3 Reasons to Pray for Cuba

I knew little about Cuba. Nor did I have any intention to visit. But when a friend asked me to visit with him, for some reason I said yes.
Most of the little I do know about Cuba I learned through my son’s experience as a United States Coast Guardsman, in which he spent part of his enlistment on law enforcement cruises in and around Cuba and Haiti. The rest I overheard as a young boy growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s during the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis.
I knew nothing about the church in Cuba and, I confess, I didn’t care that much either.
Eight days spent on the island helped me see some of what Cuba is like—its spectacular landscape, its people, its economy. Additionally, the Christians I met positioned me to see what the Lord has been doing and may be poised to do among people whom He loves and who love Him in return.
Here’s why I now care and pray for Cuba—and why you should, too.

First, because the Lord has been preserving His church in the midst of great adversity. Since the revolution in 1959, churches (with the exception of the state-tolerated Roman Catholic Church) have been closed, pastors have fled the country, and believers have survived by keeping their mouths shut and their heads down. Those believers who were vocal often found themselves in prison or in the sugar cane fields, machete in hand for years on end. Through it all, however, the Lord preserved His church and the Holy Sprit made the faith of the believers stronger. To think that there is no viable church in Cuba is simply wrong.

Second, because the church, despite thriving in many quarters in Cuba, is generally a church of great need. Financially and materially, Cuban believers experience a great deal of deprivation. The church has very little of everything Christians in America often take for granted: They have no Bibles and no books, few musical instruments, and, if a congregation has a building, it’s probably decrepit. Yet, church leaders and members say that what they need most is good leadership—pastors and lay leaders who love the Lord and can help the congregation to grow into the church for which Christ has died and risen. But what every congregation with which I visited said they needed the most is men. Congregations are generally populated by women and children who long for husbands and fathers to join them in the worship and service of Jesus Christ.

Third, and finally, we should pray because the Lord loves His churches and people everywhere. Now I pray for the believers I met who long for their churches to thrive; I pray for the pastors who are overworked and overwhelmed by the enormity of their task. And I pray for a continuation of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to inspire greater revival in the church of Cuba so that the glory of Jesus Christ—His redemption, His Gospel and His grace and love—will lead to the advancement of His kingdom until He comes again.

Will you join me in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Cuba?
Rick Wolling serves as senior pastor of a church with a long history in missions. For 30 years he has been the lead pastor of Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. With an Mdiv and DMin from Gordon Conwell Seminary, Rick has preached and taught in Haiti and Thailand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *