Posts tagged Cuba
Keith Vandegrift and Lana Bell - November 2018 Update

Greetings friends,

On October 15th our home assignment came to an end. We are in Antigua, Guatemala for two months of language learning and study. Following that, our plan is to go directly to Cuba when we have a visa in place.

In August I made contact with some friends in Cuba and said in so many words, “It’s now or never.” To our surprise, a pastor friend got back to us quickly with a plan. That’s right: a real, logical, doable plan to obtain a visa to live and work in Cuba. We’ll believe it when we see it, of course, but this is the best shot we’ve had so far of getting permission and a visa, so we are encouraged.

Read More
Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary - October 2018 Update

I just came back from my 15th trip to Cuba leading another team from The Outreach Foundation. I am usually asked a simple question by those who are surprised to hear that there is a Presbyterian presence there: “Oh, really…how did you find the Church there (i.e. what is going on with it)?” My simple answer: “I find that it is persevering…”

Often you meet a person on these Cuban journeys who seems to embody this like Mercedes Cardenas, an 89-year old elder in the village church of Sabanilla. Rail thin, with thick glasses and an effervescent personality, this Afro-Cuban retired school teacher models an inspiring life of faithfulness – of perseverance. She remembers the first Presbyterian evangelist who came to town in the 1930s when she was a small child.

Read More
CANIP, National Presbyterian Camp - October 2018 Update

Dear friends,

It was just over a year ago that Hurricane Irma slammed the northern coast of Cuba. Flooding in the capital of Havana was captured in iconic images like this one to the right. But further to the east the impact was even greater, and squarely in the center of the worst of the destructive wind and rain was the camp and conference center (CANIP, for short) of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba.

Read More
Keith Vandegrift and Lana Bell - January 2018 Update

Dear friends,

Thank you for your love and support this past year. In many ways, this has been a hard year for us but we’ve been inspired and sustained by your encouragement. For that we thank you.

This is just a brief year-end update. Our move to the town of Jovellanos at the end of November has proven to be a good one. We felt we were moldering in Matanzas. We were bored and about to live in a construction site. In one week in Jovellanos we experienced more friendship, fellowship, support and ministry than the previous two months in Matanzas. That has been gratifying. To be sure, Matanzas is a nicer town in most ways, but our relationships here have been great.

Read More
Cuba Update - November 2016

Much has been in the news over the past months about the improving of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. For those of us who are not just “Cuba watchers” but “Cuba goers,” the changes occurring, as a result, are a mixed blessing. Charter companies were once the only way to get to the island and involved complex reservations and long check-in processes. Now, commercial flights have begun, and you can book online. On the other hand, more travelers are now flooding the island, both from the U.S. and elsewhere, making the limited number of hotel rooms both scarcer and pricier. Our partners in Cuba (the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba and the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary) also see the “good and the bad” of it all. 

Read More
Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary - April 2016 Update

Four in 1980 and four hundred and forty-four in 2016. Quite a big difference, yes? And, amazingly, it represents the somewhat exponential growth of the number of students being served by the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary – our Presbyterian partner in Matanzas, Cuba! The Rev. Dr. Carlos Emilio Ham, who was installed as president this past June, has experienced it all. Our Outreach Foundation team met with him on the verdant seminary campus which overlooks Matanzas Bay. 

Read More
Church Construction at Jagüey Grande - July 2013 Update

Jagüey Grande is a strategic location and congregation for the Matanzas Presbytery and the Presbyterian and Reformed Church of Cuba. Located near an important commercial center and transportation hub, the congregation at Jagüey Grande is helping the Cuban Church extend its work in this community and to the south part of the island. Although there had been a small Presbyterian presence in this town of about 25,000 since the 1940s, it wasn't until 2001 that an actual congregation was organized.

Read More
Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary - June 2013 Update

In pursuit of our priority of helping global partners equip their leaders, The Outreach Foundation partners with the Evangelical Theological Seminary (SET) of Matanzas in Cuba, an ecumenical seminary where several denominations including the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba train their pastors. Here is an update on some recent activities of the seminary:

Read More