12 Dec Concrete and a Tin Roof
It’s Sunday, and René enters a four-walled structure in the backyard of his friend’s house on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba. It is nothing fancy; no crown molding, no stained glass, mostly concrete and a tin roof.
In fact, until they received a donation from the Hope Project of 2019, it didn’t even have the roof. But to the group of friends and neighbors that gather there each Sunday, it has always been a place where life change can happen. René’s own wife, Yoreima, is evidence of that.
Years ago, Yoreima would never have even stepped foot in a church building. In a country rooted in a type of spirit-worship religion known as Santoria, Yoreima was the rare person who did not believe in any type of God or spirit at all. So when René became a follower of Jesus and asked his wife if she would come with him to church, the answer was always no. René said, “She doesn’t want to have anything to do with religion. I’ve invited her many times, but she hasn’t come yet.”
So each Sunday, René attended church without his wife, and brought their child along. After some time, René came home from church and recalled something that had happened there. “They have a singles ministry at the church, and they’re inviting me to come and be a part of their meetings,” he said. Yoreima reacted immediately. “You better not be going to any singles meeting,” she said, “I’m going with you to church.”
The next Sunday, the family attended church together, and she quickly began reading the Bible. Their pastor, Ramiro Sesma, recalls what happened just a month later, “We were inviting people that day to come to Christ to ask him to forgive their sins and begin a relationship with Him,” says Ramiro, “That day, [Yoreima], stood to her feet and she was emotional and crying.”
He says Yoreima told the room, “‘God has showed me through the life of my husband that God is real, that God does exist, and hearing the word of God and starting to study it, I’ve realized that I want to become a Christian.'”
“That day, she accepted Jesus,” says Ramiro.
Today, within those concrete walls and under that tin roof, the couple is being mentored and growing spiritually. Their church family hopes that with donations from Hope Project 2020, they will be able to expand their location to help more people like René and Yoreima know and follow Jesus, by providing room for their children to receive a free meal, learn to read, learn about God, and to have a safe place to play.
Want to help their church family offset the costs of expanding their space? Donate here!