“If I could describe Cuba in one word, it would be hungry,” said Tony Foglio, World Help’s advisory board chairman.
“Cubans are hungry for the Word of God . . . they are hungry to share the Gospel of Christ through the planting of churches, and they are hungry for the freedom that comes in Christ alone,” he continued.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Over the past few days, I’ve seen the country’s amazing spiritual growth and talked with so many passionate church planters . . . I have been left in awe at God’s faithfulness. After years of investment—oftentimes wondering if we were making a difference at all—God has been faithful to promote His kingdom in Cuba.
Since 2010, our partners have seen 2,208 churches planted. When you break that down over the past six years, that’s 368 churches planted per year—more than one church a day!
As I stood on the streets of Havana—not far from the recently reopened U.S. Embassy—I realized that Cuba’s hope for the future would not come from the changing tides of policy.
Cuba’s only hope would come through Jesus Christ.
Many of the Christians I met on this trip have endured incredible hardship or personal loss. But each one of them has a powerful story of how Jesus Christ changed their life.
Beverly Carroll, a longtime friend and supporter of World Help, was with me in Cuba and told me about Maria, a woman she met on the trip who has experienced God’s faithfulness her entire life.
When Maria gave her life to Jesus as a teenager, her family immediately disowned her. Later in life, when she was pregnant with her second child, she fainted and fell into the middle of a fire burning outside her home. Covered with third-degree burns, she was rushed to a hospital miles away from home.
Close to death for several days, she floated in and out of consciousness—largely unaware of anything happening around her. She woke up to find her mother sitting beside the hospital bed. Maria’s near-death experience had softened her mother’s heart, and she stayed by Maria’s side until she finally healed.
Miraculously, Maria’s baby was unharmed by the accident and the infections from her burns. Maria saw God’s hand through her entire situation and, eventually, so did her mother. Maria gave birth to a healthy baby boy and shortly thereafter, her mother gave her life to Christ. Within a couple of years, most of her family had also become Christ followers.
Today, Maria proudly displays her scars as a symbol of the way God brought her family to Christ. Maria has seen God do extraordinary things throughout her life, and continues to trust His faithfulness. Her joy—in spite of all she has been through—is infectious and unwavering.
What a powerful reminder: The difficulties of the past are lessons and reminders of deliverance—pointing to the promises of a bright, eternal hope.
And this Christ-driven passion was what we saw everywhere we went: Hundreds of church planters motivated to share the Good News, faithful believers clutching their own copy of the Word of God for the first time, and new believers singing praises to God. This is without a doubt God’s time for Cuba.
But our work in Cuba is more critical than ever . . . it’s only just begun.
The Gospel is spreading and Christians are bolder than ever before, but most churches still lack the resources they need to effectively multiply.
Cuba’s only hope—our only hope—is in Jesus Christ. But how can they share the Gospel if they don’t have the most basic tool in a Christian’s arsenal—the Bible?
I cannot describe the joy and hope that filled the faces of these believers as I placed a Bible in their hands. Truly, God is orchestrating this moment in history to draw thousands of men, women, and children to Himself through salvation.
Cuba’s time has come. Our partners believe they are living in the best days of ministry—but I believe the best is still yet to come as the church unites behind this island nation.
I am ready to see Cuba para Cristo—Cuba for Christ—become a reality. Cuban believers are aching to see their friends and families find eternal hope in Jesus Christ . . . all they need is your help.