Evangelical churches have existed in Cuba for over 100 years and they are experiencing tremendous growth. Their motto is “Cuba for Christ” and they are working diligently to see this happen. ASSIST partners with local churches by financially supporting pastors and church projects to meet the needs of rapidly growing ministries in this country that have faced hardships for many years. Church growth is accomplished through local evangelism, leading to the establishment of prayer cells and mission churches. Please pray for God to continue to reach Cuba for His Kingdom.
The evangelical churches of Cuba have emerged from years of persecution and are still being adversely affected by poverty. Monetary help is assisting these churches to construct church buildings, help them to purchase church benches, etc. Frequently , severe hurricanes ravage this island putting the population in severe need.
Don Pickel (Canada & Maine)
David Smith (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island & Maine)
Jake Rempel (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta)
Jerry Stearns (Nova Scotia)
Richard Salas (Manitoba and Cuba)
Don and Carol Pickel
Don and Carol, have had the privilege to work with ASSIST CANADA now for 11 years. Carol assists Don greatly with the office tasks in his responsibility as director of the Cuba ministries with ASSIST.
His responsibilities revolve around arranging teams to visit the churches in Cuba exposing Christians to the great needs in Cuba, monitoring the financial assistance that ASSIST provides to help the evangelical churches there, maintaining correspondence with our Cuban assistant, and working with our representatives who are seeking to cover Canada.
Don, originally from Moncton, NB where he was saved at 14 and called into missions at that time. After high school, he received a number of years of training for the mission field and married Carol at the age of 24 in 1965, and together they had four boys. The Lord led them to Colombia, SA first of all where they thought they would be for life. However, the mission had other ideas, and the Lord confirmed it, asking them if they would be willing to do representation work and recruitment of missionaries in eastern Canada from Thunder Bay, ON through to NS.
They did that from 1976 to 2010 and were relocated, first to Guelph, ON and then on to headquarters in Winnipeg.
Because of God’s leading, they resigned from Avant Ministries after 40 years of service and took on the Cuba ministry in January of 2011.
Carol was born in Moncton, NB and saved at the age of 10. After she completed high school she attended NBBI for one year. She married Don in 1965 and attended Bible College in London, ON. Their 3 of their 4 sons are married, and they have 7 beautiful grandchildren.
Meet Richard Salas: Married 27 years to his lovely wife Miriam, God has blessed them with three kids, Daleska, Richard Jr. and Kathryn. He was born in Peru.
Richard accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal saviour at 18 years old, he was the first believer in his family. God used a missionary from Norway to share the Gospel with him. After 8 months of consistent one on one discipleship, God used him for church planting, as an instrument of God, there were three churches planted in Arequipa Peru. At this time, he provided a one-on-one discipleship course for 45 believers. Currently nine individuals of this group are now full-time pastors. Richard came to Canada from Peru in 2005 and currently lives in the south area of Winnipeg.
Richard has been reaching out and making disciples of Spanish background Canadians, newcomers and international students, since arriving in Canada, over 16 years ago. He has been involved in leadership at his home church as an elder as well. His home church and the mission committee requested that he support the Cuba ministry in 2012.
On November 2012 he arrived for the first time to Cuba before the pandemic, from then on, he had a mission trip twice a year. He created a strategy to support, strengthen and grow the local church. He has had the privilege of serving in this ministry and country, the first five years in one church. Then, a Satellite seminary was created for training 32 graduated in 2017 and 8 graduated in 2018, we partnered with 15 church planters in Cuba. He has implemented one on one discipleship and has already trained eight couples. These couples have given discipleship to 53 new believers.
He has led many retreats in Cuba for pastors, local leaders, doing some mentoring for the new generation of youth pastors. He worked at the university of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine for 12 years. Five months ago, God called him to serve within His kingdom full time locally and globally in Cuba and Nicaragua.
Dave and Susan Smith
Dave and Susan were saved in 1974. Dave went to New Brunswick Bible Institute and graduated in 1980. He attempted to pastor twice until 1985 when he went into mining and became a mining electrician. He continued in that field for about 30 years. While doing that he pulpit filled and went on 8 mission trips to Belize, Guatemala, Bahamas, Jamaica, and to Cuba once with John Harder and twice with Don Pickel. I began working as the Eastern Canada and Maine rep. in October 2018.
Jake and Shelley Rempel
Shelly has a full time career with Southern Health as a Regional Infection Control Coordinator. In her off-time she helps Jake within the Ministry and joins him in Cuba yearly.
Jake serves within the Ministry full time since 2017. Sharing the stories of the Cuban Church throughout Northern Ontario and Western Canada, collecting the resources God has set aside for Cuba, and delivering those resources to the churches throughout Central and Eastern Cuba.
Jerry has been married to his wife Patricia for over 40 years. They have 6 children – Chrissy, Jessica, Kara, Jeff, Deanna and Sandy and 10 grandchildren.
Salvation – October 11, 1975 at Calvary Faith Church. Sonora, NS
Baptized – August 8, 1976 in St. Mary’s River, NS
Call to Ministry – September 1979 at Devon Park Baptist Church, Fredericton, NB
Education: Sackville High School Gr 12 grad-1974
New Brunswick Bible Institute – grad 1983
Ordination: September 25, 1985 at Temple Baptist Church, Lr. Sackville, NS (now Stoneridge Fellowship Church)
Pastored 40 years – Church planting – Antigonish, NS and Espanola, ON
Pastor – Ontario, New Brunswick and most recently 14 years at Maranatha Bible Church (formerly Munroe Avenue Baptist Church) New Glasgow, NS
Retired from pastoral ministry October, 2020
Mission Trip – Cuba in January, 2015
Life’s Verse – I Samuel 17:29
Ministry Philosophy – Share God’s Word; Show God’s Love