A passenger waves a Cuban flag from the deck of an American Carnival cruise ship headed for Cuba. (Credit: Instagram)

A passenger waves a Cuban flag from the deck of an American Carnival cruise ship headed for Cuba. (Credit: Instagram)

Cuba’s communist regime, which for years persecuted Christians and restricted visitors, now is open to Americans for business and vacation travel.

For the most part.

The Hill reported Friday that even though President Obama has declared that travel to the rogue island dictatorship is opening and American airlines even have scheduled flights to start up in the fall, there still are issues.

For example, several members of Congress who wanted to visit the island to evaluate the risk of resuming commercial air travel there were denied permission to come.

The members were Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, Martha McSally of Arizona and Richard Hudson of North Carolina,  and Democrat Henry Cuellar of Texas.

Maybe they should travel there as Bible teachers, instead.

The Luis Palau Association confirmed on Friday it will hold pastoral training classes in the island nation in the fall, a first.

The organization already has reached out to some 43,000 Christian leaders in Latin America through its online courses.

But in opening its borders, Cuba is allowing a historic training gathering in November.

The project also is the result of work by the International Bible Society, Logos Christian University and others.

“The Evidence Bible” is now available and includes, besides the King James version, dozens of articles expanding answers to questions such as why is there suffering, explanations about what Muslims believe and scientific facts written millennia before man discovered them.

In a Spanish-language news outlet, Noti-Prensa, Carlos Barbieri, the director of the Luis Palau Bible Institute, and Pastor Arcadis Solano, the Cuba director for the organization, discussed the plans.

“We hope to have 220 pastors in these first classes on the subject of pastoral counseling, the maximum space available. The enthusiasm generated is such among the leadership that we have already asked the Institute to consider the possibility of a second series of classes,” Solano explained.

Barbieri said that more than two decades ago, the ministry found out there were more than 13,000 pastors and ministry leaders in one South American country alone. But only 400 had had formal theological training.

The result was a 60-hour course on videos first, then CDs and eventually DVDs.

The “Ministerial Self-Improvement Course” is all digital.

But onsite classes have become necessary sometimes because there are locations with little or no Internet access and high costs.

That’s Cuba.

Solano said the Christian church in Cuba now “is experiencing exponential growth.”

“Hundreds of churches have opened along with thousands of homes where the Gospel is preached and where help is given to families in need. The Gospel is spreading and reaching daily more people who give their lives to Christ.”

“The Evidence Bible” is now available and includes, besides the King James version, dozens of articles expanding answers to questions such as why is there suffering, explanations about what Muslims believe and scientific facts written millennia before man discovered them.

 

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