After spending a few days with our family in Matanzas, we left for Havana to conclude our travels. Arriving in Havana on Thursday afternoon, we had a day off to unwind a bit and relax as we toured Old Havana.
Saturday morning, we headed to the Comenius center for a facility update on the home that was purchased by ZZg (A Moravian mission group in The Netherlands) and refurbished that serves as a youth center in a very poor area of Havana. It serves the children and families with an after-school meeting place for Christian education and worship. The church and the foundation have supplied countless amounts of food, clothing, games, education material and many other items to support this initiative.
With the resources provided by our donor’s, ARMF has provided the funds to renovate this center to the point that it is the crown jewel of the neighborhood. Whenever someone is in the center, the children flock to it for positive interaction. With our donations, they have purchased, chairs, fan’s, a refrigerator, and now they have installed one of our large clean filtered water systems. They have built a secure room to house the system and when completed will be available to the neighborhood.
As we took the tour around the facility, the church pointed out several areas of need that they will be asking to be addressed. With the addition of the water system, they need to add steps to the roof where the tanks will be, the facility needs to be repainted, the window’s at the center and the front door need to be reinforced for security and some ventilation within the center needs to be addressed. To address the facility needs for security they have estimated a cost of $100 USD. We are still waiting on an estimate to address all the new construction needs but based on the costs of previous similar construction, we would estimate the request will probably be $1,000 USD or less.
After our discussion about construction needs to support the water system, we visited with Tania Sanchez the President of the Moravian church to discuss further utilization of the Comenius center. She advised us that the church has a vision to create a daycare for the neighborhood, patterned after the Guantanamo daycare centers to we visited and reviewed with you in an earlier update. The founder of the Guantanamo daycare has committed to stay with Tania for 2 months to help organize and set up the daycare at Comenius. During the discussion we identified numerous needs that the Comenius center will have to address to make this daycare dream a reality.
- Microwave Oven
- A small stove
- 30 Cots
- 6 tables and chairs
- Washer Dryer
- Exhaust fan, possibly an air conditioning unit
- Christian Education materials
- First aid kits
On Sunday we worshiped at the headquarter church in Havana. It was so good to see so many old friends at the service. As is their custom, many of the women and children took part in the service. What a glorious way to finish off almost two weeks of travel.
Over two weeks, we worshiped and had fellowship with almost all our churches. We caught up on all the projects ongoing to help make the Moravian church in Cuba become self sustaining. We saw farm projects, water systems, daycares, we heard ideas and plans by each of the churches as to what they can do in their community to both support their community and grow the church. It was very clear to us that in every case, the church leaders are all dedicated to growing the church and serving those in need. They are not looking for the foundation or other outsiders to do the work, rather they need the resources and guidance. Once they have vetted an idea, or identified a need, and the resources are made available, they expect us to step aside and let them work. AS we previously stated, the sweat equity that they provide makes a well balance team between our two groups. They are extremely proud people and are truly thankful for all of you who have shared your good fortune and expertise with them to provide an environment that allows them to serve the Lord among their neighborhoods and across the island of Cuba.
I hope after reading these updates of our most recent travels across Cuba, you have a clear understanding of what is going on with the Moravian church in Cuba, and how your donations are clearly making a difference in the lives of thousands of needy people.
If you have read about an activity or need going on in Cuba that you feel moved to support, please touch base with the foundation and we will be glad to discuss your thoughts in detail. You have all been very generous and I think you will agree, the Cubans we are supporting are wonderful stewards of your donations.
GOD IS WORKING IN CUBA!!!!!!!!!