SOS Cuba – ECB Publishing, Inc.
Submitted by Susan Craig
The Church of Christ Episcopal, in Monticello, has a long-term relationship with a small church in the Cuban countryside; they call them their companion church, Cristo Rey. Christ Episcopal Church is also in partnership with St. John’s Episcopal in Tallahassee. Cristo Rey Priest also serves two other circuit churches and St. John’s Episcopal is affiliated with one of the other churches.
Over the years, many groups of people from these churches in the area have gone to Cuba on a missionary trip and stayed in the homes of the “campesino” farmers. their families. They farm on a property rented by the government. They watch the “campesinos” pass on their horses, pulling carts for transport. Even the school bus for children is a cart pulled by a team of horses. The air is filled with the pungent smell of all their animals: chickens, pigs, goats, horses and cows. They surround their small living space. Due to the problems that the whole community had with the contaminated water, St. John’s and Christ Church installed water purification systems in Thanks to these purification systems, the general health of the community improved considerably, especially the health of the elderly and infants.
Over the years, all visits have been greeted with love and appreciation. They are truly a Christian community. The way they love and care for each other, while still living in the most primitive conditions, would inspire anyone. These people are far from anything that happens in cities or in government. They are busy trying to feed their families and provide some kind of Christian life for their children.
It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on now. The COVID pandemic has pushed the already dysfunctional government over the top. The tourism on which the country depends, especially from Europe and Canada, has dried up due to travel restrictions. The fuel shortage comes and goes. Their electricity is now sporadic but is desperately needed to run the water system. Hospitals are overcrowded and the president has told everyone to stay home. There is no need to go to the hospital. Sick people should be cared for at home without medication to help them. They only have a bowl of tap water to apply with a cloth to bring down the fever.
It seems unbelievable that we are here in Florida less than 100 thousand people living in such conditions, and I just can’t seem to figure out what we can do. I tried to contact Samaritan’s Purse. I know they have portable hospitals that go all over the world, but now they’re overloaded with requests. They don’t have a staging area in Cuba. Send money? It’s not very useful with nothing on the island to buy. The shops are practically empty and it is difficult to get money into the country. Maybe in Havana there is shopping but not in the rural areas. People have to make a living the best they can.
I know some people have been to Cuba and been to all the special tourist areas and had a wonderful time. They didn’t go very far from beaches or protected areas to see how most Cubans actually live. These people deserve a chance to have a good life. They need honest work and health care. They need a functioning infrastructure.
Please pray for the wonderful Cuban people.