in Placetas, Cuba
About Our Partner
Located in the center of Cuba, Placetas is home to a vibrant Presbyterian Reformed Church in a Cuba congregation that was founded in 1908. The original church building, which anchors a wide intersection in this peaceful town, began to collapse in 2008 and the congregation was able to rent an old house across the street where they have met for more than a decade. The limited funds which they could raise for a new structure allowed them to rough out the exterior walls and roof, but that is as far as their resources would take them.
The pastor, Rev. Jésus Oscar Rodríquez, like his wife, Marielys, is a second career pastor. Both were busy in other fields when they felt a call to become lay pastors for nearby congregations. This would soon dovetail into joint calls and full-time seminary. Between them, they serve four congregations. In Placetas, the limitations of the small rented house would not deter the Placetas members from their mission and ministry. With about 90 members, twice that many are involved in the life of the church. Ministry with the elderly includes meals, fellowship events and clothes washing (few have access to washing machines). There are over 45 children and youth in CE programs, and two “prayer houses” in other parts of the city allow the congregation to share the Good News with those who may not yet be willing to come to the church. Not far from the city, in the small town of El Copey, an outreach church has been led by the elders and pastor of Placetas for 50 years. A new cancer-care ministry has been established to accompany those affected by the disease.
Completion of the main section of the church will provide space to welcome neighbors and to expand the congregation’s Christ-centered care of the vulnerable around them. Rev. Jésus reflects, “This local church looks at the construction of its building as a work of faith and an opportunity to witness the message of salvation of Jesus Christ to the community of Placetas.”
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $50,000 to complete the initial phase of construction.