In demonstration of their love and compassion for their Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ, Baptist churches in Florida are collecting priority relief supplies for churches in Cuba in September and October.
The supplies will be shipped to Baptist churches in Cuba during the month of October.
“It is timely to show our love and compassion for our Cuban brothers and sisters,” said Emanuel Roque, as he shared the project with Baptist churches in Florida.
Roque, Hispanic Church, catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention, with Myles Dowdy, the primary catalyst for missions and ministries, is organizing fundraising efforts throughout the Sunshine State, in partnership with the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba.
Three types of aid
The project is called “AMA Cuba” or “Love Cuba” in English. Each of the letters in Spanish represents one of the three types of aid collected for Cuban Baptist churches. The assistance includes food (alimentos), medicines (medicinas) and personal hygiene items (aseo personal).
“This is a Kingdom partnership and a continuation of the Florida Baptist partnership with WCBC,” Roque wrote in a letter to Baptist pastors and leaders in Florida. “In the relationship we have, we are always looking for ways to get involved in responding to their churches with the gospel.”
Florida Baptists have had a partnership with the Western Cuba Convention since the mid-1990s.
“Florida churches have helped and connected with island churches through a variety of mission projects,” Roque said. However, the historical relationship with the churches of Cuba and the Florida Baptists dates back to 1881 and 1884, supported by the cooperation and relationships of the Florida Baptists.
The list of necessary items was developed in cooperation with Victor Samuel Gonzalez, former president of WCBC and respected oncologist in Cuba. Gonzalez traveled to Florida to work out the details of “AMA Cuba” and identify the needs of Cuban churches. He has made such trips often in the past as part of the mission and ministry partnership with the Florida Baptists.
Churches are encouraged to collect and package the specific items and sizes shown on the list. A list of 15 items is provided which includes cooking oil, canned meat, coffee, baby food and formula, baby and adult diapers, deodorants, soap and over-the-counter medications .
The collected items and detailed instructions on preparing the packages can be found here.
On October 1, three locations in Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville will be announced for churches to deposit donations. The boxes will be sent to Cuba in three shipping containers and delivered to WCBC in Havana for distribution among its churches and retired Cuban pastors and widows.
“We are grateful for our historic Florida Baptist Convention partnership with Cuban Baptist churches,” said Tommy Green, executive director of the FBC. “We are working in conjunction with the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba to provide supplies for delivery and distribution by churches in Cuba.
“We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cuba and that relief and resource efforts will encourage and bless them in this time of crisis,” Green continued.
“Through contributing churches across Florida, and with the help of cooperating ministries like Florida Baptist Children’s Homes ‘One More Child’, we can make this special collection of resources for Cuba possible, ”said Roque.
Dowdy attributed the “faithful gift of our Florida Baptist churches to the cooperative program” which has enabled us “to come alongside our Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ for many years. Through unique partnerships between Baptist churches in Florida and Baptist churches in Eastern and Western Cuba, we have seen God’s provision manifest on our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cuba.
“It is a very difficult time in their lives, and I am so grateful for the generosity of our Florida Baptist churches,” he continued. “During such a time that this God has uniquely prepared and equipped us to come alongside the Cuban people by filling these containers with much-needed supplies. “
For more information on the project: “AMA Cuba”, go to here, or contact Vanessa Cardona, who organizes the logistics, at [email protected] For more information on Hispanic ministries, contact Flor Ramirez at [email protected]
EDITOR’S NOTE – Keila Diaz is a digital communications assistant for the Florida Baptist Convention, where this story originally appeared.