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Cuba National Campaign

January 18 - February 2, 2002

(Last updated September 13, 2002 07:26 PM)

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Most of the evangelistic team members flew to Havana from Cancun on Aero Caribe (a subsidiary of Mexican Airlines). While the flight was uneventful, checking in for the flight wasn't.  Some brought medicines for our hosts as well as other gifts to give the children during the evening programs.  That was a nice idea.  The problem is that Aero Caribe has a strict 20 Kilo (44 pound) weight limit per passenger and the charge for excess baggage runs about $1.50 per pound!

An excited group of 37 guest evangelists and support-team members arrived in Havana at 10:00 P.M. on January 18, 2002.   After gathering our luggage and graphics equipment we spent the next two hours clearing immigration and customs.  This included opening cases containing laptop computers and video projectors and recording their serial numbers.  We only had one importation problem and that dealt with one team-member's computer printer.  Apparently for some reason printers cannot merely have their information recorded so tax had to be paid even to to bring it into the country for two weeks!   We were tempted to speculate about how all this information will ultimately be used!
As we left customs there was some more excitement for  Elder and Mrs. Thomas Scull (►) 1st & 3rd from the left), who came from Bloomfield, Missouri, to hold a campaign in Ciego de Avila.  The doctor and her husband (1st & 3rd from the right) that Sculls have sponsored to come to the United States were waiting to meet them.
Waiting for us on leaving the terminal were union and conference leaders who had a large, air-conditioned bus to take us to our hotel. During the drive to the hotel Union President, Elder Daniel Fontaine ( on the right) welcomed us all to Cuba and Elder Folkenberg gave us the next day's schedule of activities.
We spent all the next day at the Central Church (named, La Vibora) where where Elder Folkenberg (▼, left) went through a comprehensive orientation process with their speakers and support team members (▼, right) on a wide variety of issues including: daily schedules, using the sermon notes, working with a translator, health precautions, optional methods of making calls, finances, to name a few, items necessary to make each campaign a success.  Since many guest evangelists had never preached a single sermon, much less an evangelistic campaign, this orientation information was invaluable.
The highlight of the day was lunch served by the conference staff (▼ left & right). An event that we, and the teams working in the Havana area, would look forward to each day with eager anticipation.

The next day, Thursday, the groups spread out and went in different directions heading for their respective campaign sights.  Transportation was rented vans and several vintage cars (▼ left). Bro. Pascual Soret and Elder Juan Lozano, a businessman and retired pastor from Spain, respectively 1st & 2nd from the left in the picture below, stand with Elder Glenn Hill beside the car that was to take them to their campaign sites in Pinar del Rio. Sue Halstead, Carol Powers, and Mr. & Mrs Lee Johnson (left to right in the picture below on the right) crowd into the back seat of the same car to drive to lunch.

Dr. Herscher (► on the right, with his group from Roseburg, OR)  concluded they were not all going to fit on that motorbike! 

Transportation throughout our stay would be very, very interesting.  During the first few days the author (Bob and Sue Halstead) traveled in a bus, a van, a '52 Chevy, a '54 Ford   (my first car) and a '42 Chevy. Elder  Folkenberg traveled every day to and from his campaign site in a 1959 Ford.

Wednesday evening, after the orientation, the group visited the office of the Cuban Union (►) and its printing facility (▼) with the vintage press (below right, manufactured in 1899) that is still in operation. In fact, it was working when we arrived.

The teams whose campaigns are in the Havana used the time on Thursday, before the meetings began, to visit Moro Castle (▲),  look at some art work at an open-air market (above, right) and visit Cuba's Capital building (►).

As the pressures of the campaigns increased we would all remember this brief break with fond memories.

Elder Folkenberg invited us, Bob and Sue Halstead (◄), their neighbors at Smith Mountain Lake in Southern Virginia, to accompany him to Cuba to help document the national evangelistic campaign.  While Sue has been an Adventist for many years, Bob was baptized December 1, 2001. 

We spent the first several days visiting each campaign site in the Havana area and then made two extended trips, the first to the east and the second to the west of Havana, to take pictures and write stories and our impressions of this experience.  We provided the digital pictures and information to Elder Folkenberg who prepared and uploaded the Website reports.

Baptismal totals: Of course, this entire initiative is intended to a) help grow the church in the country where the campaigns are held, as well as b) provide a new perspective for guest evangelists who have never had this experience. During the month after the close of each quarter Elder Folkenberg will place here the total baptisms reached to date as a result of this initiative.  As an example of this the following are two pictures of some of the baptisms which took place on Sabbath, February 2.
Baptismal Report

Through 2st quarter '02 - 1,600


Be sure to visit the pictorial reports of each of the campaigns conducted by guest evangelists. Just select each of them below.


Individual Campaign Reports

1. Ciego de Avila: Thomas Scull 11. Viñales; Pascual Soret
2. Cienfuegos; Harvey Miller 12. Pinar del Rio City; Juan Lozano
3. Colón; Kerry Kelley 13. San Luís; Hector Quiñones
4. El Cerro, Havana; Glenn Hill 14. Santa Clara City; Mark Herscher
5. Florida; Philip Baptiste 15. Santi Spíritus; Paulo Macena
6. Guanabacoa, Havana; Oswaldo Villalobos 16. Santiago de las Vegas, Havana; Gladys Lincoln
7. La Vibora, Havana; R S Folkenberg 17. Vigía, Camagüey; James Landelius
8. Mantilla, Havana; Bruce Powers 18. Abel Santamáre - Typical House Church
9. Marianao, Havana; Kenneth Mittleider 19. Boyeros Church - at Union Office
10. Matanzas City; Dale Wolcott  

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