Cuba (MNN) — The power is back in most of Havana today, Reuters reports, but outages remain the norm throughout western Cuba. Over the weekend, social media posts showed the largest protests in Cuba since July 2021 as crews worked to restore utilities.
The national power grid collapsed last week when Hurricane Ian swept through as a Category 3 storm. It’s the first time Cuba experienced a total blackout in modern history.
“We first communicated with a pastor, a brother of ours, in western Cuba,” Tim Landis of FARMS International says.
The partnering pastor told FARMS:
The western area of the country is destroyed. Cuba’s national electrical system is collapsed, [resulting in] a total food crisis; we lost three of our churches, three parsonages in their entirety. It’s painful [because] those pastors and families lost everything.
Many families lost at least a week of groceries when blackouts cut power to their refrigerators. FARMS’ partner is looking for ways to help.
“Recently, he was banding together with a bunch of other people to see if they could put some food and goods together for the people that had lost everything,” Landis says.
Through a microcredit program, FARMS International helps believers overcome poverty and support the local church. More about that here. “We’ve had a program in western Cuba since 2012,” Landis says.
FARMS works in partnership with a leadership training ministry in Cuba. While FARMS equips Christians through entrepreneurship, their partner trains church leaders and pastors.
Pray that Cuban believers will share the hope of Christ with their neighbors. Supply chain shortages and poverty resulting from the pandemic fueled civil unrest in Cuba. Then, Hurricane Ian came along and added another layer of stress.
“God’s people have a way of rallying around [people in need] when calamity happens. Pray that God’s good grace would be on them, and they will be able to continue in the mission of spreading the Gospel,” Landis says.
The header image depicts Hurricane Ian on September 26, 2022, when it was south of Cuba. The Expedition 67 crew onboard the International Space Station captured the photo. (Wikimedia Commons)