Cuba Nazarene president confirms Nazarene couples among lost in plane disaster

Havana, Cuba

AP photo

Brothers and Sisters,

Thursday night we closed a 3-day National Conference in Havana for pastors and their spouses with 125 couples in attendance. It was a time of blessing, joy, happiness, and fellowship. 

On Friday, several couples from the East District were on their way back to their home Province of Holguín. Their plane crashed shortly after takeoff with more than 100 passengers on board, leaving only three survivors in serious condition. 

Our blessed and joyful pastors and their spouses were among those who lost their lives, but we know that they are in Heaven with the Lord.

"This morning, on their way to the airport, some of them testified that they were prepared to encounter their God, which is humanly impossible to explain,” said a pastor who rode with them to the airport. 

"They were singing and praying in the guagua (bus) the whole way to the airport,” said the driver.

We have just left the coroner's office, where we have delivered documents and evidence to identify the deceased. So far we do not have the exact number of deaths because there is a couple that does not appear on the government's list and we do not know whether the couple was on board or not.

When we have the exact number confirmed by the authorities we will provide more information. The approximate number is nine or 10 Nazarene couples among the deceased.

Several children and adolescents are left orphans without their fathers and mothers. Some of them have no extended family. 

Pray for the victims’ families and children, the East District leadership, for us, and for what we have to face in the future.

Government officials at all levels have called me to express their condolences and support in this tragedy, and brothers and sisters from various parts of the world have also done so. All the national presidents of the different denominations in Cuba are with us in this moment of tribulation and anguish, and above all, the Lord is with us — that is why we can say we are not alone.

We count on your prayers and support in this moment of so much sadness and pain.

Blessings,

Leonel López

President, Church of the Nazarene Cuba 

Editor's Note: López reported Sunday that the 10th couple was on the plane and both individuals passed away. 

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