HAVANA, Cuba (FBC)—When was the last time you cleaned out your attic or garage and found your kids’ unused musical instrument—the one they had to have for band classes but haven’t touched in the past decade? Or discovered that saxophone that you promised to pick up again—one day?
Rather than sending that eyesore to Goodwill with those outgrown clothes, Cuban Baptists have found a way for you to put your unused musical instruments to use in fulfilling God’s will.
Cuban Baptists are collecting all kinds of musical instruments—clarinets, trumpets, keyboards, string instruments, saxophones, percussions, or anything musical at all—and accessories to help them in the planting of new congregations across their nation.
Music has always played a key role in the life of Cubans. And when used in churches to the glory of God, it can have a life-changing impact.
Baptists in that nation are in the midst of a revival, winning people to Christ and planting thousands of new churches that meet in houses and apartments. Worship through music is one of their main expressions of their Christian faith in these house churches.
As they seek to help these new church plants grow and reach people, the Western Cuba Baptist Convention has started 100 worship schools across the nation and trained nearly a thousand students to lead worship music in their congregations, said Ana Esther Rodriguez, who serves as the WCBC music director.
Yet few churches have access to musical instruments to enhance these worship experiences.
“The biggest problem is the lack of musical instruments, since it is nearly impossible to buy them in our country,” said Rodriguez. They have the capability to repair the instruments, she said, but acquiring them is difficult.
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“The thing they need most are instruments,” echoed missionary Dirce Cooper, who serves with the International Mission Board, SBC, and travels back and forth to the island country.
“Music is a way of life for all Cubans, involving nearly 20 percent of the population. But music is especially critical in planting and sustaining churches,” she said.
“Their aim is to share the message of Christ through music, while also encouraging musicians to use their gifts and talents for Christ.”
The Cuban government has given Cuba Baptists permission to receive a shipping container with musical instruments. What is needed now, though, said Rodriguez, are instruments to fill the container.
The First Brazilian Baptist Church of South Florida is assisting the Cubans in filling the containers and collecting donations of the instruments. Mission pastor Mark Tetley is coordinating the effort and will receive donated instruments until Dec. 31, 2012.
Instruments can be sent to Tetley at the church, located at 1103 NE 33rd St., Pompano Beach FL 33064. He can be contacted at 954-781-3994.
The Miami Baptist Association is collecting financial donations to defray the cost of the transporting the shipment. Persons interested in helping should contact Natanael Vicens at 305-632-1866 or 305-271-5600.
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