“I’m sitting in on my front porch, because it’s too hot to be inside.”
That sounds like a typical summer afternoon on the hot and humid island of Cuba. But it was 3:00 AM Cuba time when I received a text message from a pastor named Andrés in Havana. We texted for about an hour until finally he wrote “Praise God! I can sleep. Our fans are working again.”
The coronavirus pandemic has affected nations around the world, but the virus story in Cuba is one of long lines for basic necessities, complicating any attempt at social distancing. Flare-ups are keeping borders closed. A country that was already suffering is now suffering even more.
In times like these, we all want answers. There is something about a pandemic that makes people look for hope. Someone once said: “Sickness is God’s invitation to meet with him.”
The Power of Hope
People need the gospel, especially when they are stuck in their homes trying to survive. Cubans who weren’t open to spiritual things before are now willing to hear the good news. El Faro de Redención, Haven’s Spanish radio ministry to Cuba, speaks into that need daily.
From his porch Pastor Andrés told me how people in his community are becoming even more open to hearing about Jesus. Other pastors I’ve communicated with throughout the country report similar experiences.
I’m so thankful for these pastors who collaborate with El Faro to make a maximum impact for the gospel through mass media in a way Cuba has never known before. These Cuban Christians act as the voice of the local church through interviews and testimonies. Our nightly radio program airing across the whole island with Christ-centered teaching is made richer through their voices.
I may not see Andrés in person until next year when borders open, but I do get to spend time on my friend’s front porch every night over the radio. Every broadcast shares a message of hope and redemption in Christ with listeners across Cuba. In these desperate times, hope in Christ is needed most of all.
We’ve seen El Faro make a difference in the lives of Cuban listeners during these difficult days of a long pandemic, and it’s an amazing grace of God. Sabrina wrote me recently to ask this question:
“I’m writing to ask if you could explain to me why I sometimes feel no motivation to serve God. Just a few days ago I was in total communion with him. But I don’t feel it anymore. I’m sad, distant. And I don’t know how to make it back.”
I was thrilled to share with Sabrina the hope of the gospel that reminds us that even when we feel distant because of the many difficulties surrounding us, God is faithful.
Jesus says, “I am with you always, unto the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Sabrina wrote me again just the other day and wanted help finding her spiritual gifts. She’s found her way back and wants to serve the Lord. She will join people like Andrés pointing to the Jesus who is always with us during hard times.
How you can help shine the light in Cuba
Cuba is a country already filled with great suffering, and under the weight of COVID, their struggles have only increased. Yet the hand of God is evident, as more Cubans are open to hearing about the hope of Jesus.
El Faro de Redención—in English, Redemption Lighthouse—is Haven Ministries’ daily Spanish broadcast shining the light of Christ from all of Scripture for all of Cuba and with listeners around the world.
Will you help make an everlasting impact in Cuba? Your gift will be doubled up to $35,000 thanks to generous friends of El Faro de Redención.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Director and Speaker of El Faro de Redención, Dan Warne brings a rich background in counseling and theological studies together with pastoral internship and church planting involvement in international contexts. Originally from Kansas, Dan spent his teenage years on the mission field in a rural Mexican village. His passion and heart for El Faro de Redención is to shine the light of Christ from all of Scripture, for all of Cuba—and all the world.