MIAMI, FL – Just mentioning the word “Cuba” arouses a myriad of images in the minds of Americans. Those images may depend on the listener’s age, heritage, or location.
Castro – Guantanamo – Havana – Missile crisis – Cigars – Miami.
Any or all of those many come to mind unless you are one of the 3,400 people who live in Cuba, Missouri. But that’s a different Cuba.
The Cuban people whom I know, having lived in Miami, are generally kind, generous, and hard-working. Not to mention being thankful for the opportunities they have found in America.
When I think about Cuba, I think about those people – and the friends and family many have had to leave behind. And, when I think of those who remained in Cuba and the more recent generations being raised there, I think about a crisis that has shaken the country. It’s not a hurricane, an earthquake, or a virus. It is the disappearance of the Christian faith.
- Prior to the Cuban revolution in 1959, 85% of Cubans were professing Christians.
- In the few years from and including 1959 and 1961, 80% of the Christian ministry leaders fled the country to avoid persecution, imprisonment, and death.
- By the last decade of the past century, fewer than 2% of Cubans were professing Christians.
Where the Gospel was once preached, and the country was blessed with the light of the world, the Cuban people now languish in the darkness of a secular society.
But they are thirsty.
That’s why the Lord has raised up EchoCuba, Explore International, and Outreach Aid to the Americas. The opportunity now exists, albeit with some resistance, to share the Gospel once again in a land the Lord has not forgotten.
These and other faith-based organizations began efforts to strengthen the Cuban churches, provide humanitarian aid, and coordinate mission efforts from the United States. Their primary mission is “to equip and strengthen the independent evangelical churches of Cuba through theological education and leadership training of their existing and future pastors.”
EchoCuba, Explore International, and Outreach Aid to the Americas partner with local evangelical churches in all of their endeavors.
They constantly remind believers interested in short-term mission trips that
EVERY mission counts. Every little thing, every little person matters. We believe in uplifting others and ourselves to remember we are necessary and that through prayer that lives are transformed. We seek to disciple as Jesus did. Our vision is that God would use us to raise up a generation of radically committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
From their founding as EchoCuba in 1994, these organizations have actively participated in disaster relief following hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Those hurricanes were Cuba’s most devastating disasters in history.
The groups have strengthened their efficacy by partnering with Feed My Starving Children, Matthew 25 Ministries, and Feeding the Nations.
In 2019, the organizations participated with seven evangelical denominations of Christian churches in Cuba to create an alliance of churches, including the Methodist Church of Cuba, the Assemblies of God, the Eastern Baptist Convention, and the Evangelical Cuban League. The Alianza de Iglesias Evangelicas de Cuba (AIEC) is committed to working together in defense of Biblical values.
It may be an uphill climb, but the Lord is working there. If He is there, we should be there also. Perhaps this is the place to which the Lord is calling you.