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International Peacemaker from Cuba to share stories of hope, support and resilience

2023 Peacemakers to visit PC(USA) in September and October

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Alison Infante Zamora

LOUISVILLE — A minister from Cuba will provide insight into the social, economic and political landscape of his Caribbean nation while serving as an International Peacemaker for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Rev. Alison Infante Zamora, pastor of the Juan G. Hall Presbyterian Church in Cárdenas, will arrive in the United States next month to highlight critical issues in his country and share stories about his work and ministry.

Because Cuba has been in deep crisis for many years, “my role as a pastor and the mission of the church in general is focused in providing hope, support and resilience to the people,” said Infante, a Synod moderator for the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba, which is the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba (IPRC).

Infante, who also holds other offices in the church, will share more about that and give a brief history of his country and its churches as well as examples of solidarity and mutuality with the PC(USA).

IPRC has a history of collaborating with the PC(USA) in a number of ways, including exchanging resources and participating in efforts to normalize relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, said Infante.

“I participate … in many programs and projects where PC(USA) participation is crucial,” he said. “Any effort to strengthen relations between churches, countries and people is a very good thing and has a lot to do with the perspective of the Gospel Jesus. I hope to make closer the relations between IPRC and PC(USA)” and to make strides toward advancing the work of the church in Cuba.

Infante is one of eight Peacemakers who’ll be traveling to presbyteries and other locations, such as the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, during their visits to the United States in September and October. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program coordinates Peacemaker visits each year to increase understanding of peace and justice concerns around the world, broaden the sense of God’s inclusive family and help equip the church to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all of God’s children.

Infante’s visit is a continuation of the PC(USA)’s longstanding relationship with the people of Cuba. There has been Presbyterian witness in Cuba since the 1800s, and recent advocacy has included PC(USA) signing onto a letter earlier this year asking the Biden administration to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List to diminish great suffering among the Cuban people and by Cuban partners.

Infante said there is a scarcity of “products for daily life.” For example, multiple times a week, people come to the offices of the church asking for medicine that comes in through members and donations. Their gratitude is so great that “many people cry for what they consider a miracle,” Infante said.

The church also tries to meet community needs through education, such as workshops and conferences about the Bible, Reformed theology and other topics. It also emphasizes spirituality and social work. There are projects to support older people, children, teenagers, young people and women. Examples include feeding programs, day care programs, gardens, “new business for self-sustainability,” and much more.

Infante has been in ministry for several years and also has a family. “I have served as a pastor for 14 years, together with my wife Sarahí García Gómez, in many different communities in Cuba,” he said. “I have two children: Ana Paula, 12 years old, and Joel David, 7 years old.”

Learn more about Infante and other Peacemakers, including where they will be visiting, here.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Its work is made possible through the Peace & Global Witness Offering, which allows International Peacemaker visits to continue.

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