Cuban Believers Make Disciples In Ecuador

Cuban Baptist missionaries Javier Carballea and his wife Yaima pray with a man looking out his window while they walk through a neighborhood in Montalvo, Ecuador. Photo by Ricky Gibson/IMB
Cuban Baptist missionaries Javier Carballea and his wife Yaima pray with a man looking out his window while they walk through a neighborhood in Montalvo, Ecuador.
Photo by Ricky Gibson/IMB

The first Cuban Baptist international missionary couple under the Western Cuba Baptist Convention’s Cubans to the Nations initiative has started an evangelical Bible study in an area where there had been none. The missions theme of the convention, “Christ’s disciples making disciples,” has taken root in South America.

About two years ago, International Mission Board missionary Johnny Maust began arranging for partnering mission teams from the U.S. to have lunch at Lupita Diner in Montalvo, Ecuador. He had befriended the owner, Hermida Cabeza, 70, a Christian, and showed a video at the restaurant depicting the Book of Matthew, but he wanted to establish a more consistent presence there.

When Cuban Baptists Javier Carballea and his wife Yaima came to serve with the Mausts, Lupita Diner welcomed them. U.S. missions teams from churches such as Central Baptist Church in Opelika, Ala., also provided names of contacts they had made in the town.

Javier and Yaima spent time at the restaurant to get to know the locals, such as Cabeza’s daughter, Yadira Tello.

Yaima invited Tello to the couple’s apartment to cook together and talk one on one. Tello, 30, became the first person the Cuban couple led to the Lord in Montalvo.

Tello and about a dozen other new believers attend a Bible study that Javier and Yaima started at the restaurant.

“They have had quite an impact,” Tello said about the couple, “because they are always looking after our spiritual growth, they are always teaching us [about prayer], and they are always making sure that our bond gets bigger and that we are focusing on our goal of growing closer to God.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Kate Gregory