Otto Barrios, Janette and their daughter live in the Cuban village of Jicotea. Otto and Janette have pastored in different communities for over 20 years.
Otto has been the pastor of Eben-Ezer (Church of God) for eleven years and uses his love for baseball as a tool to reach their community. CMRC has been helping with construction of a new building in which half is their home and the other half, the church.
Presently the congregation is meeting in people’s houses because of the Covid situation and because the church part of the roof is still missing. They are praying to God to supply so they can finish.
In each house where they visit, they have a church service but no children’s ministry due to the pandemic.
Pastor Otto tells his story of faith:
I was in a very sinful condition between drinking, women and having serious problems in my marriage. In January of 1997 a Pentecostal missionary preached the word of the Lord to me but I had been working as a policeman and I told her I didn’t need God.
One day some Jehovah’s Witnesses visited us and I rejected them so I suggested my wife Janette to go to church with our neighbor who was the Methodist Church lady’s president. My wife went to the first service but being curious I asked how did it go?
After several services I told her that I was going to accompany her to the Church but I did not believe that God existed. We went but that night God had something special for me. I was standing in the doorway of the church with my daughter while my wife was sitting inside. The time of the Word to be preached arrived and everything that the pastor preached in the message of the Word God was for me.
Afterwards people came out and greeted me as if I were one of them, regardless of the fact that I had been a police officer in that town.
Then I went in and told my wife “we are going to accept the God whom these people talk about” and that was my first experience with the Lord. One day a call was made for those who wanted to serve the Lord to come forward which Janette and I did right there in front of everyone. The people placed their hands on us and prayed for us.
Later I went to the pastor and asked her permission to go to the fields some five kilometers walking distance from the church to preach the Word. Several brothers accompanied me. I never thought that God could choose a person like me – an unpleasant policeman, converted to the Gospel preaching the word of God.
Janette and I decided after a time in prayer to go into pastoring. We had to leave the mission work in the fields to other brothers. We went to Villa Clara province where we have now founded ten mission outreaches and two churches for the glory of God.
As a pastor I had the desire to work with athletes so I held a sporting event where several teams were invited. To my great surprise a number of people made a prayer of faith.
The pastors who were at the event took down their names to visit them at their homes and God has allowed us to make several missionary trips to different places in our country to carry out evangelical sports events. This has been a wonderful experience because it has worked with children, youth, adults and families.
Glory to God because everything I am and have been able to do is thanks to God.
Note: Otto has been ill recently and needs our prayers because over the counter medication so easily available in Canada is not available in Cuba.
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CMRC practices practical ministry by partnering with local churches in impoverished communities in Cuba and Peru to construct new church buildings. Read More
~ Continue praying for Mary Elena as she recuperates from Covid-19 with family in Havana.
~ Pray for safety as construction begins on two home/churches in the Peruvian jungle villages of Sies de Setiembre and Santa Roso on the Marañon River.
~ Pray for safety and direction for Cuban Pastors, Joshua and Anna, who have been missionaries in Haiti for the past couple of years. With the degrading situation in Haiti they are trying to leave Haiti and return to Cuba but there are no flights.