JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - One church in Region 8 is making a huge difference in Cuba.
The First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro has been ministering to Cuba since 2016 and has made a significant difference for people in the country.
The Cuba Missions Coordinator for FUMC, Bonnie May, has been helping with the mission since the very beginning.
“God spoke to my heart and said you’re going to Cuba,” May said. “I didn’t know how to make that happen, I didn’t know anything, but I began to pray and then God began to open doors.”
The first trip to Cuba took place in Aug. 2016.
Since 2016, May has been to Cuba 13 times delivering necessities.
Pastor John Miles of FUMC has been to the country 3 times.
“My goal really was for us to see how Christianity is impacted somewhere else, and to be able to go to Cuba you know, where it is atheist and where some of the pastors have been in jail, and have been harassed by the government, although not as much now,” said Miles.
The mission has grown tremendously since 2016.
“To date, as of this week, we will have carried 190 suitcases filled with clothing, shoes, surgical and medical supplies, medicine, many things that they need,” said May.
Miles knows firsthand why the supplies are so important.
“They have food, energy, school, and basic healthcare, so to say they have nothing isn’t quite true, but, in terms of clothing, extra food, school supplies, the basic things,” Miles noted that basic things are still of high need to the Cubans.
The church hopes to bridge the gap.
At the church’s Christmas Eve service, they gathered an offering for Cuba, raising $39,000.
“Today an 18 wheeler pulled up in front of the church and loaded 130 boxes of supplies for Cuba,” said May.
And they don’t plan to end their mission there.
“Truly I’ve seen people burst into tears when they try on a pair of shoes that fit them,” said May.
“Getting to know people from other parts of the world, having a relationship with them, experiencing their reality and being able to help them is a wonderful experience,” said Miles.