Another Day In Cuba
This morning I woke up to my second day in Cuba. I am staying, as usual, in a Casa Paricular (licensed private home) near the centre of Havana. I decided to write this outside, and so walked down the street and sat on a bench on the nearby boulevard. Breakfast was unlike anything a Cuban would be able to afford: a plate of fresh fruit, glass of fresh mango juice, coffee, toast and fried egg. $25 US for room and breakfast is a great deal, and it is safe. I tried to buy some bottled water, and so far this morning I cannot find any. Nothing. Life in Cuba!
Cuba is getting worse. I have been thinking a lot about how long I will do this travelling, and then I meet our pastors and hear their hearts and stories. It is not about the travel, but the people that I come here to help. Crime is growing in Cuba, but that is just like every other country we work in.
For the first time, I flew through the USA and into Havana on a United Airlines flight. The biggest advantage was that, included in my ticket were two 70 pound suitcases, almost 40 pounds of extra supplies that I could bring. I was curious how I would be treated at the airport coming from the USA, but everything went normal and smoothly.
Cuba has not changed a lot since last November. Government store shelves carried only a few items. Whole aisles would have one or two items on each side. For example, in one store there was canned chili con carne on one side and energy drinks on the other. Both items are not popular for average Cubans to buy. Groceries are expensive in the government stores, and even more expensive on the black market. Fuel was in short supply and so it was more difficult to find transportation. Pastor Joshua and I traveled via a 25-year-old bus to Santa Clara where we met with one chaplain and four pastors as well as a children’s worker. People continue to leave the island to emigrate to other countries whenever possible.
In spite of all this, the church continues to grow. One of the services we were in was full and the pastor was talking about taking down a wall to expand. His church went from fifteen before COVID to fifty now. Joshua’s church has gone from thirty to over 100 in two years. When times become difficult, people turn to God and the church for help. That is what is happening in Cuba.
One of the more challenging meetings was with pastor Otto. We met to discuss the construction of his house/church. Because of the lack of fuel, the cement factory is not able to ship the cement to the local distribution centers. Otto has been assured by the government that when the fuel is available, they will deliver what he needs. There is never any guarantee that the government will follow through, but there is also nothing that can be done. Please pray for speedy delivery of the cement for the roof of Otto’s house/church.
Letter from Pastor Geovanni Proenza
May the peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you. I take this opportunity to show my gratitude to the Lord, brother Douglas and to all the brothers who with so much effort are concerned that their help and support reach us generously, making it possible for us to have a more bearable life in these moments of crisis worldwide.
Thank you for making it possible for us to be more focused on missionary work in our congregation, in which we maintain a very firm and sustained work in the church and our two prayer cells, in addition to the work we do in the city with the children. We need you to keep praying for us. Our prayers are directed to God for you, your family and his Ministry, so that he continues to open doors for you wherever he wants to send you. Receive greetings from my family and church that by grace and mercy of God we are shepherding.
Pastor Geobani Proenza Sánchez
Santa Clara, Villa Clara CUBA.
Letter from Pastor Joaquín Domínguez Álvarez
I want to express my gratitude to brother Douglas and the brothers in Canada who contribute to our livelihood, you can’t imagine how much help it means to us in these difficult times that we are going through here. We thank God for all these beloved brothers who so graciously help us.
We (my wife and I) continue to work in the Work of the Lord at the head of the Jesus Christ Grace and Truth Church. We keep working in Teaching, Counseling, Preaching the Word, Evangelism one to one, in expository studies of the Word of God in Sunday School, and having times of prayer and intercession. We have also given classes in a Bible Institute preparing Missionaries and pastors of different Evangelical denominations, which has been a joy for our lives. Although our son Henry Domínguez and family left the country, the work continues and does not stop.
I want to end this letter with the lyrics of this beautiful, very old hymn that says: In the struggle and in the test the Church keeps walking, nothing stops it to preach. In the love of Christ. God bless you.
A hug from your brother and servant of Christ!
Joaquin Dominguez Alvarez
- Please pray for speedy delivery of the cement for the roof of Otto’s house/church.
- Pray for pastor Geobani Proenza and all He does for God through his ministry.
- Pray for pastor Joaquin Dominguez, his wife, family and church.