It’s 5 a.m. Saturday and while most of the town of Vueltas is still asleep, pastor José Enrique Pérez is prepping for what promises to be a long day. Fourteen hours to be exact. Just like every Saturday. That’s the reality of church planting in Cuba.
Pérez is joined by a dedicated team of self-described missionaries from his congregation, Bethel Baptist Church. More than 50 Christians pour their lives into the dozens of small towns and villages surrounding Vueltas where there is little or no Gospel witness. The missionaries’ goal is straightforward: make disciples and gather them into house churches.
Daylight is breaking as the engine rumbles to life on the “Roads to Victory,” Bethel Baptist’s ramshackle bus fused together from makes and models dating back to 1932. It will make more than a dozen stops during its nearly five-hour drive through the Cuban countryside, dropping off Bethel members at their target communities. After an eight-hour day of ministry, the bus returns to Vueltas, picking up Bethel’s missionaries along the way.
“During the first stage of the project, the trips were shorter,” Pérez says. “But we’ve been filling the places that are closer with [new] churches,” driving Bethel’s teams farther out to reach unchurched areas.
“[If we want] to rest and be comfortable, there’s heaven,” Pérez says with a laugh. “The time that God gives us here is to be involved in the work of His Kingdom.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press