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Uncategorized | Comments Off on Matanzas


In the picture, brother Manrique and his wife, Elena.  Behind his wife is their daughter, Esther.  Behind her is her husband Alejandro.  To the right of Esther is their son Iriam and his wife Dairilis.  On the far left of the picture is their other son, Samuel and his wife Sandra.  Along with several other men, Iriam and Samuel work together with great dedication to continue the ministry begun by their grandfather.


 “Manrique,” as he is known by Christians throughout Cuba, is one of the oldest, longest serving preachers in Cuba.  Now in his nineties, and almost blind, he was converted many years ago by an uncle, who had been led to Christ by two evangelists from Florida.  After becoming a Christian, brother Manrique began working with great energy to bring many others to the Lord.  Through the intervening years, he supported himself and his family as a brick-mason, as well as by other kinds of work he found to do.  During the Castro Revolution, while  many were afraid to be identified as a Christian, Manrique continued teaching the gospel to everyone who listened.  He started a congregation in his home, where he also raised two godly daughters.  For many years, Hartford has had the privilege of being a help to this great man, his family and his work.  Sister Elena has Alzheimers which further restricts what brother Manrique is able to do, but he continues teach every opportunity given to him.  He remains as a model of faithfulness to the many younger men and women he has been instrumental in bringing to Christ.

The church in Matanzas, as throughout Cuba, meets in private homes.  Due to sister Elena’s condition, the church that did meet in the Garro home is now meeting elsewhere.  There are two other house churches that have begun due to brother Manrique’s efforts.  Esther and her husband now live with her parents and help provide assistance to them.  A second daughter, along with her husband and family open their home several times each week for gatherings of Christians there.  (Note:  Matanzas is the location of possibly the largest congregation of Christians in Cuba, the result of the ministry of brother Tony Fernandez.  Tony’s father was led to Christ by brother Manrique.  All of the churches are in harmony with one another and from time to time have joint assemblies so they can worship and have fellowship with one another!