Yes, God is moving in an amazing way in the communist country so close to the U.S., yet so distant from the experience of most Americans. In fact, church growth in Cuba is so great that it brings an ongoing and urgent need for Bible studies and other resources for training new leaders and discipling new believers.
Many Americans may not know that David C Cook is the primary supplier of Bible study resources for an estimated 90 percent of the Protestant churches in Cuba, both independents and among more than 60 denominations. In the years 1998 through 2010, with special permission from both the Cuban and US governments to legally support these churches, Cook provided almost 2 million pieces of discipleship literature. That figure swelled in 2011, to more than 2 million pieces shipped in one year alone! Right now, we are evaluating what additional resources are needed this year.
About once a year, we get informal surveys from the largest church networks of what resources they need and then prepare and send them materials. Distribution of the large 2011 shipment is just now finishing up. Soon we will know what they need next, and are currently collecting funds for their 2012 requests, expected to exceed even 2011’s.
Religion in Cuba’s past had deep roots in Catholicism as well as African mysticism. Following the communist revolution in 1959, religious practices on any level were severely restricted. Fortunately, about seven years ago, the constitution changed taking Cuba from an officially atheistic government to secular. Relations between most churches and the government are now cordial. Since the change, evangelical churches drew in large numbers of spiritually hungry new people. Today there are now more churches than church buildings. Some congregations meet in homes, others in unlikely places like public garages. The number of Cuban pastors and church leaders leaped from 7,500 to 25,000 in just a few short years. With so much going on, Cuba needs the support of the global Church now more than ever. David C Cook is equipping these new churches, house churches and cell groups with the materials needed for evangelism and discipleship for people of all ages. These resources are invaluable and, according to the Bible Society of Cuba, are helping propel further expansion of the Church in Cuba. Cook ships to the island nation containers packed with children’s Bibles, commentaries, Sunday school lessons and a wide variety of church resources.
Alysney is a seminary graduate whose parents were both active members of the Communist Party in Cuba. When she was 16 she saw a Bible for the very first time. It was the color Picture Bible from David C Cook. She was moved by what she read and later became the first Christian in her family. Alysney has gone on to plant four churches in Cuba, a living example of the important role that Christian literature plays in building strong leaders and laying a spiritual foundation for new believers.
Now that we are opening new churches and cell groups it means that there are new leaders that need to be trained,
Receiving those materials from Cook is great because we are able to give those materials to leaders who don’t have any other academic information.
God has big plans for Cuba and is clearly moving in a big way. Click here to watch Alysney tell about how these essential ministry tools are helping equip the rapidly growing church in Cuba!