Today brought terribly disheartening news from my good friend Alexeis Rodríguez, director of the UGECU* student ministry in Cuba.
Returning home after a ministry trip to one of the college groups, they discovered their home had been robbed. Most of their valuable items were stolen, even their washing machine!
They lost their rice cooker, tabletop stove, blender, toaster oven, iron, pots and pans, DVD player, shoes, and clothing.To make things worse, the thieves either knew or found where they hid their cash savings, and made off with over US$650 they had put aside towards purchasing a refrigerator.
Alexeis, Rebeca, and their three small children did not have much to begin with and now even most of that has vanished.
If you would like to contribute something to help this family get back on its feet, please feel free to channel your funds through ACTION and we can get them down to Alexeis within 24 hours. For online gifts visit our special page: actioninternational.org/
Thank you for your love and concern for the Rodríguez family.Yours in Christ,
* Here is some informaton about the ACTION-UGECU partnership:When young Christians go off to college, they find themselves far away from their families and their home church. They encounter new temptations as they are thrown into a godless and sexually-permissive campus culture, and face new tests to their faith from the atheist, Marxist teachings of their professors.
In response to these challenges, UGECU was founded in 1995. At that time there were four independent groups of college students who were meeting together for theological enrichment and mutual encouragement. They decided to join together to form UGECU, which is the Spanish acronym for the Union of Christian University Student Groups.
This group has three principal purposes: to guard the faith of the college-age believer, to evangelize their peers, and to train up transformational leaders.
Currently UGECU has student groups in 20 cities. Each group meets once a week at a local church near campus that hosts their worship service, and once a week for cell-group Bible study. Currently there are over 2500 students participating in these groups. The total membership of UGECU is close to 5000.
Each group elects fellow students as leaders. On a national level, there is a student-led Board of Directors. The only full- time leaders are Alexeis Rodríguez and his wife, Rebeca, who, having participated in this ministry throughout their college careers, are now the national directors of UGECU. They dedicate their time to visiting all of the individual groups and providing leadership training seminars to each. They also coordinate regional and national retreats as funds are available
ACTION and UGECU share an interdenominational vision. We appreciate very much that college students from 18 different denominations participate. The greatest representation comes from the Eastern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God. Unfortunately only 60% of the members have ever owned their own Bible.
ACTION would like to be more directly involved with these students, the leadership training sessions, and these important retreats that bring members from different groups together. However the Cuban government does not recognize UGECU as a legal religious group. This creates a number of special challenges that the ministry must overcome, including the fact that they are not allowed to have foreigners at their events.
UGECU is an entirely Cuban ministry, and ACTION is very proud to be associated with it since 2004. It was founded by Cubans, is led by Cubans, and is financed by Cubans. Somehow it ekes out a bare-bones existence thanks to the small offerings that are taken up in every one of the student groups.
However, the ministry does not have the financial resources to assist Alexeis and Rebeca with any sort of salary, or even any travel expenses. As funds permit, ACTION is glad to contribute to those important needs. From time to time we are also able to support their regional and national retreats, which are organized with amazingly minimal budgets.
We would be very grateful for your support of UGECU, which you can channel through ACTION for a tax-deductible receipt.