News Devotionals Reach Cubans with no Obstacles

May 7th, 2018

Devotionals Reach Cubans with no Obstacles

You cannot send containers of food to Cuba because of government rules, but we can send God’s Word'.

Tonight at 22.25 pm on Shine 800 AM Bonaire will start airing The Word for You Today-Spanish, otherwise known as La Palabra de Hoy Para Ti. 

We spoke with Phil James, Director of Global Development of The World for You Today (TWFYT) and Cuban Pastor Alex. Both attended the Celebration and dedication of the new 450 kW transmitter on Bonaire on January 30, 2018. 

TWFYT distributes more than 8 million Bible-based devotionals in 20 languages around the world. Authors are Bob and Debby Gass. In 2015, TWFYT started printing their devotionals for the first time in Cuba. ‘Otherwise, it’s hard to get the books in', explains Phil James. The devotionals with the Spanish name ‘La Palabra Para Ti Hoy’ are distributed through local churches.

Voice of well-known actress from Venezuela
With the stronger signal from Bonaire, TWFYT will broadcast their daily devotionals via Shine 800 AM. The Spanish version was translated by a Latin American native, keeping international differences in mind. An interesting detail is that the presenter of the program is Elluz Peraza, who is a well-known and popular actress in Venezuela.

Internet scarce and expensive
We asked Phil James why he chooses to broadcast the devotional over the radio. He replied, ‘Our goal is to reach as many people we can with our devotional. However, in Cuba, this is not simple. We have between 20-30 drop points in Cuban villages where pastors go on their bikes to pick up the books. The roads throughout Cuba are in poor condition and the old trucks we use to deliver the bundles of devotions to the various drop points often break down.  

We tried to send the books by postal mail, but that is not very trustworthy since the books simply don’t arrive. The Internet is scarce and expensive in Cuba. Most people only have internet access in public places such as hotels and tourist attractions. With the radio signal from Bonaire, we expect to reach more people and connect with more churches.’

Point Cubans to God amidst problems
‘What do the Cuban Christians need?', we asked pastor Alex Napoles. ‘Cuban people don't have much hope when they look at life in a natural way, Napoles answered. ‘The economy in Cuba is not strong and the average person only earns $20 a month. In April, Cuban president Raul Castro will step down from his presidency, but there is little change expected for Christians. With the radio program, we can point people to God, so they can find help with their problems. They can learn how to look to God as their source for help.
Without God, life is crumbling in Cuba. Despite all the problems, ever since the 90’s, Churches are packed and there is a big explosion of new Christians.Many Christians in Cuba, however, don't have access to a Bible. Pastors rarely have the benefit of receiving formal training or attending seminary’. Pastor Napoles smiles and continues, ‘Today, pastors will write sermons based on what they have heard on the radio or have read in the devotionals. We have heard pastors saying, ‘we use your devotionals to write our sermons'.

Alex added to this: ‘TWR is not political and with the new strong signal, it cannot be blocked!’  

Same DNA
Phil James of The Word For You Today ended our conversation with the words: ‘We choose TWR Bonaire because you are now reaching Cuba and nobody else is doing it. We have been talking with TWR staff over the years, and we have learned that both our ministry cultures are similar. Focusing on the Word, bringing it to the nations, teaching and disciple people. This is part of both our DNA. Jesus is coming back soon, and we must be about our Fathers business.’

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