“I am struck by the passion they have, in the name of Christ, to do diaconal work for their fellow citizens. It is a case of the poor helping the poorer. We can learn much from them.”
Rich deLange and his translator pray with fellow believers through the fence around their guest house.
That was the reaction of Pieta Borkent after a recent visit to Cuba. Borkent is part of the Cuba Connection Committee of Classis Alberta North. That classis has had a relationship with Iglesia Christiana Reformada en Cuba (ICRC, Cuba Christian Reformed Church) since 1991.
This most recent visit involved Borkent; Victor Ko, pastor of Mosiac House CRC; Rich deLange, pastor of Trinity CRC; and Isabel Bajana, who served as translator.
“As a team,” Borkent said, “we were able to build connections that allowed fellow Christians from another culture and language to seek our opinions and share their concerns. Evenings were spent chatting and praying with people we had met during the daytime on our visits to churches and missions.”
Classis Alberta North’s relationship with ICRC began in 1991 when the Cuban church leadership requested that “we not just do, but be among them,” explained Dan Van Keeken, current chair of the Cuba Connection Committee. Over the years, numerous visits have been made to Cuba and a few visits have been made to Alberta by Cuban pastors.
The committee has sent a number of large “sea-can” containers filled with supplies such as computers, bicycles, motorcycles, clothing, and medicine, as well as provided some modest financial support for pastors’ salaries.
ICRC, which includes 15 small congregations, provides much-needed diaconal support within its various communities.
The classis will launch a campaign to raise $30,000 this fall to rebuild a broken-down ministry center in Cuba.