Cuban Adventist Pastors Meet in Historic Retreat
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cuba gathered its 150 ministers and their families for a historic retreat in Santa Clara last fall. The event, which took place September 23-25, 2011, be- came the first in 50 years to gather so many pastors and family members to unify and network as they strive to shep- herd the fast-growing church on the island.
CUBA MEETING: Ministers and their families gathered to participate in the first pastoral retreat of its size held in Santa Clara, Cuba, on September 24, 2011. The event allowed pastoral families to unify and network as they strive to shepherd the fast-growing church on the island.“It has been such an accomplishment to gather our ministerial body for this council,” said Pastor Aldo Perez, president for the church in Cuba. “We came together to share spiritual messages, spend time with pastoral families, pray together, and unify efforts to continue the great mission to spread the gospel.”
Nearly 400 met at the Canaan campground in central Cuba to participate in messages addressed to ministers, the ministry of pastors’ wives, and the nurturing of pastoral children.
Hector Sanchez, ministerial secretary for the Inter-American Division, spoke and encouraged pastors and their families to continue serving God as chosen leaders endeavoring to fulfill the mission of the church to a needy people on the island.
“Councils like this give the pastor and his family the opportunity to renew their commitment and calling and feel that their church has not forgotten nor abandoned them,” said Sanchez. “It’s about the identity of the pastor coming together with his identity as a husband and father.”
It was the end of a four-region visit across Inter-America for Pastor Sanchez, one that he will never forget. “It was an indescribable experience to be with our pastors, pray with them, and hear of the great blessings taking place throughout the church in Cuba,” he said.
Leticia De Los Santos, director for shepherdess ministries for the church in Inter-America, spoke to pastors’ wives on how to develop a strong supporting ministry in the church and addressed dozens of children of pastoral families on their purpose and legacy in an uncertain world.
Organized in 1905, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cuba has more than 32,000 church members worshipping in more than 280 churches and operates three conferences, one mission, and a seminary.