Cuba’s spiritual climate is changing rapidly. Nearly one million evangelicals now exist as the church grows. Our team observed primarily youthful Christians in an aging demographic. We saw vibrant worship and a hunger for God. Challenges remain. A legalist faith dominates, and over three million people are connected to “Santeria,” a cultic form of witchcraft.
Freedoms for believers appears to be increasing, yet with limits as churches reach out beyond the walls of their church buildings. Only the Dominican Republic and Haiti are poorer among Caribbean nations.
I asked one leader, “What does Cuba Need?” His response affirmed our visit: "training our leaders and developing unity among our churches.” Class interaction raised questions, discussions, and a longing for solid biblical answers to issues facing the church in Cuba. Repeated appreciation for both the practical training of ITI and its relational model occurred. I was saddened to hear feelings of being failures before God or not doing enough to please Him, but delighted as people connected to God and His grace. Even in the hot, humid environment, people remained attentive through the long classes.
Plans proceed for the next step—the next series of classes, logistics, and inviting additional church leaders. We had a profitable side meeting with senior leaders and made connections with additional pastors in Cuba. We desire to increase the Peruvian contingent of our teaching team to enable ITI expansion.