Is it dangerous to go to Cuba?

Is it dangerous to go to Cuba? In general, I would say it’s not that dangerous, at least for me personally. It does put at risk some of the people that we work with from time to time. As in many countries, there’s a certain ebb and flow to the amount of restrictions or freedom that Christians in a place like Cuba go through. I’m going there with a religious visa that usually protects me and the work that we’re doing there. There shouldn’t really be a problem at this point even though there has been a long history in Cuba of many people suffering from imprisonment, having their jobs taken away from them and other things. I don’t expect any of that to happen on this trip.

If all goes as planned, I am in Cuba while you’re reading this right now. I have several days in Santiago to work with pastors and leaders in that part of the island. Then I’ll spend several days in Havana with other pastors and leaders. In both places, we want to teach the biblical pro-life ethics of the call to rescue the innocent. We’re going to be showcasing or highlighting how Cuban Christians are already doing that in three places in Cuba and hoping to see that kind of a ministry started in the capital city of Havana and in the major city of Santiago.

Yesterday I received this great picture of this group of Cuban Christians working with mothers and they are very inspiring the way they’re doing this. That’s the kind of thing that we want to multiply all over the island. But here’s a question. What if the answer was yes? What if it was dangerous to go to Cuba? Should it make a difference in our planning? And my answer to that question is no, it shouldn’t be. Danger is not the go and no-go point.

Here’s a couple reasons for saying that. Number one, the command to rescue the innocent in Proverbs 24: 11-12 assumes that there’s danger involved in obeying it. It says, “Rescue those being hauled off to death, hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.” The only people that have the power to slaughter innocent people are people who have lots of power. And we have no such power. So by definition, the call to rescue is a call to do dangerous things. You’re putting your own life at risk in the doing of it.

The Lord himself anticipates that there’ll be a certain amount of anxiety, fear and trepidation in obeying his commandment because he says in verse 12, “That if you say, we don’t know anything about this, does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?” In other words, the Lord is saying, “Put your trust in me and then you can risk your life for the innocent. I’ll watch over your back, and even if you die in the process, I’m going to give your life back to you.” That’s the great power of the gospel at work in us. So I think that it doesn’t matter if there’s a certain amount of danger in going to hard places.

Number two, Paul is just a tremendous example of how he saw dangers everywhere yet he went and he kept on going. I mean, just listen to some of the things that he went through. He says that he was imprisoned, went through countless beatings, shipwrecked, and so much more. Now, I have been imprisoned overseas before but I’ll save that story for another time. I have never gone through countless beatings as a part of that imprisonment. I’ve never been near death as Paul went through. Five times, he says, he received at the hands of the Jews forty lashes less one. I have never been whipped in anything that I have ever done for the gospel. Three times Paul was beaten with rods. Once he was stoned. Three times he was shipwrecked. A night and a day he was adrift at sea. Now I have been lost in certain places from time to time like in China and a couple of other places, but I’ve never been adrift at sea. And I’ve never felt the immediate danger of my life from the work that I have done around the world.

Paul experienced danger from rivers, robbers, his own people and the Gentiles. Meaning, as a part of the Jewish community, he was rejected when taking the gospel to the Gentiles. He had danger in the city and in the wilderness. There was no safe place for Paul to carry out God’s will for His life. Danger comes with obedience. It’s just the way it is. And adding to this, Paul says he was in hunger and thirst, and often without food, in cold and exposure. Here it’s not so much danger as it’s just hardship.

Now, I’ve gone through certain amounts of hardship staying in places, being cold, not having the food, you know, but they’re all short term, they’re all temporary things. There is nothing that I’ve gone through in my travels that I would add to this list. That’s just almost like what Paul went through. Now, could that change? Yes, it could. It could change at any point. But that’s part of what it means to be obedient as a Christian. And it’s always meant that. The truth of the matter is, there’s really no safer place to be than in the will of God. This world is dangerous.

As we’ve seen recently, even going out for a jog for Laken Riley proved to be a deadly decision because we live in a dark, evil and wicked dangerous world. So the whole idea of trying to measure where it’s safe and where it’s not safe is something of a lost cause it seems to me. I think what we should do is we should just try to figure out what is the will of God for my life. For me, that includes going to places like Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China, and so on. Is there danger? I assume so.

Our Lord and Savior warned us ahead of time that there’d be a certain amount of danger and suffering. He modeled it on the cross and I want to count myself as a cross bearer for a child bearer. And I encourage you to do the same thing. Whatever you perceive to be the will of God for your life, go and do it heartily. If it means investing money, invest it. If it means going somewhere, go somewhere. If it means serving in a particular ministry, if it means praying for somebody night and day, just do it. Make your peace with it.

If you agree with me, I really want to encourage you to pray for the people in Cuba. I challenge you to go directly to our website right now, and on our homepage, download the impact study of the PassionLife impact in Cuba and read that study. It will inspire you and it will help explain why we’re going to continue to go to Cuba as often as we can to encourage the church there across that island to stand for life and to bring good news to people throughout the island and to rescue the innocent.

It’s called the Cuba Impact Study. It’s right there. It’s free of charge. And I think that you will find it a great blessing and encouragement to you to join me in doing the will of God, no matter what it takes.