Cuba (MNN) – Cuba is currently experiencing a revival. And during the short period the door to Cuba was open, Biblica was sending churches New International Version Bibles in their native tongue.
A Door to Ministry Closes
In 2014, Biblica began sending 25,000 Bibles to the country through a ministry associate partner in Miami, Florida. During 2015, Biblica led training seminars in the country. More than 12,000 people would gather to praise and worship Jesus with freedom at these seminars. Thankfully, these seminars were recorded and are still being used today.
But, sending Bibles changed when the open door closed.
Biblica’s Area Executive Director, Latin America Esteban Fernandez shares:
“So now we have a shipment of 17,000 Bibles ready here in Miami, and what happened is when we sent that back in 2016 to do another activity, the government didn’t allow the entrance to Cuba, so they returned it to Miami.”
This denied shipment would have been Biblica’s third to the country. It also would have brought the total number of Bibles that Biblica sent to Cuba to 50,000.
Biblica is the steward of the NIV Bible, which tends to be easier for people to engage with than more dated translations. But, according to Fernandez, the Cuban government isn’t giving permission for the NIV Bible to enter the country.
Instead, the government prefers allowing an older version equivalent to the English King James Version. However, the Cuban language, like any other, is dynamic and has changed since this Bible version was first introduced, and it can be harder for individuals to interact with.
“We think that we need something really strong, easy to go from the head to the heart of the people,” Fernandez explains.
And while there is nothing wrong with this Bible version, the fact of the matter is that the audience reading these Bibles have changed. They need the same message these older Bibles give, but they need it in terms they understand.
A Bible Shortage
Furthermore, outside of the need for an updated Bible version, the people of Cuba simply need Bibles because there aren’t enough for every person to have one.
“Many in Cuba are sharing one Bible for every six people in the group. Can you imagine that—having one Bible? Comparing that with the U.S. where we have an average of two Bibles per household,” Fernandez shares. “When you share the Bible, if you can see their faces and their tears on their faces [when] receiving the Bible, it’s incredible.”
Please, pray for these Bibles to enter Cuba and for continued revival in the country. Also, pray for the necessary permissions to be given for Biblica to send in these Bibles. For many, it may be the key to learning about Christ for the first time, or to grow in their faith.
Ask God to encourage the believers in Cuba and give them creative ideas to reach their own people with the Gospel. And finally, pray for the Christianity in Cuba to not be one that bends to culture or one that is legalistic, but one where the people truly reflect Christ.
Biblica is currently looking into other methods of legally sending these Bibles to Cuba.
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