Missions  Ministry 

 
 
 
 
 
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Mission of the Month  – San Luis UMC (our sister church in Cuba)

The Mission of the Month for August 2017, is continued support for our Sister Church in Santiago, Cuba. The story of this church’s  witness and ministry in the name of Jesus  Christ is nothing short of amazing. In 1959, Communism and Castro completely changed Cuba and the world of the Christian Church.  Primarily due to intimidation, almost all clergy were forced to leave the island. The remaining Christians showed remarkable courage and  commitment to Jesus Christ as they faced life under the oppression of Castro’s Communist government. 

In 1997, The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church began a major effort to re-establish relationships between churches    in Florida and Cuba. The Sun City Center UMC was joined with the San Luis UMC in Santiago, Cuba in 2012. Since Castro put forth an edict forbidding the building of any new church  structures, the church met in the pastor’s home, or house-church.

The Cuban Government has very strict  regulations regarding religious activities; this makes public praise and worship of God difficult. However, under the inspiring pastoral leadership of Rev. Norges Cascaret and his lovely wife Sonia, the San Luis congregation has grown to 100+ faithful members. They started and support two other house-churches in nearby neighborhoods. God has blessed them with the resources and a “veil of protection” to do His work. The people are filled with faith and joy. The San Luis Church also serves the community through clown and puppet shows in the street for the  local children. Once a month, they feed hundreds in the neighborhood who come to the church for a cookout and Christian fellowship.

In March 2014, a team of five members from our congregation traveled to Cuba to visit and personally meet the pastor, his family, and their congregation. They were greeted with such amazing love; it was as if they’d known each other all their lives! In May 2016, Pastor Sam and Pat Rorer traveled to Cuba again and were able to meet with Pastor Norges, his wife, and several other parishioners from San Luis. They brought medical supplies, toys, and clothing, along with a very generous cash donation from our church to assist with construction and repairs. Just this past May, Pat Rorer and Judy Maynard cruised to Cuba and met with Pastor Norges in port in Santiago. They brought medicine and funds for continued construction of the church.

The original church is a small wood house-church, with a sanctuary, two side rooms, one primitive bathroom, a dining room, and tiny kitchen. This house-church also served as the pastor’s family home. In 2015, a small home only a couple doors away became available, which could serve as a private residence for the pastor and his family. In Communist Cuba, the idea of a parsonage was only a dream; however, through your generous support, this dream became a reality for them. The pastor, his family, and the San Luis congregation are grateful beyond words! Thank you!

With God’s blessing, and the support of Sun City Center UMC, construction began on the second level of the San Luis Church building to create Sunday School classrooms. Tools and materials for construction are limited and the costs are extremely high. The men in the congregation do all the work themselves and the progress is slow. There are even plans for a third floor!

This month, the Cuba Mission Team is asking you to prayerfully help support our sister church. As a Florida Methodist sister church, we are asked to help fund the Annual Conference in Cuba ($500 annually). We also supplement the pastor’s salary with $300 annually (he makes approximately $14 a month!) Additional mission gifts support the  purchase of office supplies, medications, recharging the church’s mobile cell phone minutes, other necessities, and construction materials. We also keep funds available for emergencies, such as hurricane relief.

In the future, possibly next spring, we plan to put together a mission trip to Cuba. We look forward to bringing members from our congregation to     fellowship with our brothers and sisters at the San Luis UMC in Santiago! They pray specifically for our church every day and praise God for bringing us all together in His love.

God is good!  You can tell by the “Before” and “After” photos of the church building, that your generosity has been an immense blessing to our sister church in Cuba! Thank you for your prayers and financial support for our sister church family! If you have any questions, please contact Pat Rorer or Pastor Sam Rorer!

 

 

 
 
Monthly Missions
 
Each year in the fall, the Missions Team accepts applications for the following year’s Mission of the Month.
 
The Team reviews the applications and decides which organizations/ causes will be included. Each mission partner has a UMCSCC member “Ambassador” who is actively involved with the partner and is able to answer any questions you may have regarding it. 
 
Thank you so much for the wonderful support you as a congregation have given our mission partners. You have been such a blessing and have changed so many lives by your generosity.
 
If you would like to be the M.O.M., please contact the church office for further information. Blessings from your Mission Team
2017 M.O.M.
 
Jan. – Campaign Against Human Trafficking
Feb.- Haven of Hope
Mar. – Disaster Response Team
Apr.- Vacation Bible School
May – SouthEast Asian Relief
Jun. – Under The Cross Youth
Jul. – Watoto Mission Cottage
Aug. – Cuba Sister Church
Sep. – Alzheimer’s
Oct. – Good Samaritan Mission
Nov. – Pastor Discretionary Fund
Dec. – Salvation Army