Dear Beloved of Christ Church,

As some of you know, our Diocese of Florida has a long and loving companion-relationship with the Diocese of Cuba. Since the first delegation from Florida arrived in Cuba in 1986, until today, thousands of Florida Episcopalians have labored side-by-side with their Cuban brothers and sisters in the fields of the Lord, making disciples and sharing love and friendship. It is a partnership of mutual respect, prayer, worship and service that has born great fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Here at Christ Church, our particular relationship is with our good friends at the Church of the Good Shepherd, in the village of Güira. Over the years thousands of Christ Church parishioners have participated. Some have made the trip in-person, working on projects and making friends. Those who could not travel to Cuba still supported our work both financially and prayerfully. It is truly one of the beautiful Gospel works that we have done and continue to do, together, to the glory of God.

Sadly, everyday life in Cuba has been difficult for decades, owing to the communist takeover of the island. However, the situation is worse than it has ever been, according to those who are in contact with friends and family there. Because of the Cuban government’s mishandling of the pandemic and their extreme mismanagement of the economy, the Cuban people lack even the most basic necessities. They are literally starving. There are no medicines. They are dying of Covid in record numbers. And so, because they have nothing to lose, they are massing in the streets to demonstrate and strike.

I ask for your continued prayers and support for the people of Cuba. Led by our own beloved friends and colleagues, Fr. Andreis and Marcela, we are scrambling to find ways to assist our family members at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Güira.

In the meantime, please pray fervently for the people of Cuba, that they may have courage for the long days ahead. Pray that they may have nourishment of both body and spirit. May they take strength in our love and prayers for them, and ultimately, may they at long last know the same God-given freedom and liberty that we enjoy.

Every blessing,

Fr. Tom+
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Bible Study, Church of the Good Shepherd, Güira.