“We want freedom; we want life; we want to live, and we don’t want to [just] survive.” – These are the words of a 17-year-old in Cuba. (Source: CNA)
More than a year has passed after the historic protests of July 11, 2021, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to raise their voices for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and a better life. The protests were over rising food costs, medical shortages and dire socio-economic conditions that worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the overall economy remains dire, with long lines and rapidly increasing prices for limited goods.
Homes are running for almost 12 hours without electricity daily. There’s a severe shortage of food and hygiene items. Another urgent issue is the lack of medications, antibiotics, and even basic acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apart from the economic misery, Cubans are experiencing the pain of fear, emigration, of a lack of values.
What Are the Facts?
What are the actual costs of food, you may ask? While these prices are very similar to ours, if not slightly higher, you must remember that the average Cuban is living on $135 Canadian per MONTH!! The crisis is REAL when a single egg can cost more than $3.00 CAD.
A glimpse into the world of the Cubans. Inflation rates are shooting up and people are not able to afford basic necessities.
But What They Need Is Not Only Material Support…
It is also necessary to accompany, listen to, and be by the side of the suffering and strengthen them both materially and spiritually. ImpactHope supports two national couples living in Cuba. They are committed to reaching and serving their people, seeking to share the love of God with children, families, and seniors as they help in practical and tangible ways.
Since 2003, ImpactHope has worked with our partners to reach and impact people in Camaguey, Palma Soriano, and Holguin. While opportunities to assist the nationals are plentiful, resources are always in short supply. The pandemic has complicated the situation in Cuba even more, but our partners work wholeheartedly to bring the good news of the Gospel and lead their communities in faith. Their ministry involves an intense and immense amount of work and sacrificing time away from their own families.
Our partners, Carlos and Rosa, Jorge and Sandra, were on the front line (and still are) working hard, bringing hope to the hopeless, encouraging those in need, delivering food to the less fortunate, helping the sick, sharing the Gospel, and ministering in their churches.
Our pastors live their lives as faithful servants of the Lord, and their monthly income, which is minimal and limited, is not enough to provide for their households.
Food and medicine are expensive here, and you can only find most items on the black market. The few existing stores do not have enough or a variety of products. It is tough to access these stores, and you can only purchase from them with a currency called MLC (Moneda Libremente convertible = free convertible currency). The government subsidizes the ration, comprising a small list of basic food. Although it is at a lower cost, this amount is not enough to cover the whole month.
Jorge and Sandra visit country churches, where they organize Evangelistic Kids Clubs. Activities are held in churches in the countryside. Fresh food is cooked on-site and served to the children, who are thrilled to receive little boxes of food and drinks. The couple also meets monthly with pastors to fellowship and donate necessities. Jorge and Sandra also prepare the evangelistic material to be distributed every week. Jorge supports 20 evangelists with evangelistic material and training.
Around 100 children attend the children’s ministry every Sunday at their church. Jorge visits the home of the most vulnerable and needy to deliver bags of food. Every week, he collects and packs food and essential items into these bags, which he then delivers in an ancient rickety cart.
Your support has made a world of difference to those whose world is crumbling around them.
LITTLE MARYAM NEEDS YOUR HELP
Maryam is an intelligent 5-year-old girl, who grasps information relatively quickly. She is blessed with the ability to memorize long texts! But there is a grim shadow hanging over Maryam’s life…
When Maryam was still in the womb, the doctors had given her parents the grim diagnosis of failed kidneys. The couple fought for the life of their unborn child, and Maryam was mercifully born with healthy kidneys! Maryam was, however, diagnosed at the age of two with a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis. This disease has caused a tumour in the optic nerve. The tumour is bilateral since she has a lesion on both sides of the optic nerve, causing blindness in the left eye and decreased vision in the right eye, with the risk of eventually becoming blind.
According to specialists, this disease has no treatment unless there is a manifestation such as a tumour. Maryam’s chances now depend on her quality of life, a good diet and maintaining favourable conditions around her to counteract any symptoms. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy since it is too risky to operate on the bilateral tumour.
Maryam has two siblings, two-years-old and eight months old, respectively. Amid darkness, grief and pain, YOUR support can shine a ray of hope.
Will you give little Maryam a fair shot at life today? Donate here.
Become the Hands of Hope Today
The couple minister at a church built on land that belongs to the state, and gangs steal the little that the land produces. Jorge and Sandra barely make ends meet from Jorge’s job as a church administrator. Jorge was affected rather severely by covid last year, which caused him to be admitted to the hospital for an extended time. Jorge could not afford the treatment for his bronchiectasis, but thanks to our generous donors, Jorge and two others were able to purchase medicines for their treatment.
ImpactHope seeks to raise $10,000 in additional funding until the end of the year, specifically for food for the Cubans. Food will then be distributed to Pastors, seniors, and families with children.
We cannot let this happen to our brothers and sisters in Cuba and stand idly by. We cannot live in the lap of luxury and expect our voices to be heard on high.
Will you be the voice for the vulnerable? Will you be the hand of God that they need in their life today?
“Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6)
Even basic supplies are unaffordable for the common man in Cuba.
A little goes a long way towards helping the most vulnerable!
Can I really make a difference?
Yes, you can! Thanks to your support, a child will not have to go hungry, a pastor will not have to sacrifice his food for his family…and other such ripples of impact will be created!
Give a gift here OR send your cheque to the office with a note ‘FOOD FOR CUBA’. To know more about the ministry in Cuba, go to www.impacthope.ca/caribbean.