June 14, 2022

Are you Interested in Going to Cuba?

by Matt Heft, Gateway elder

I asked my brother what he knew about Cuba. He mentioned cigars, cars and something about Fidel Castro. I was not impressed. The truth is there is so much more about the country of Cuba than most people would ever imagine. 

I have visited Cuba four times and the love for God, the culture and the family atmosphere make me want to keep going back. When we are there, we get involved in many types of ministry activities. We typically work alongside house church leaders to encourage them in their faith and to deepen their understanding of Scripture. In Cuba, we have seen the Lord bless both them and us as we “train the trainer,” provide teaching aids, and lead Bible schools. We have also had the opportunity to introduce them to some new ministry tools, such as “The Three Circles” for sharing the Gospel or ultimate frisbee as an outreach. In turn, they showed us just how bad we are at soccer… I mean fútbol.

We are all familiar with the scripture that commands all Christians to go into the world and preach the gospel. Many of us do this daily at our church, work, and in our community. As Covid wanes, we had our first trip in March to renew some of the work that had been initiated pre- Covid. We took a team of 9 people - all in different walks of life - and all with different experience levels regarding short-term missions. One team member of ours, who was on his first ever mission trip, reflected afterwards on his experience. He said, “I could see a deep love and connection to God’s word that was shared between our team and the Cuban people.” Another one of our first-time team members said that, “It was amazing to see the way the Gospel goes beyond the barriers of being from different countries and speaking different languages.”

The entire team from 2022 has reflected on our trip, and the amount of positive things to say would fill pages upon pages. All of this has brought forth a refreshed excitement to return, and we are already looking to build our team for future trips.

At this time, we are in the planning stages. We are assessing who may have an interest and what talents they bring to the group. So, whether you are medical or athletic or a gifted speaker or someone who doesn’t see themselves as gifted at all, but has a great love for Jesus, please let us know! We will be brainstorming about future plans as we determine how we are able to serve God and share him with the Cuban people. So if you have any interest at all in going to Cuba in 2023, click here to fill out the interest form, and select “Cuba 2023.” I should also mention that all COVID restrictions have recently been lifted (i.e. vaccines are not required) and flights to many parts of the island have been reopened. We will be reaching out to those who fill out the form to begin making plans for 2023. (There will still be an opportunity to sign up in the future, but this initial group will be setting the direction for the trip.)

There are so many things that I would like to tell you about Cuba and the amazing ministry opportunities that it offers, but I am limited to just a few paragraphs and words cannot describe the experience. I invite you to come alongside us and open yourself up to an island of possibilities!