The Seventh-day Adventist Church broke new ground in Cuba by providing free health checks and selling religious books and music discs at the country’s largest annual trade fair in the capital, Havana.
More than 500 Adventist health promoters, Bible workers, and lay evangelists participated in the International Agriculture and Cattle Fair, where they also held the Cuban church’s fourth annual Adventist Bible Workers and Healthy Lifestyle Convention.
“This is an amazing experience for the church to be part of sharing the health message and a message of hope during this fair,” said Aldo Perez, president of the Adventist Church in Cuba.
He noted that the fair is recognized as “the most important of its kind in Cuba because it features world-renowned experts.”
Trained health promoters conducted health screenings, presentations, massages, and distributed hundreds of books during the fair, where hundreds more exhibitors showcased cattle and other animals, auctioned animals, held veterinary clinics, sold farming products, and shared the findings of genetic research.
The Adventist Church was able to sell music discs and books because of recent changes to Cuba’s economic policy that allows the church to have its own license to sell them, Perez said.
During the fair, young people from various Adventist congregations in Havana also staged a series of Christian musical concerts.
Sonia Garcia of the Cuban government’s Religious Affairs Office thanked the Adventist Church for participating in the event and spoke of the importance of the church’s health message.
The church chose the fairgrounds for its annual convention this year because of the large available space for meetings and exhibits, and the conveniently located central location, said Dayami Rodríguez, communication director for the church in Cuba.
“This is the first event held outside of a church property to train and motivate laypeople for greater community impact,” Rodríguez said.
Previous conventions have been held in churches and focused more exclusively on evangelism.
“The event strengthens the impact that health fairs are having throughout our entire island,” Rodríguez said.