How a First Pres couple is serving Cubans
Written by Brad Jenkins

Covenant Partners Patrick and Amy Werner continue their work serving the people of Cuba, with their latest trip focusing on helping a cancer ministry and encouraging pastors.

Here are some highlights of what they did while in Cuba. (They plan to share more details at a “Cuba and Coffee” presentation from 8-8:45 a.m. Sunday, April 28 in Showker Hall at First Pres.)

Children’s cancer ministry

Patrick and Amy have been working on a children’s cancer ministry partnership between two Cuban denominations for several years. The primary goal was to start a transportation micro business/church outreach. This van would be used to rent out to groups needing transportation (which is extremely hard to find in Cuba) with part of the profits to be given to the cancer ministry for various items to take care of families in need and provide visits of pastors to minister to these families in Havana and their hometowns spread out all over Cuba.  

“We were amazed at the progress we saw this past March,” the Werners say. “Not only will the van be finished in the near future (it has taken over five years), thanks to the donations from our church; it is already self-sustaining and providing food, housing and transportation for pastors to visit patients.” Beyond that, God has given a passion to both churches to work closely together to expand this ministry beyond the Werners’ hopes. “God’s hands are on this outreach to serve and preach the Gospel to the lost in Cuba,” they say.

Mentoring pastors

The Werners have been working with their partner/mentor pastor couple this past year to start a new ministry to serve the isolated pastors throughout Cuba. Since January, the ministry has started to bring pastor couples to Havana for week-long retreats to give respite, rest, marriage enrichment, training and encouragement. Through these retreats pastoral affinity groups are being formed so that these pastors have each other to confide in and support each other in such a difficult country to preach the Gospel and it is already producing fruit. Patrick and Amy are continuing to work with them and encourage isolated pastors by building relationships with them and letting them know they are not alone.  

On April 28, Patrick and Amy will be hosting a “Cuba and Coffee” presentation before the 9am service (8-8:45 a.m.) in Showker Hall. This will provide them an opportunity to discuss developments with the ministry work in Cuba and to announce plans for a church-wide “Introduction to Cuba Ministry Trip” in 2025 for those who are interested in learning more about Cuba and how the Gospel is being preached to the nation. Coffee and donuts will be provided (maybe even Cuban coffee!).