HEART Fund Grant to Help Tornado Victims in Cuba

After a huge, rare tornado devastated Cuba’s capital Havana on January 27th, a WMU Foundation grant is helping undergird a local Baptist seminary’s effort to care for those affected.

The storm killed 4 and injured 195 as it swept through, damaging buildings, pushing over trees and causing flooding in low-lying areas. Cuba is threatened frequently by hurricanes, but a tornado of this magnitude is unusual for the Caribbean island nation.

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A $3,650 grant from the WMU Foundation’s HEART Fund will help Havana Baptist Theological Seminary with generator power and bulk food purchases.

“The seminary is right in the core area of the devastation, so they are able to accomplish things and do so in the name of the Lord,” said L.M. Dyson, a member of First Woodway Baptist Church in Texas who has partnered with ministries in Cuba for 20 years. “They’ve set up feeding and food distribution there. There’s so much need, it’s mind boggling.”

Dyson, who is administering the HEART Fund grant, said people on the ground in Cuba are looking for the pockets of greatest need so that they can apply the resources there first.

It’s an effort that’s an extension of the organization’s long investment in Cuba.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin, WMU executive director, said WMU’s first national offering in 1888 was to help build a church there, and now—131 years later—WMU still wants to get the hope of the gospel to Cubans.

“Often in the overwhelming aftermath of a tragedy, people’s hearts are more receptive to accepting the hope found in Christ,” she said. “We pray our efforts will reap Kingdom rewards.”

Since the HEART Fund began in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the WMU Foundation has granted more than $492,000 to help with disaster relief all over the world.

The WMU Foundation accepts gifts to the HEART Fund for disaster relief victims online or by mail to WMU Foundation HEART Fund, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.

Written by Grace Thornton.

Zachariah Seanor

Director of Mission Advancement