The nation of Cuba has long held the curiosity and attention of the United States. For over 50 years, a heavy veil has hung between us, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue. And ever since that veil began to lift, almost every major global news source has published a photo essay or exposé article on this unique country—but aside from the pictures of old muscle cars and peeling paint you’ve seen a-plenty, what has really been going on down there?

I’ll start by sharing my personal connection to Cuba. My grandparents were missionaries there in the 50’s, working as foster parents in an orphanage home. But when Fidel Castro took over in 1959, it quickly became a hostile environment for Christians and foreigners. They had to be careful about what they said around the children, who were now being sent to indoctrination camps. Living right off the main highway to a military base, they regularly saw motorcades drive by—especially leading up to the revolution. So in 1960, just three months after my mother was born, they moved to inner-city Miami and continued ministering to Cubans.

I’ve always been determined to carry on our family’s tributes to Cuban culture—but my desire to learn more about the nation itself sparked a few years ago when one of my aunts returned to Cuba as a missionary. I began asking questions, seeking to glean new insight on things I had once assumed or taken for granted.

When Fidel passed away, it struck me that his death represented the end of an era that began the year my mother was born. From then on, Cuba rose to the very top of my “countries to visit” list—I craved to personally encounter the country that shaped the cultural fabric and missional direction of my family.

This January, I had the opportunity to go to Cuba for a week. With plenty of time to walk around the streets of the city, I struck up conversations with locals and took notes on all that I observed. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. I was able to connect the things I’d heard from my family or learned through research to what I was encountering first-hand.

Most articles published about Cuba either avoid any controversial topics or are skewed by a certain political agenda, so I decided to do some research of my own. I looked up as many online articles on Cuba as I could find and put together my own research report—a “highlight reel” of the political, social and spiritual state of Cuba from a balanced perspective.

I’m including it as a separate piece to download because 1) There is some content I don’t want to be associated with my name online, 2) I wanted to offer something exclusively for subscribers and 3) It’s several pages long. ENJOY! 🙂


    • Cuba’s unique (and painful) colonial history
    • Communism’s impact on Cuban culture
    • Cuba’s spiritual climate and growing revival
    • America’s complicated relationship with Cuba
    • Cuba’s uncertain, yet changing, future
    • Access to over 100 finished photos to download and use freely!

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