WMU, TBM, Waco layman help Cuban Baptists after tornado

During a 2015 mission trip to Cuba, Texas Baptist Men unload a truckload of donated medical equipment and disaster relief supplies for Cuban Baptists. (File Photo)

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A Waco layman and national Woman’s Missionary Union are seeking to help Havana Baptist Theological Seminary meet needs in the aftermath of a deadly tornado that swept through Havana on Jan. 27, claiming at least four lives and injuring about 200 people.

The Miami Herald reported the Category F4 tornado—with wind speeds greater than 186 mph—damaged more than 1,200 homes and initially left 1 million houses without power.

Texas Baptist Men also sent financial support to Cuban Baptists as they provide disaster relief to survivors of the devastating tornado. TBM partnered with the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba in recent years, equipping and training volunteers for disaster relief and providing scholarships to seminary students.

Last year, TBM provided Cuban Baptists cooking utensils for a field kitchen, chainsaws and hundreds of water purification filters for disaster relief, TBM Executive Director Mickey Lenamon noted.

Havana Baptist Theological Seminary is located at the heart of the devastated area and strategically positioned to minister to people affected by the powerful tornado, said L.M. Dyson, retired professor at Baylor University and member of First Woodway Baptist Church in Waco.

Dyson has traveled to Cuba more than 40 times over the last 20 years, working with Cuban Baptists, TBM, WMU and other partners to provide shipping containers filled with ministry supplies.

The WMU Foundation’s Heart Fund—Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow—provided a $3,650 grant to help Havana Baptist Theological Seminary supply generators, food, water purifiers and other needed assistance in the area affected by the most devastating tornado to hit Cuba in about 75 years.

The WMU Foundation created the HEART Fund in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks. Since then, the foundation has granted more than $492,000 to help support disaster relief and rebuilding globally.


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