The Francis Asbury Society

Cuba Report 2010

Posted on | April 7, 2010 | Comments Off on Cuba Report 2010

by David Harriman

It was my great privilege, along with Rev. Tom Dunbar (retired WGM missionary) to represent FAS in Cuba. Through the generosity and cooperation of the Methodist Church headquarters in Havana, we were able to secure our religious visas so that we could freely enter and minister on the island.

A Live Church

The void created by communism over the past fifty years is being filled by a rapid growth of Christianity in spite of government restrictions and repression. According to Operation World, there could possibly be up to 4,500 evangelical congregations and 10,000 house groups in 54 denominations throughout the island. The government prohibits the construction of church edifices.

A high percentage of the new Christians are young people despite Marxist propaganda and atheistic ideology which has been prevalent over the years. And even though the evangelical community is alive and doing well, most of the population (over 11 million) still has no meaningful contact with the church. There is much work to be done still.

A great source of strength and encouragement to many Christians has been the international Christian broadcasting in Spanish from Latin America. Any kind of broadcasting from Cuba, whether on radio or TV is still not permitted.

New and Attractive

During our eleven day stay on the island, Tom Dunbar had the honor of teaching a class on holiness at the Methodist Seminary in downtown Havana. He kept very busy with approximately four hours of teaching every day for an entire week. Even though the church is rooted in Wesleyan tradition, its knowledge of holiness is very limited. The students were exposed for the first time to its beautiful and Biblical truth, not only as an experience but as a way of life. And hopefully, what they learned will have a ripple effect as they minister to their congregation. The seminary library now has in their possession practically all of the FAS books that have been translated into Spanish.

Wonderful Response

I was privileged to speak over 15 times in established churches, house churches, which also involved sessions with the youth, married couples and church leaders. Every service was emotionally charged as believers expressed their love for Jesus through praise and worship. At one meeting, I was given the pulpit after 10:00 in the evening. When it comes to church services, people are more event conscious than time conscious. What a beautiful way to give room and time to the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teachings and preaching were gratefully received. As a result of the evangelistic meetings, over twenty people sought Christ for the first time, and others were spiritually reconciled and restored.

The love and kindness of the people was so wonderfully shown during our entire stay. And their generous hospitality was repeatedly expressed through their daily servings of hot rice dishes and black coffee, Cuban style. Both Tom and I established some lasting relationships with the people.

The Future is Bright

Bright ministry prospects lay ahead for FAS in Cuba. There is absolutely no end of what can be done as it pertains to evangelism and teaching on this needy island. The words of Paul are so appropriate as he said, “For a great and effective door has been opened to me….” (1 Corinthians 16:9). May we continue to walk through the doors He opens.

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