By Stan Jeter
CBN News Senior Poducer
Saturday, April 17, 2010
HAVANA, Cuba -- Cuba's Baptists recently gathered in Havana to celebrate
more than 100 years of ministry. In spite of limitations under the
Castro government, they're committed to continue planting new churches.
For Havana, an unusual sight was upon them. Hundreds of Christians were
streaming into one of the city's largest churches for the 101st Western
Believers celebrated their achievements and unity, and featured Cuba's
younger generation, an encouraging sign for the future of the Cuban church.
Baptist leaders challenged delegates to keep on growing the church,
using activities targeted at children and other strategies to plant new
congregations in western Cuba.
"Yes, we have experienced ministries in other places and provinces,
where a children's club or Bible class has later become a place where a
church was started," said Program Coordinator Abby Sanchez,
Dr. Victor Gonzalez, the president of the Western Baptist Convention,
believes Cuba is entering a time of spiritual revival.
"I pray to the Lord that each of the brothers and representatives in
this assembly can leave singing the vision that this is the time of
revival and planting churches in Cuba," Gonzalez said.
Historical photographs and documents reminded delegates of Baptist
growth over its 105-year history in Cuba. And long-serving members
received special recognition. A Sunday School teacher was also honored
for 50 years of service. Foreign visitors joined the assembly, including
Dr. Luis Becerra, the Colombian Consul.
"I sometimes ask myself what really is changing Cuba and there's no
doubt that it's the people of Christ," Becarra said. "Today's message
was perfect. It taught us that while we reflect that living Christ in
our lives we are going to change Cuba, and I feel like a Cuban!"
And for Baptist believers gathered in the Havana convention agreed --
the best change for the island, is to win Cuba for Christ.