For Methodists in Cuba, 'These are good times'



Feb. 9, 2017 | HAVANA - The small house in Placetas, bought by the Methodist Church in Cuba to start a mission, had fallen even further into disrepair.

Luckily, before he became a pastor, 30-year-old Ricardo Rivero worked as an assistant mason.

Those construction skills helped prepare Rivero and his wife, Ana Maria Torres, 38, for the endless tasks and hard physical labor involved in a creating a habitable worship space and living area. There is no money to pay workers, but his father has assisted when he can.

Torres showed a series of photos on her laptop — part of the sound system for worship — that document the house’s previous condition, including damage from flooding after a rain. In three months, they have filled in the ground to prevent such runoff, removed a false ceiling, fixed the roof, repaired walls and installed a fence.

There is no plumbing yet in the bathroom or kitchen. “There is no sink to wash in,” she says. “We are here by faith.”

Still, aided by their son Ricardo David, a lively toddler, the couple is drawing nearly 30 people to worship in this small house.

Click here for the full story. Click here for the full series on Cuba by Linda Bloom. All photos by Mike DuBois, UMNS. Click here for the entire album.


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