by Jim Fleming, Global Director
Cuba still holds a fascination for Westerners living under capitalism. What is communism like? Can Americans travel there? Are there Christians in Cuba? Are Cubans really poor? Are the Christians persecuted?
Good questions. The short answers: The State owns everything, but also tries to provide for everyone. Yes, but not as a tourist. Lots. Life in Cuba is not beset with all our materialistic complications. Generally not if you keep the law.
Gregorio Taborda has been visiting and sending courses with travelers for 3 or 4 years from Colombia. Sharon and I joined him for a delightful week in June, staying first with believers outside of Havana, where Emmaus has a center for the western side of Cuba. We then traveled by nice state buses, 900 kilometers (12 hours overnight) to the east where the majority of assemblies are located and our head office is situated.
Meet Angel, our vibrant Cuban director. He grew up in a communist home, served the Cuban army in the Angolan war in the 1980s as an officer, and came home a destroyed person. But the Lord used that to bring Angel to Himself. Now in his very humble home in a tiny village, driving his 1958 Chevy, doing full-time church ministry, Angel also has thrown himself into the Emmaus work. He is passionate about getting Cubans to study the Bible. There is nothing illegal about having Bibles, doing Bible study, and even having churches. There is a thirst for the Word. This is a wonderful combination to see the work flourish.
There are some challenges, one of which is that there is no liquid cash. The printing has to be paid for with foreign funds. Do you want to join this new team effort to get thousands of Emmaus courses to Cubans? There are 20 centers that could be filled with Bible courses to send out in this work.
Pray for the workers in Cuba and pray about joining the team!
Transportation during Jim's travels in Cuba.
Emmaus Conference in eastern Cuba.
The 1957 Chevy that moves Emmaus courses around Cuba with conference attendees in the background.
Angel (cut out on right) showing us where Emmaus Centers are or could potentially be established.
Angel's son who helps with the digital end of the ministry. Thanks to German believers for the computer and printer!