A Vulnerable Situation
Cuba has been enduring a difficult economic crisis that has been aggravated by the pandemic. Inflation has caused the prices of products, services, and utilities to rise. Families have been left vulnerable as they struggle to afford items necessary for daily living. Food and medicine shortages have made their situation worse. Milk was only being sold to children seven years of age. People were using WhatsApp groups in their cities to find and exchange medications.
Mobilizing to Help
The Western Cuba Baptist Convention became aware of this crisis and mobilized to provide aid to Cuba in the second half of 2021. With permits from the Cuban government to enter the country and bring supplies to the eastern part of the island, they collected funds to send food, medicine, and personal hygiene items. The project, AMA to Cuba (a reference to “amar,” the Spanish word meaning “to love” and a reference to the Spanish words for food, medicine, and hygiene products), aimed to send Cubans three and a half tons of aid in a shipping container.
Because of your support, CAMA was able to provide $4,000 towards the project’s logistics and transportation. Many other organizations, churches, and individuals also came together to support AMA to Cuba. Logos Mission orchestrated the overall financial and administrative duties of the project along with the purchasing, packing, and loading of supplies. Envision Miami assisted in acquiring food, mattresses, and other items. They also volunteered to help store and organize Alliance donations. The Florida Baptist Convention promoted AMA to Cuba in its churches and worked with a shipping company to provide transportation for the supplies. Cape Cod Alliance Bible Church provided funds, purchased supplies, and sent a truck filled with aid to Jacksonville, Florida straight from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Southeast District of the Alliance promoted the project among district churches and helped to fundraise. Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville provided work teams and facilities to receive and store donations. Vision and Compassion 4 Cuba coordinated preparation for and shipping from the port. Christ Community Church of Omaha donated $15,000, and an additional 10 churches and individual donors within the U.S. Alliance family also donated funds to the cause.
Meeting Needs and Touching Hearts
This outpouring of support and teamwork enabled AMA to Cuba to surpass its original goals. In the end, two containers were sent to Cuba filled with over five tons of food, medicine, toiletries, shoes, building materials, equipment, and more. The shipping containers left the United States in October 2021 and arrived in Cuba. The Cuban Alliance helped organize, coordinate, and distribute the donations on the island. The Cuba Support Team of the Mission coordinated logistics with the Alliance, rented a truck, and organized the distribution of donations throughout the country. The supplies were distributed to the 115 families of pastors, church planters, Alliance leaders, and volunteers. An Alliance seminary in Ciego de Avila and a home for the elderly were also able to receive assistance because of the distribution. Luisbel Utrera of ACyM Cuba said, “[I]t has been a great blessing for the Cuban pastors and their families in the middle of a very difficult time.”
Sending Christ’s Love
The compassion of the Alliance family truly touched those AMA to Cuba set out to serve. One of the project’s organizers said that “It’s the first time in 26 years that the Cuban Alliance has received aid in a container of such volume. Many families have been touched to see the donation as an answer from God to their prayers for provision. For many, the most impactful thing was the quantity and variety of items where they could see the love and care of the [U.S.] churches for the Cuban church.”
Thank you helping us partner with these other organizations and individuals to send Christ’s love to Cuba.