Saturday, February 19, 2011

Missionary Work Beginning in Cuba

Full-time missionaries serving in the Jamaica Kingston Mission report that Cuba has now come under the administration of the Jamaica Kingston Mission and that the mission president has begun visiting Cuba to perform mission business.  There is a small branch operating in Havana which has operated for several years.  It is unclear whether full-time missionaries will be assigned to Cuba anytime soon.  Prospects for growth in Cuba are favorable and many other missionary-oriented Christian groups have experienced steady growth as there are over 92,000 active Jehovah's Witnesses meeting in 1,254 congregations and 30,800 Seventh Day Adventists meeting in 294 congregations.  Delays opening Cuba to LDS missionary activity appear primarily due to reliance on American missionary manpower and leadership to open nations to missionary work rather than government restrictions.

The first LDS missionary to serve from Cuba just began serving his mission earlier this month.  For more information about the LDS Church in Cuba, please refer to the Cuba country profile written by me and David Stewart from Cumorah.com.

10 comments:

TempleRick said...

Cool news!

Will said...

I remember when I was called to the Dominican Republic 20 years ago that we hoped we would get to be the first missionaries serving in Cuba. Great to hear that it is finally coming true!

gustavrg75 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gustavrg75 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rolf said...

Thanks for the work you do on this site, I really enjoy following the missionary work around the world. I have followed our missionary efforts since the late 1960's, but I can't help feeling a little like Aurelia Spencer Rogers did 128 years ago. She felt that something was not right – she saw that young boys weren't taught well enough in the church, and started the primary program. The prophet at the time was John Taylor and he thought an organization would not only be good for boys, but also for the girls in the Church. Just a short time later, the first Primary met. It included 224 boys and girls who were taught obedience, faith in God, prayer, punctuality, and good manners. Today, Primary is an essential part of the Church around the world.
Perhaps something should be done with our missionary efforts – perhaps we do things to complicated. If there are over 92,000 active Jehovah's Witnesses meeting in 1,254 congregations and 30,800 Seventh Day Adventists meeting in 294 congregations in Cuba, perhaps we can learn something from them. I also saw that in the US and Canada they were growing at a much higher rate than we are.

fredmaseda said...

I was posted in Cuba with the US State Department when the branch was organized in 2005. It is a very fertile field and any missionaries will have great success.

John Pack Lambert said...

Rolf, the need for doctrinal unity in the LDS Church is an issue that concerns the brethren and causes slowness in movement.

John Pack Lambert said...

The American paradigm is probably stil too much with us, but we have to remember that throughout the Caribbean 35 years ago there were virtually no Church members. Even in Puerto Rico which as an integral part of the US was 100% available to missionaries. The effects of the 1978 Revelation on the priesthood changed all this, but we have to remember that all Church growth in the Carribean has occured since June of 1978.

The Dominican Republic has the record second only to the US of time from when missionaries enter the country until when the first temple is built, and if we measure until when Nauvoo is a functioning temple it is a very close call.

There is actually a president of the Church moving into areas largely through the use missionaries from neighboring countries and not from the US, that is found in some Pacific Island nations. However this was largely after the Church had been established in the base countries for over 50 years and did not involve entering countries with as tense relations with the US as Cuba.

Elder Ringger being a Swiss citisen was a key factor in the early expansion of the Church into Eastern Europe. It may well take the lead of a non-American general authority as Area President for the Church to move into Cuba, maybe even one who repeats the actions of Elder Ringger by never moving to the United States at all.

Erik said...

About doctrinal unity -- maybe I don't know enough to state this -- but it seems to me that Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists don't have any less doctrinal unity in the various congregations than the LDS Church, yet they both have a much more significant international presence than does the Church. Maybe I am wrong, but I think faster growth (including not being too bound by the "centers of strength" policy and being more proactive in opening new areas to missionary work) can be achieved by the Church without compromising doctrinal unity. Again, I could be wrong and maybe African and Indian SDA's are not as fully doctrinally united with American or European SDA's. I just haven't heard about any significant problems in those churches if they do take place.

Rolf said...

All I am saying is that our missionary efforts are perhaps not as effective as we would like. I have a spiritual witness of the restored gospel – I also know that we are called as stewards. The call is to preach the gospel to the world – calling all to repent and be baptized. We are the stewards of how this is done – and we have used different programmes from the start of the church. On my mission it was the so called rainbow discussions we used, I thought they where lacking or should I rather say – they said too much. They clearly showed that the missionaries at the time could not be trusted to use their own words in teaching the gospel. We were even told what to say in bearing testimony. I had discussions with some of the missionaries that thought that the discussions would stay the same forever – I tried to tell them that it perhaps reflected how unprepared many missionaries were at this time. We should be critical to our stewardship – it is the only way to magnify our calling. We should study “best practice” be it by Jehovah's Witnesses or Seventh Day Adventists. If our main purpose is to develop young men – we should perhaps reconsider. The church has reorganize things in the past – I see nothing wrong with doing that with the way missionary work is done today.