Back from my trip to Cuba last week, I want to share some more of what I experienced there. I’ve written in the past about the evangelistic efforts going on in the province of Matanzas, but I’m still overwhelmed every time I see the work in person. The Versalles congregation in Matanzas decided to reach out to communities around the city, something that the church had done before the Revolution.
They chose a road that led from Matanzas to the province of Havana (which now has been split in two and renamed, though I don’t remember the names). They prayed for those towns, asked members to give them names of people they knew in those towns, contacted respondents to Herald of Truth’s radio programs and set out to start churches. When someone was converted, they were told that the church would meet at their house the following Sunday. Those people would always invite family, friends and neighbors, and a new congregation was born.
After a time, congregations had begun in every town on the road they had chosen, so they picked another highway. When all the towns had churches meeting in them, a third highway was chosen. The church is now working on a fourth highway in their province.
The last few years, the Versalles congregation and the churches planted from it have averaged 280 baptisms per year. The retention rate is high. The number of Christians meeting in the province has basically tripled since 2006.
While describing their outreach methods to a visitor from Alabama, Tony Fernández made a statement that brought tears to my eyes:
When we are out and we come to a town that doesn’t have a congregation, we always stop and have a prayer for that town. Above all, we pray asking forgiveness for not having reached them yet.
Wow! I wish I felt the same passion, the same urgency. Maybe some of theirs will rub off on me.