Report on the Güines Church’s New Roof

Last spring the church took a collection to help repair the roof of our sister church in Güines, Cuba. It had become like a leaky sieve around the eaves. This would seem to be an easy project – for us living on Long Island it would be. Not so in Cuba. The most difficult part was locating the materials needed. The roof is covered in tiles. These, although 100 years old, could be reused replacing some only when necessary. The secret to a tight roof is the underlayment material that does the waterproofing. This was a challenge to find. Cuba has a building boom but most of it is centered in the tourist areas. Materials are scarce, hard to find and expensive. Pastor Abel had to go on a mission to find them. He was tenacious and working through the Cuban underground black-market he located what was needed and drove to Havana City to pick it up. This sounds innocuous enough but he could have been stopped by the police and the materials seized. Getting them back would have been more difficult than finding them. Perhaps you’ll enjoy some of the conversations I had with Abel during the process.

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‘Thank you for all the wonderful pictures of the work that is being done on the roof! Does your wife know you were up on the roof? Oh my God! I did not expect you to be on the roof with the workers! Please take care! Remember, you are not an angel with wings! Hahaha!

‘I put the camera on the water tank and adjusted the self-timer for 10 seconds, I was afraid the camera might fall in the wind. So, I had only one chance. I pressed the shutter release and ran out to the roof’s edge. You can see I didn’t have time to put my hands on any firm place. I was surfing on the church roof! Then I ran to the camera. It was OK. The worker told me that he had never seen such a crazy pastor.’

‘Nobody better than you can understand that the crazy ones in love with the church do anything. I hope that our beloved God does not need to put wings on me for some time, I have many more follies that I still have to do for the church.’

‘We may be crazy for Christ but do not expect the angels to come in a dive to catch you if you fall off the roof. And if that does not kill you, your wife will!’

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‘It must be incredibly hot working on the roof!’

‘It's a terrible fire, you're barely on the roof five minutes and thirst makes you almost faint! Thank God we're finished. Please thank Pastor Scot and the congregation for their love and generosity.’

—Barbara D’Andrea, Mission Committee

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