By Jim Wright

Next Step Connector

If you ask people what word associations come to mind when talking about Cuba, they’ll likely to say Fidel Castro, cars from the 1950s, and cigars. It is doubtful that many will associate missions with Cuba; however, that is not the situation for New Palestine Bible Church (NPBC) of New Palestine, a growing town about 30 minutes east of Indianapolis.

 

Yet, one must ask, How did this growing church in Indianapolis form a connection with pastors in Cuba? The answer is in the old saying, “It is not what you know but who you know.”

 

In 2021-2022, the congregation was constructing a new facility with the assistance of the Mississippi Nail Benders. During the construction, Pastor Brett Crump of NPBC connected with Pastor Larry Frisbee, who was participating with his Kentucky church in the Mississippi Nail Benders project.

 

Pastor Larry, who leads Cuban Outreach Ministries, shared with Pastor Crumb his vision and the needs Cuban pastors encounter. Shortly after completing the facility, Pastor Crumb traveled to Cuba with Pastor Frisbee, and he came back with a vision to challenge NPBC to support three pastors in the eastern portion of the island in Holguin, the third largest city in Cuba.

 

The following Christmas (2023), NPBC members gave $24,678 to support for the three churches to do the following:

  • Expansion of three church facilities
  • Underwrite travel costs to Cuba by NPBC members
  • Provide for laptops, OTC meds, and other needs of the pastors
  • Deliver new pastoral support for the next two years
  • Provide costs for outreach events

 

NPBC invested $3,000 in one of the churches to expand their current seating capacity of 35 to 100 people. Additional monies provided a second church with the finances necessary to expand its facilities to seat 200 people, and the third church, which had been meeting outdoors, now has the resources to rent a facility.

 

In January, Pastor Crumb and two others from the church traveled to Cuba to administer funds and materials from NPBC to the Cuban pastors and to assist in sharing the Gospel with their communities. The team worked with the Cuban pastors to host 13 “Friend Events” at their locations. As a result of those events, 237 people made professions of faith in Christ!

 

One never knows how God is going to work. Before the team embarked on the mission trip, a member of NPBC donated two engagement rings,

and although Pastor Crump wasn’t sure what he’d do with the rings, God had a plan. During the trip, Pastor Crump mentioned the contribution to Pastor Alex, one of the Cuban pastors they support. Pastor Alex’s eyes lit up as he shared that he had never been able to give his wife an engagement ring. Because of the generous donation, Pastor Alex now had a ring to give to his wife; NPBC also paid for Pastor Alex and his wife to enjoy a nice celebratory dinner. The other ring went to a pastor’s son, who plans to get engaged.

 

New Palestine Bible Church’s story exemplifies how God works through partnerships.