Searching for Survivors in Cuba

Searching for Survivors in Cuba

By Stephen Carrier, missionary to Chile

An apparent gas leak resulted in a horrible explosion that rocked the Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Cuba, at the beginning of May. To date, 45 people have been declared dead and several others injured. The explosion even affected the nearby historic Marti Theater and Calvary Baptist Church, causing major damage to both.

Search and rescue was on the scene, trying their best to find survivors, but as time goes on, the odds  to work against them. So it is with us as Christians. Even today, many souls have already passed away, and we can no longer do anything to reach them with the gospel. But there are still souls out there who can hear and respond to the gospel if we can just reach them in time. We’ll never reach them, however, if we aren’t looking.

The world knows how important it is to get to survivors of disasters before it’s too late. Are we as Christians taking our job just as seriously?

Crisis in Cuba

Crisis in Cuba

For the first time in over 60 years, Cubans are protesting and standing up to a communist government. Lack of basic goods & services, including medical help and consistent electricity, and a surge in COVID cases are driving people to demonstrate. In response, the Cuban president has blamed its economic woes on the US and called for Communist supporters to take back the streets. Curfew has been instituted, but clashes continue, and people are dying. At the writing of this, the Cuban government has initiated countrywide internet outages and blocked access to communications, including social media and messaging platforms.

Jonathan and Rebekah Anderson, missionaries to Mexico, support a Cuban pastor and his wife named Enrique and Anet. This couple has a church in Havana that has been struggling to meet due to pandemic restrictions. The Andersons have limited contact with Enrique and Anet but have heard that the government has cut electricity and water since the protests started. People are struggling to find food. Security forces have been deployed throughout Cuba and are freely shooting dissidents.

Pray for Cuba. This protest may bring about change or make life even harder for the 11 million Cubans living there. Pray, too, for Enrique, Anet, and the other Christians in Cuba. Pray that even in this time of crisis, they can point people to the gospel.

Cuba’s Continuing Struggle for Clean Water

Cuba’s Continuing Struggle for Clean Water

It has been said that the average American uses up to 88 gallons of water per day. Whether this water is used for showering, brushing teeth, washing clothes, dishes, or watering plants, water use is usually taken for granted in the States. Not so in Cuba.

Access to clean water in Cuba is a process involving many different professions such as inspectors, fumigators, and truck drivers. Almost 50% of Cuba’s available clean water is lost because its pipes are old and leaky. The remaining available water must be inspected and often fumigated to rid it of mosquito larvae. Areas with clean drinking water usually only have it available for a few hours a week, and residents must collect all the water they need during these times. Water-trucks are often used to deliver water to those who have no access to it.

The Bible gives us an example of a woman who was also searching for water. When the Samaritan women met Jesus at the well, He said to her:

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

Jesus offered a different kind of water to this woman, the kind that would completely satisfy and meet her spiritual needs. When the woman realized that Jesus was offering forgiveness for all the sins she had ever done, she left her waterpot behind and ran to tell her neighbors. She realized that this water was much more valuable than the water in the well.

As troubling as the Cubans’ daily struggle to receive pure water is, they will always thirst for something more significant if they do not hear the gospel and how payment for their sins has already been made.

Please pray for Cuba that they would not only receive water for their physical needs but, more importantly, that they would also hear of the water that Jesus gives, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Author: Bethany Bloom