In demonstration of their love and compassion for their Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ, Florida Baptist churches are collecting priority relief supplies for churches in Cuba during September and October.
The supplies will be shipped to Baptist churches in Cuba during the month of October.
“It is opportune to show our love and compassion for our Cuban brothers and sisters,” said Emanuel Roque, as he shared the project with Florida Baptist churches.
Roque, Hispanic church catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention, along with Myles Dowdy, lead catalyst for missions and ministries, is organizing the collection efforts throughout the Sunshine State, partnering with the Western Cuba Baptist Convention.
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 being collected for the Cuban Baptist churches. The aid includes food (alimentos), medicine (medicinas) and personal hygiene items (aseo personal).
“This is a Kingdom partnership and a continuation of Florida Baptist partnership with the WCBC,” Roque wrote in a letter to Florida Baptist pastors and leaders. “In the relationship we have we are always looking for ways to get involved in response 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 churches on the island through a variety of missions projects,” Roque said. However, the historic relationship with Cuba churches and Florida Baptists dates to 1881 and 1884, supported by Florida Baptists cooperation and relationships.
The list of needed items was developed in cooperation with Victor Samuel Gonzalez, former WCBC president and a respected oncologist in Cuba. Gonzalez traveled to Florida to sort out the details of “AMA Cuba” and identify needs of Cuban churches. He has often made such trips in the past as part of the missions and ministries partnership with Florida Baptists.
Churches are urged to collect and package the specific items and sizes outlined on the list. A list of 15 items is provided that includes cooking oil, canned meat, coffee, baby food and formula, baby and adult diapers, deodorants, soap and over-the-counter medications.
The items being collected and detailed instructions on preparing the packages can be found here.
On Oct. 1, three locations in Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville will be announced for churches to drop off donations. Boxes will be sent to Cuba in three shipping containers and delivered to the WCBC in Havana to be distributed among its churches and retired Cuban pastors and widows.
“We are thankful for our historic partnership of the Florida Baptist Convention with Cuban Baptist churches,” said Tommy Green, FBC executive director. “We are working in a collaborative manner with the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba to provide supplies to be delivered to and distributed by the churches in Cuba.
“We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cuba and that the resource and supply relief efforts will encourage and bless them in this time of crisis,” continued Green.
“Through churches contributing across Florida, and with the help of cooperating ministries like Florida Baptist Children’s Homes ‘One More Child,’ we can make possible this special collection of resources for Cuba,” said Roque.
Dowdy credited the “faithful giving of our Florida Baptist churches to the Cooperative Program” that has allowed “us to come beside our Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ for many years. Through unique partnerships between Florida Baptist churches and East and West Cuban Baptist churches, we have seen the provision of God manifested on our siblings in Christ in Cuba.”
“This is a very challenging time in their lives, and I am so thankful for the generosity of our Florida Baptist churches,” he continued. “For such a time as this God has uniquely prepared and equipped us to come beside the people of Cuba through filling these containers with much needed supplies.”
For more information on project: “AMA Cuba,” go here, or contact Vanessa Cardona, who is organizing logistics, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on Hispanic ministries, contact Flor Ramirez at FRamirez@FlBaptist.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Keila Diaz is digital communications assistant for the Florida Baptist Convention, where this story originally appeared.