April 16-22, 2019
Report by Project Coordinator Tom Davies
Tues April 16
8:30am bus pickup
Travel with Luis, Ricardo, Julio to Cienfuegos area projects.
Toured – THE FARM PROJECT– Lajitas, Cienfuegos Province ,Cuba.
This farm, animal, gardening and fruit project has great potential. This farm is up and running with primary direction from Pastor Jesus Ramon Aguila and his wife Raquel. There are many Items needed both small and big to make this farm project fully productive. This farming operation presents great possibilities to help the Palmira Training Center and the BIC churches of Cienfuegos province to be more and more self -sustaining. The CCPT has approved $7000 CUC to be released for multiple constructions at the farm at this time. Also $5000 CUC has been given to buy a tractor and Implements for the farm when the legal ownership of the tractor has been decided.
Comments – They have 90 precent of the new house done, next week they will be asking a couple to come and live there and take up working on the farm. Have footing dug and rebar ready to start building the next phase of the house. Fencing looks good and they are working at planting yucca on the front field and continuing to clear the fence rows. Still looking for tractor – prices are higher.
Toured The Washroom Project at CAMINO DE RESTAURACION
Santa Clara, Villa Clara Province, Pastoral Couple- Roberto Reyes Rodriguez and Marisleiny Acosta Diaz
The CCPT has approved a sum of 1000 CUC for the construction or renovation for washroom facilities. Adequate washroom facilities for church building separate from the pastoral home. Washrooms are very important.
Comments – Santa Clara church has between 130 and 140 people attending, Sunday school has 6 age groups about 25 in each class. They are working on the agreement with BIC Cuba to change into the BIC church name. They have plans to enlarge the church facility. A strong church with many talented people, great children’s ministry, and good community relations.
Toured CAMARONES PROJECT
Camarones, Cienfuegos Province.
The BIC church building in this town is very old and needs to be rebuilt. Recently, part of the roof collapsed due to a rotted beam. The CCPT has committed 3000 CUC to help rebuild the Camarones meeting place. Pastoral couple- Jose Fuentes Avilia Fuentes and Raquel Hernandez Perez.
Comments – Remembering that the Nov.2018 team took this church and house down because of the very poor condition it was in, the pastoral family live in a barn shelter at the back of the property with a metal roof that makes for unbearable heat for sleeping. The Church area is just beside the living area. They just got there approval to rebuild April 15/19. They have some material already but require more. We have planned for the May team to work at this site for a couple of days.
6:00pm returned to Hotel
Wednesday April 17/2019
4:00am Bus pickup
Travel with Luis, Julio, Ricardo – to Eastern Cuba – Bayamo (approx 10hrs.)
Toured EMANUEL PROJECT
Bayamo, Granma Provincia.
This congregation and pastor have very ambitious plans for a multi-ministry outreach in their city and area. Their building plans come in 5 different stages. They indeed are a growing congregation with a big vision. The CCPT have committed $5000 CUC to assist in the development of this ministry. Pastor– Jesus Gaddiel Acosta Jover.
Lunch was served delicious roast pig.
Comment – Much was happening in construction at this church, they want to complete the first floor by 2020. They have many volunteers working. They are contributing a lot of material and labour. This site has been given approval by the Cuban Central Committee to become the eastern satellite Pastoral training centre for the BIC Church in Cuba. The Pastor told me that he has his family cared for in their estate property and he is now just working for the church. He is working with the Cuban church board to have the property changed to BIC Cuba Church.
Toured Farm of Emanuel Project
Comment – The pastor showed us this farm project that he has in place to support the church facility. They have a lot of land to clear and improve the production. The small church is made from the old material taken down from the city project. They expect a profit about $4000 dollars this year to add to the city building project. Great project.
Toured Zion Mountain Church Plant of Emanuel Church
Pastor Jesus showed the group one of his church plants in Bayamo this church is in real need. They have a major roof problem it could be done with metal for a quick fix until they have the resources to put a cement roof on.
Comment – this church could use a bit of help
Toured LOS OLIVOS PROJECT
Bayamo, Rosa La Bayamesa ,Granma Province.
This congregation has a strong ministry to their community and region including 5 daughter churches. The CCPT has committed $2000 CUC to assist with expansion (materials and construction) of their meeting place. Pastoral couple- Robelio Fernandez Fonseca and Yurisleidis Poll De La Cruz.
Comment – work on this project has been delayed by getting the building documents and secondly their 11 year old son fell off the stairs while he was feeding the doves.(picture to right) He had two surgeries in hospital but is doing ok now. Information I received was that they were not in favour of changing the name of this property into the name of the BIC Cuba church.
Thursday April 18/2019
Bus pickup return to west
Toured HOUSE CONNECTED TO PALMIRA TRAINING CENTER
Palmira, Cienfuegos Province.
Supports activities of the Training Center Repairs and renovations to existing washroom. $1000. CUC
Comments – although money was sent for the washroom no activity in this area has been done to date. Pictures one and two are of this house which Luis explained may be required as a rental property as they take another look at things. – Picture three is of the computer lab at the training centre for those who have not been there for awhile it is equipped with more then ten spaces for persons to use a computer for study.
Returned to hotel for supper.
Friday April 19/2019
4:30am bus pickup
Travel with Luis, Yanaisy, Julio, Ramito, Ricardo, to Havana area projects
Toured MELENA PROJECT
Melena, Mayabeque province.
The Oasis congregation is growing, the space is small and in need of renovations to enlarge the meeting place. The CCPT has committed $2850 CUC to assist in this construction project. Pastoral couple- Amado Mirabel Martinez and Niurka Guitierrez Izquierdo.
