My name is Victor Manuel. I’m a pastor from the Baptist Convention of eastern Cuba. When the hurricane hit Cuba a year and a half ago it was a total disaster.  I saw people without hope. At the same time, what caused a lot of damage gave us also an opportunity. Because the first response to the hurricane came from the church.

The hurricane affected many churches. Three of them were completely demolished. Rioseco, they have the building, but they need windows, they need floors, doors. We have Los Ranchos, they only have part of the foundation. The church in Limones, they just started this past month to make the foundation of the church.

When I spoke to some people from the churches some people cry, some people jump, some people clap. They’re so happy, so happy with this opportunity because they’re coming from having nothing to having a building for their worship.

Shoes is a big problem right now. It’s hard to get shoes. In Cuba, just a regular pair of shoes can cost about $20 convertible pesos. That means that the salary for a month of a regular person is the cost of a pair of shoes. I have a family in my church that they don’t come to the service because their kid, he doesn’t have shoes, but also don’t feel okay when they come to the school.

But when you provide shoes for them, everything changes. When we gave a pair of shoes to a little girl, she was like 10 years old. She was in one corner hugging the box of shoes and jumping. It was like something precious for her. She was so happy.  And we want to say thank you to The Peoples Church. They are so happy that you can see it in their eyes.

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