Facilities and Programming for the Elderly

The Noemí Deulofeo Home for the Elderly was in need of repair and at full capacity with 20 residents. IMECU sought to expand it by building an additional two stories and doubling its capacity. A grant also improved the health service facilities. After six years of negotiations, the church is also ready to build a small apartment complex to provide housing for retired pastors.

 

Salary Subsidy for Pastors

Recent actions taken by the Cuban government to alleviate the economic hardships caused by the collapse of the Soviet system and the ongoing US embargo have included opening the country to international tourism, capital investments, and legalizing hard currency for economic transactions in the country. Pastors who do not have access to hard currency, through either the tourism or investment industries, have suffered severe economic hardship.

 

Exchange Visits

The Cuban church has felt isolated not only from its US partners but from other Latin American partners as well. Church leaders, both lay and clergy, will receive travel funds to share their stories with other churches.

 

Support for Basic Operating Expenses

Funds are used for pastors’ salaries and benefits, seminary support, annual conference meetings, basic fuel costs, communications, housing costs, and administrative staff salaries.

 

Support Through the Advance

A number of Advance projects support the work of the Methodist Church in Cuba. Individuals, congregations, and conferences may send contributions to the Advance to assist in any of the following projects in Cuba.

 

All-Purpose Camp, Havana, #12285N

 

Camp Canaan, described on (see article by Aldo Gonzalez), an all-purpose camp meeting place for the Cuban church.

Christian Center for Family Orientation, #13183A

 

A center for healthy family development, providing counselors, workshops, educational activities, and nonviolent conflict resolution.

 

Evangelical Theological Seminary, Scholarships, Matanzas, #08401B


Provides books and tuition.

Evangelization, #12156A

Provides training for personnel and materials for new methods of evangelizing new constituencies in Cuba.

 

Leadership Development for Church Women, #13186A

 

Provides training for women to help them utilize their skills in the programs of the church.

Literature, Supplies, and Materials, #05979C

 

Books, magazines, and audiovisual supplies for the church.

Liturgy Renovation, #13187A

 

Development and publication of a liturgy that reflects the Cuban context and meets the needs of the church.

Material Assistance for the Needy, #13188A

Allows the church to provide food, clothing, shoes, personal-care items, and transportation to those in need.

Methodist Christian Home, Havana, #11635A

 

The Noemí Deulofeo Home for the Elderly, described on the previous page, in the Mariana section of Havana.

New Ministries of Artistic Expression, #12158A

Developing programs of dance, poetry, drama, and puppets to reach new constituencies.

Repair of Cuban Churches and Structures, #08757N

 

Intended for churches, parsonages, and other church structures.

Russian Community of Faith, #13189A

Evangelistic outreach, leadership training, and financial support for Russian-speaking women left behind after the Russian exodus from Cuba.

 

Shalom Choir, Vehicle, #12159S

 

Support to purchase a minivan to transport the choir.

 

Training and Support for Adolescents and Counselors, #13190A

Support for the Methodist Youth League’s camping program for 11-to 15-year-olds.

 

 


 
See Also...
Topic: Christian love Donations Economy GBGM programs International affairs Missionaries Advance Partners/partnerships
Geographic Region: Cuba
Source: New World Outlook
 
 

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Cuba   

Date posted: Jun 01, 2004