Comment – Church attendance around 35. Will take about a year to complete the project as they just received their funding
Toured NAZARENO PROJECT
Nazareno, Mayabeque Province.
The church building in this town is one of the two original church buildings in Cuba. The pastoral apartment on the back of the church building is very small and needs enlargement. The CCPT has committed $2000 CUC to provide more space for the pastoral family. Pastor- Jose E. Martin Torres. Congregation- Pan De Vida.
Comment – This church has been waiting a long time for support. Church has 27 persons attending. Pastoral couple live with small daughter in small room for sleeping, washroom and kitchen in next room. Need extra washroom for church people.
Toured The GUARAPETA PROJECT
Guarapeta, La Habana Province
A partial second floor that is to be constructed on the church building has been approved by the CCPT to provide several additional rooms for a small pastoral apartment that exists on the first floor on the back of the church building. The present commitment of the CCPT is $5000 CUC for this construction project. Pastoral couple- Ramon Castillo Borje and Elizabeth Vasquez Delgado. Principe De Paz Church.
Comment – They are a church of 85 persons. You can see that they have a good start on their building project with a good supply of material on hand. Paper work is underway for the transfer to BIC Cuba.they hope to be ready to start roof in May if weather stays good. The Mennonite church in Winnipeg started the funding for this church. They also have a baseball ministry.
Toured THE WASHROOM PROJECTS
LA NUEVA JERUSALEM CHURCH – La Habana Province, Pastoral Couple- Julio Santana Carrillo and Sarahy Sanchez Vina. CCPT committed $1000.
Comment – Main structure complete waiting now for the fixtures and piping. This is also the house of Board Secretary and his congregation of 60 people. There is more land here and is one of the locations being looked at for BIC Cuba main offices. Pastors of the province meet here once a month.
Toured SANTA AMELIA PROJECT
La Habana Province near Guarapeta.
Multiple constructions- enlargement of the meeting place and repairs on the pastoral home are planned for this growing house church congregation. The CCPT has committed $2500 CUC to this project at this time. Pastoral couple- Derly Fernandez del Valle and Tania Fonseca Alvarez.
Comment – Good to see Tanya and Derlis again they have good start on moving the kitchen area and are then going to open up the house and meeting area. Washrooms are working good and are very well completed. This congregation is around 120 to 170. Our May team will be doing a children’s event here with over 100 children.
Toured COCHIQUERA PROJECT (Small Pig Barn)
Jamaica, Mayabeque province.
A growing number of BIC congregations and pastors are raising pigs to become more self-supporting. The Jamaica congregation- Aposento Alto hopes to build a small pig barn to increase the food supply and income of the pastoral family and congregation. This church has gifted a few pigs already to help other congregations begin a pig business. The CCPT has committed $1000 CUC to help Jamaica enlarge their ability to grow this business and build a small pig barn.. Pastoral couple- Eliezer Valdez Suarez and Midalys Coca Matin.
Comment – Church attendance is 27. Once complete the pig barn will help fund other barns to raise more pigs and increase the amount of income that can be put towards the plans for a second floor on the church building.
5:30pm supper at Jamacia Church.
6:15pm BIC Cuba Board meeting was held at Jamacia.
Pictures of the Church van in use as taxi around Havana
Comment – Luis asked for a roof rack to hold luggage. Vehicle can seat up to nine and is air-conditioned.
Saturday April 20/2019
6:30am – Travel back to Palmira dropping off board members as we travelled .
Afternoon free have a little more sleep
Large youth event taking place at Palmira Centre. This was a rental to a Baptist group. Great to see the Centre being used for various functions.
Comment – Our May 25/2019 team from Riverside will be holding a children’s event for 150 persons at the Palmira Centre on their first Sunday and they will be providing a lunch for the children who attend. (Please add this to your Prayer List.)
Sunday April 21/2019
9:00am Travel to Church in Cruces for service and meet with congregation.
Pastor’s wife leads opening. Young boy asks for prayer.
Children take part in the service with skit.
Pastor’s message – WHAT JESUS GAVE FOR US
What we need to give to Jesus, different levels of giving.
The Best is to give your Heart to Him.
Lunch at Cruces Church – review new project
I was able to take the Jesus film on USB stick to the pastor, who was excited to show it to his congregation on the following Wednesday.
Travel back to Hotel for supper.
Monday April 22/2019
8:30am bus pickup
Travel to Palmira for meeting with Ricardo.
Review projects that were submitted by the BIC Cuba board.
- The building of the new National Church offices near Havana ?
- Enlarging the house beside the Training centre for more rental space – $20,300.CUC
- Church in Cotorro enlargement $5000.CUC
- Vueltas Church Villa Clara need new roof and renovation $10700.CUC
- Punta Gorda Cienfuegos renovations to a new house church being purchased ?
- Cruces Church renovation and change the roof $25,000.CUC
- Zion Mountain Church Bayamo new Roof $2000.CUC
- Real Wine Church Matanzas need washrooms $2960.CUC
- Pinar del Rio (west) Building a Church $18,000.CUC
- Holguin Building a Church $15,000.
- Las Tunis renovating house ?
- Investment in the farm pig project?
- Youth Island need house $5000.00
Luis also gave these needs at the board meeting but not a lot of detail
– Lajitas farm projects $17,000.CUC and $5000.CUC
– Camarones Church $3000.CUC
– Emanuel Project $5000.CUC, 3 stages $44,600.CUC
Tom will work with Ricardo to follow up and get details of these projects so the CCPT board can select new projects to fund in the 2019-2020 period.
Great Lunch Prepared by Janet
5:00pm travel to hotel to meet airport Transportation
Travel home to Canada.