Cuba

The earliest vision of the Companerismo Medico Bautista de Cuba Occidental (CMBdeCO) emerged during a trip to Cuba in 1997. Charles Walker; Baptist Campus Minister at LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, LA; first made contact with some Cuban physicians when he took a group of medical students to Cuba.

In November of 1998 he led a BMDF assessment team of seven persons to Cuba to explore opportunities for BMDF to support Cuban Baptist work.  The team met with several Cuban Baptist leaders including Dr. Victor Samuel Gonzales. He is an oncologist in Havana and Executive Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba.  Dr. Gonzales and other Cuban physicians had the vision of organizing Baptist health care personnel for cooperative evangelistic outreach to Cuban people and to other countries, for training and for Christian fellowship.  

Dr. Gonzales attended the 1999 National Meeting of the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship in Birmingham to gain insight into our organization.  Returning to Cuba, he organized a preliminary meeting in September 1999 for Cuban health care personnel and invited BMDF representation to that meeting.  Twenty-seven people went from the US and had an exciting experience with Cuban brothers and sisters.  That meeting laid the groundwork for creation of the Companerismo Medico Bautista de Cuba Occidental (Baptist Medical Fellowship of Western Cuba). The organization formally came into being the following year after approval by the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba and the necessary government agencies. 

METS Conference in Cuba - Photo Gallery

The first annual meeting of the CMBdeCO was held February 3-6, 2000 and was attended by 153 Cuban healthcare professionals.  Dr. Adrian Ramos, a dentist, was elected president of the organization.  Cuba for Christ, the motto of the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba, is embraced enthusiastically by CMBdeCO as its challenge also.

"Serving With Integrity" - 2008 Latin American Conference for Health Professionals - Photo Gallery

CMBdeCO collaboration with BMDF in adding formal International Partnerships in Central and South America. This may also include International Partnerships started exclusively through CMBdeCO in countries of the world inaccessible to Baptists in the US. Members who feel called to be part of a “Friends of Cuba” network to provide ongoing support for healthcare ministry there.

God is at work in mighty ways in Cuba. BMDF has an open door to being involved with Him in the work there. Opportunities for prayer and involvement are:

  • Provision of: 1)  medical evangelism training through METS (Medical Evangelism Training Seminars) for members of CMBdeCO and 2) METS Leadership Training sessions empowering CMBdeCO leaders to teach all future evangelism training events in Cuba.
  • Collaboration of BMDF with other organizations doing ministry in Cuba. 
  • Provision of essential medical supplies to Baptist Nursing Home and Retirement Center in Havana. 
  • Funding for participation of CMBdeCO leaders in BMDF national meetings and direct financial subsidies for the expenses of CMBdeCO annual meetings. 
  • Provide Medical Libraries for CMBdeCO (housed in the Baptist Seminary in Havana) and each province (housed in key churches). 
  • Provide financial assistance for CMBdeCO representatives to participate regularly in BMDF/ CMBdeCO joint medical mission projects.
    For questions or to be added to the Cuba mailing list, email Charles Walker or call 318-518-3122.