July 12, 2023

Responding to Needs in Cuba

During announcements at a St. John’s service earlier this summer, a letter was shared with the congregation from Aurora Mederos, Senior Warden of our companion parish San Pedro Apóstol in Zorrilla, Cuba. The letter described the historic economic crisis and hardships facing the people in the community, as well as the work the church is doing with St. John’s support to provide relief and hope where it can. It also offered some reassurance that there is no need to worry because the people of San Pedro Apósto always believe that God’s love is with them. In response to the letter, a number of our parishioners asked how they could help, and within a short period of time, more than $5,000 had been contributed for the needs of San Pedro Apóstol. 

Early in July, more than half of this unsolicited outpouring was sent to Zorrilla to help purchase food for those in need in the church and community and to rebuild the trestle supporting the large tanks used for the Living Waters treatment system. The remainder of these funds will be dedicated to acquiring a commercial-grade seed press, which would enable the church to extract edible oil from sesame seeds. This would create jobs for the unemployed, address hunger in the area, and bring in a source of funds to help the church fulfill its dream of becoming economically self-sustaining. An initiative like this would also allow San Pedro Apóstol to expand its outreach programs, like the parish’s popular children’s music program pictured below.

Heavy-duty seed presses are not available in Cuba, and many steps will be involved with purchasing and shipping the equipment from overseas, as well as obtaining approval from Customs to clear the delivery. For our sisters and brothers in Zorrilla, though, there is no doubt that with God’s help, it can be done.

Special thanks to Sandra and Dennis Howard for their help in preparing this information to share with the parish.

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