Jim Garrett (red shirt) and Hector (blue shirt)
"What do you want for Christmas?" Jim Garrett asked a group of Cuban 10-14 year olds. "Shoes!" came the unanimous reply. Many play soccer on broken concrete with no shoes, or if they have shoes they are worn out. These boys provide a microcosm of Cuba. "Economic impoverishment" summarizes the plight of the population.
Hector ministers to the boys without shoes. Two boys, also without fathers or mothers, raise themselves. Hector takes care of them. What compels Hector, who lives in "economic impoverishment" himself, to give out of his poverty to spiritually and physically nurture these boys?
Spiritual Oasis
Hector is only one of Reach Out's 60+ Eagle Leaders, who apply Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry and train others across Cuba to reach and disciple teenagers. So each year when we gather these leaders, they come to a place they could never afford, eat food impossible for them to buy, spend time with each other, and interact with our USA team. The "encouraging, equipping, and empowering" environment provides a spiritual oasis for three days.
Reach Out has offered this experience for fourteen years. We have watched our excellent Cuban leaders, who daily start in "impossible," operate through "in spite of," and arrive at "phenomenal!" You have to see it to believe it. And it all comes out of total dependence on Jesus -- for everything.
Encouraging, Equipping, and Empowering Environment
Significant Outcomes
One significant statistic reveals the Lord's magnificent ministry through our Cuban leaders: 5,600 teenagers made a serious decision to follow Jesus in 2016! 
That happens because of high quality leadership that begins with our National Director, Elio Martiz, and spreads across the island through our Regional Leaders -- José Carlos Morales  in Pinar del Rio, Edel Díaz  in Havana, Lesky Aguilar  in Santa Clara and Carlos Zaldívar in Holguin. They guide the Eagle Leaders who equip churches across their region in Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry. The outcome: discipled teenagers who share Jesus with their friends. 
Reach Out's Cuba Regional Leaders
Striking Impressions
Randy Godfrey, who has gone with Reach Out to Cuba five times, commented: "Old Havana is 'renovation central.' With seemingly every building getting a makeover, the city is like an outward symbol of the inward change in Cuba. Most people see the outward change, but God is moving across the island with a sweeping renovation -- heart by heart, especially with the younger generation. People are coming alive in Christ in Cuba!"  
To give you an impression of what the Lord did on this trip to Cuba with our 25 leaders meeting in Holguin and 25 more in Varadero, check out our photo album on Reach Out's Facebook. And read Elio's beautiful expression of his impression of the trip on the Cuba team. 
Elio (left), Our Cuba National Leader and our leaders bowing before THE Leader
Really folks, when I reflect about the impact on our Cuba team, I find myself without easy words to describe it.

*Engaging with topics like spiritual disciplines, brokenness, accountability, and boldness in an environment of
   small group fellowship, created authentic, in-depth conversations... and the opportunity to explore our
   personal lives and pursue healing...
*The Jesus-focused worship and communion goes beyond words...
*The Holy Spirit's movement of integrating our Cuba and USA teams...
*The unburdened opportunity for our Regional Leaders to spend time with their teams with whom they serve...
*The way God solved each of the inevitable limitations Cuba presents, granting the opportunity to reach every
   goal we set...
*And the prayerful expectation of the country-wide influence of Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry over our future
   2020 Vision...

Help us God, to be wise in trusting You about the fruits for Your Eternal Kingdom...
And only to You Lord, be all the glory! Amen.
Serious Thanks
And from me to all of you who pray and give to make possible special opportunities like this trip, and the sustainable ministry that happens all year...
I off
er a heartfelt Thank You! 

Jesus is Lord,  
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