The recent “normalizing” of relations with the U.S. has provided a historic opportunity to support the work of the Church in Cuba. For more than 50 years, Cuba was officially off limits to U.S. travelers. But that is changing. Now YOU can be part of what God is doing there!
For most of the past half-century, Cuba was officially an atheist state. In 1962, Cuba’s government seized and shut down 400 Catholic schools, and many church leaders, including pastors and priests, were sent to labor farms for “re-education”. While both Protestant and Catholic churches remain restricted in their activities, they were never outlawed altogether. In 1984, Catholics and Protestants were allowed to conduct mass and worship services respectively. Since then, the growth of the Church inside Cuba has been phenomenal. By 2004, almost 20% of all Cubans were attending weekend religious services, compared with less than 1% in 1984, a growth rate of 1,960 percent!
Since personal income is regulated by the government and ranges from $20-$50 a month, most of the country suffers from extreme poverty.
Serve children and families living in extreme poverty in this beautiful country where the Church is on the move.
Gabriel Vega López and Leidis García Tejeda were both born and raised in Cuba. They grew up in different places and met at the former Teachers Training College in Santiago de Cuba in 2002. During their courtship they were able to save enough money to buy a house and were married on April 19th, 2006, a year after Christ came into their lives. They live with their young daughters Sol Beatriz and Luna Betsy in the city of Santiago de Cuba.
After eighteen months of discipleship, both Gabriel and Leidis were baptized in 2006. A month later, they began serving the Lord in different areas in their church. Gabriel has served as a Sunday Bible school youth and adult teacher, as a local missionary, and church administrator. Leidis has served as a church secretary, Sunday Bible school young adult teacher, and leading Christian education in the church. They have both served at retreats and camps with children from their church. They continue to pray over new ways they can serve the Lord in their community.
Any team of 10 or more is invited to serve in Cuba. Total trip cost for each team member is $1,275 (includes Cuban visa).
120 DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE
30 DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE
Trip Fee Includes:
Trip Fee Doesn’t Include:
In keeping with its primary mission, Forward Edge is sending teams to Cuba that focus primarily on supporting church-run programs. Additional ministry opportunities include:
PASSPORTS: A passport and Cuban visa are required to enter Cuba. If you already have a passport, please be sure that the expiration date is at least six months past the date of your departure from Cuba. If you do not have a passport, please apply for one as soon as possible. You must have a valid passport to begin the Cuban visa process (below) which begins at least 30 days prior to departure. Also, the US passport process can take up to 6-8 weeks.
VISA: Forward Edge must apply for Cuban visas at least 30 days prior to departure. Your Team Coordinator will provide forms and work with you through this process which has strict deadlines. You must have a valid passport to start the process.
FLIGHTS: Teams can now fly into the Antonio Maceo Airport located in Santiago de Cuba which is a short ½ hour ride to El Cobre. Typically the team Facilitator meets the team in the USA before flying into Cuba. The team will then be picked up by a member of our field staff.
Airfare ranges from $400-900 per round-trip ticket, depending upon the airline and where you are flying from. Our preferred travel agent can help you find the best rates. Please talk with our Cuba Team Coordinator who can assist you with reserving flights through the help of our preferred travel agent.
TRANSPORTATION: All ground transportation on location is included in your trip fee.
IMMUNIZATIONS: The government of Cuba does not require any shots or immunizations to enter the country. Please consult a personal physician for any recommendations.
TEAM PACKS: Once team member registration is complete, Forward Edge will send individualized team packs including a Forward Edge t-shirt, Team Member Manual, and other helpful information.
SCHEDULE: Each day your team will experience a morning devotional, an evening debrief, and relationship building opportunities through serving local people.
TEAM MEMBER CONDUCT: While team conduct is of the utmost importance for any short-term mission trip, it is especially vital to our partnerships in Cuba that team members never use or mention the word, “donation;” only use the word “gift” or phrase “as a gift.” Also, please refrain from discussing any political issues.
Jen’s first mission trip was in 2011 to Nicaragua. This experience changed her heart and led her to serve, love, and encourage disaster victims, including several outreaches with the Red Cross. She and her husband Ken enjoy serving on mission teams together. When not working, she likes to spend time outdoors, walking, hiking, and running.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I have always had a heart for those who have been overlooked or forgotten. I believe God created us to be in community and we need to care for one another. Two of Forward Edge’s “Core Values” speak directly to my heart. The first one is, relationships, love people more than projects. The second is, empowering nationals, don’t do things for people; do things with people.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? The Apostle Paul. I like the way he communicates and often gives very practical examples of the ideas he is conveying.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? My husband and I volunteer with the puppy raising program of Guide Dogs of America
Hi! I’m Jen, the Cuba Team Coordinator. I look forward to working with you to plan your life-changing week in Cuba!
If you’re interested in organizing a team of 10 or more, you can contact us by filling out the short form below. If you’re an individual looking to join a team, you can scroll through our list of open teams.