Monday, July 16, 2018

Twenty-First Anniversary of the Moravian Church in Cuba

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

Twenty-one years ago, in a very humble home in a neighbourhood of the Cerro Municipality in Havana, the foundational work of the Moravian Church in Cuba began; long has been the road travelled since then in the effort to raise on Cuban soil the banner of our beloved Unitas Fratrum.

When we look back on the experiences we have lived in this endeavour, we remember the many efforts we have had to make to move toward our goals, and the difficulties and limitations we have had to face as well as the moments of tension, disappointment and anguish that have not been few on this path, but we also rejoice and praise God in our hearts when we remember the many achievements and triumphs obtained. From that small group in that Havana home, today we are a church present in seven territories of Cuba and increasing the scope of our work and the impact on the life of our people in this particular historical juncture that Cuba is experiencing.

Certainly much has been achieved. We have reached a presence and we are developing a work and obtaining results that were far from being imagined by that small group of dreamers that set out with the goal of including in the Cuban ecclesial panorama this rich Christian tradition of more than five centuries and, without a doubt , which today shows that the Cuban Moravian work is an evident sign that together with the hard work and fervent dedication of very valuable brothers and sisters of Cuba and the accompaniment of those who, from beyond our borders, have lavished their love and their strongest support, many things are possible! Yes, the hand of the Lord has always been with us because, as his Word says: "If the Lord does not build the house, the builders work in vain," so again and again we must say: EBENEZER! Therefore, clearly, God has helped us, the Lord has greatly blessed us!

There is still a long way to go, challenges to face, goals to reach so that our work shines more and more with our own light and honours with ever greater excellence the precious inheritance we have received, the spiritual treasures that have been placed in our hands thanks to the total dedication of their lives and the sacrifice of those men and women who in many nations and throughout 561 years have been the face, heart and hands of our church and the architects of this legacy that we receive today.

The Synod last September, with the statutes and resolutions that received the approval of the assembly, outlined guidelines for the path to follow in order to achieve a church with a more efficient organization and work and a greater impact in the Cuban context but for this achievement we must always keep in mind two presuppositions that are fundamental for the advancement in the great work of the construction of the kingdom of God which is the mission of the church of Christ.

First: our communion, the personal communion of our leaders and members and the communion of our groups, with Him who is the author and finisher of our faith and who very categorically told us: "Remain in me, and I in you, . . . for apart from me they can do nothing "(John 15: 4 and 5).

Second: our unity in the love of each other because without that unity of love we cannot certainly be the light and the salt that we have been called to be and we will not be able to overcome the many challenges and tasks that await us because only united with the closest bond with our Lord and Saviour and united with fraternal love with our brothers and sisters in this work in which, without love we are nothing, we can take the Cuban Moravian work to greater heights for the glory of the Most High.

I leave you, my beloved, these texts with my most sincere desire to be inspired in the way ahead: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved them; remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept the commandments of my Father and remain in his love. These things I have spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be fulfilled. This is my commandment: love one another. "(John 15: 9-11)

"I, therefore, imprisoned in the Lord, beg you to walk worthy of the vocation to which you were called, with all humility and meekness, enduring with patience one another in love, solicitous to keep the unity of the Spirit in you. bond of peace "(Ephesians 4: 1-3)

"Dress yourselves, therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, of tender mercy, of kindness, of humility, of meekness, of patience, enduring one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. In the way that Christ forgave you, so do you. And above all these things clothe yourselves with love, which is the perfect bond "(Colossians 3: 12-14)

Your brother and servant in the love of Christ, the Lamb who has conquered.

Armando Rusindo
Havana, Cuba, May 25, 2018