March 2012 – Grace and Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied to you. I am very happy you are interested and concerned about Cuba and particularly for the Church here.
The Lutheran Church in Cuba was organized by missionaries from the Southern District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod early last century. Due to things of the life and God’s mysteries, Lutheranism practically disappeared in Cuba for 30 years, from the 1960s to the 90s, but then a national independent Lutheran work started to be reorganized.
Since that awakening, there are now two Lutheran churches in Cuba, one of them called Lutheran Confession Church (which stands at the Isle of Pines) and the other one called United Evangelical Church in Cuba – Lutheran Synod located in Santiago de Cuba. I have the undeserved privilege of being the Bishop in this last one.
Some years ago, thanks to Rev. Alberto Garcia and the Lutheran Heritage Foundation, we received over 3,000 Bibles with Luther’s Small Catechism in Cuba. At first, only the Lutherans were interested in these Bibles, but later all the Evangelical churches in Cuba, as well as their theological seminaries, were interested in this kind of Bible. Some people even thought that this Catechism was for the Roman Catholics!
Once we distributed over 40 of these Bibles at a penitentiary, and it was also distributed to military and military prisoners. The Cuban military was very satisfied with the catechism because of the Table of Duties [where the obligations of citizens and of civil government are outlined].
These Bibles ran out very soon. Now, we only have two samples in our library, for so many of them were given away.
I talked to Rev. Alain Montano, secretary of the Cuban Biblical Commission, the organization that was in charge of the negotiation with the Cuban government. We agreed to request from LHF over 5,000 more Spanish Bibles with Luther’s Small Catechism.
There are a thirst and a need for the Bible in Cuba. Only 5 percent of Cubans are evangelical, so the Bible can help a lot for the Great Commission. It would also be a very practical way of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, at whose center were the Cross and the Bible.
I pray to God so you can be encouraged by Him to assume this project, which will not only bless the Lutheran Church, but the churches and theological seminaries in Cuba.
Fraternally in Christ,
Bishop Ismael Laborde Figueras
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.