The Growing Church in Cuba
Christianity in Cuba has had a long, winding journey; beginning with Spanish explorers bringing Catholicism to the island, to being persecuted under the Castro regime, to the rapidly expanding Evangelical movement of today. Because Cuba was isolated from the rest of the world for so long, many people are unaware of the struggle that the Church has faced over the past 60 years.
While others may not realize that Cuba has opened up to Americans in more recent years, the Church there is growing rapidly amidst continued government pressures. There exists a huge need on the island for help in building new churches and expanding existing buildings to facilitate growth. That is what Third Lens is tasked to work on.
Third Lens team members first traveled to Cuba in the fall of 2017 on a survey trip, where they met with the office of the Bishop of the Methodist Church in Havana . After this meeting and seeing parts of the island, it was realized that the Church was continuing to grow rapidly throughout Cuba but lacked space for congregations to meet in rural areas. The Bishop welcomed the idea of Third Lens developing a strategic plan to construct sanctuaries for rural churches.
Third Lens has received a preliminary list of 17 churches in need of immediate assistance. We plan to launch this phase of construction as a pilot program. The intent is to develop a larger scale plan for the logistical implementation and execution of all mission church needs for the Methodist Church. Sourcing of materials is very difficult in the communist system and will require developing new relationships and material channels.
The first step of the pilot program requires two survey trips. The first trip will be to visit each site to collect necessary data and meet each pastor. This information will be used to finalize design and implementation plans. The second trip will be to help capture the story of the Cuban Church through video and photography.
Once the survey trips are completed, Third Lens’ team will create individual development and fundraising plans for each location. The plans will include final design, budgets and site specific logistics. Third lens will then distribute the packages to charities and fundraising partners. Churches, Sunday school classes and families have expressed interest in supporting one or more sites.
Once each site is fully funded and construction is ready to commence, Third Lens will remotely coordinate the local procurement and assembly of each pavilion utilizing easy to follow instructions; much like the instruction manual for the bookshelf you bought at IKEA and assembled at home. The churches will be required to pour the concrete pad before building materials are delivered to the site.
Once the foundation is set, the congregation will be tasked with assembly. Upon completion, these churches will be able to minister to larger groups and eventually plant new mission churches and cell groups out of themselves.
Auburn United Methodist Church
The Methodist Church of Patria
Location: Patria, Isle of Youth, Cuba
Project #: 2017.15
Scope of Work: Construction Management
Project Manager(s): Brian O’Neil & Walt Warren
Industry Partner(s): N/A
Status: Under Construction