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Cuba, a Sad Little Caribbean Country

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

I had the honor and privilege of visiting Cuba for a missionary trip this past week. As I ponder that amazing time, I will put my thoughts in this blog entry.

Cuba is a sad little country in the Caribbean. While one can see the tropical beauty and its former potential, the country has been ruined by a communist government and an overarching US embargo, whose presence is now unnecessary. The Cuban people have nothing. They have little to no food, medicine, gasoline, or oil. Clothes, shoes, and paper are hard to come by. But while oppressed with incredible shortages and needs, the populace is amazing, open, friendly, hopeful, and, most importantly, hungry for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our group of six Christian missionaries flew to Havana's capital but spent most of our time in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. The experience at the Havana airport began my education. It was a run-down rattle-trap facility full of governmental agents, guard dogs, and corruption. The only advertisements in the city of Santa Clara were governmental billboards proclaiming the hero status of the brutal Che Guevara.

We visited a deteriorating Seventh Day Adventist campus, where a printing facility lacking digital machinery and hungry for paper struggled to produce Christian documents using 1890s printing presses. It was so encouraging to see the dedicated staff who were thankful for their salary of $20 per month.

In our time in Havana, however, our visit to an important government administrator was my first clue as to the beautiful spirit and faith of the populace. He was a born-again Christian, on fire for Jesus, and dedicated to spreading the Word. He was excited about a large Christian concert planned to be broadcast this Christmas, for the first time since the revolution, throughout Cuba and streamed on the internet. Our six-thousand-dollar donation toward their concert would go a long way to pay the meager ten-thousand-dollar budget. He unlocked several ship containers of their precious bibles with pride and excitement.

We spent the remainder of our short visit in the central city of Santa Clara. Here, we met an inspirational rest stop attendant with a charming smile and beautifully maintained short, gray braided hair. She wore red and light blue governmental garb and red canvas tennis shoes. Her character and love were evident that day as she invited our group into her house, wanting our prayers for her ailing mother.

Our host lived in a once wonderful two-story house with a tiny spiral staircase to the second floor. She told us of the proud history of her physician father, who lost everything in the revolution. Still possessing the now-deceased man's medical textbooks and diploma, we met her nurse sister and two sons. Our prayers at the bedside of her ailing mother and presentation of a bible were so appreciated by this wonderful, faithful Christian woman and family that I began to see this nation's spirit and believing population.

In Santa Clara, our task was to present each of our testimonies to a respectful and appreciative flock in tiny home fellowships constructed with love and pride. One was a small home where half of the dwelling was modified by walling off the living quarters, building a narrow sanctuary for church services. We saw immersion baptisms of individuals in their only set of clothes and an assembly of worshipers singing gospel music to the Lord.

Our four testimonies encouraged the so-appreciative audience of pastors and congregation, for they saw what Jesus spoke of in John 16:33. He says: In this life, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Our testimonies showed that even physicians, attorneys, and accountants from the rich country of the United States had tragedies and tribulations in their lives. They hungered for our stories, waiting up to eight hours for our arrival. And then the humbling experience of these people who are so poor in possessions but rich in spirit, offering humbling, inspired prayers for our healing.

I will never forget my experiences in the island nation of Cuba. I went there to minister to the people but received so much more from a populace who hungers for the gospel. Praise God that the church is alive and thriving despite an attempt by a despotic, atheistic government to crush the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord, for your power and faithful dedication to the people of Cuba.

William Lynes, MD.

November 24, 2023

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