Sunday, November 12, 2000

Middletown team heads to Cuba

Mission is to evaluate outreach

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN — A three-member team from Caring Partners International Inc. today will kick off a weeklong trip in Cuba to evaluate the group's outreach work there over the last five years.

        This will mark the sixth trip to Cuba for Caring Partners, an 8-year-old, international medical missions organization based in Middletown. The team is composed of Roy Cline, president and CEO, and two CPI board members, Dr. Robert Lerer and his wife, Janis. They will return Saturday.

        While in Cuba, the team also will “look at a new pro gram to develop sponsorship of students in a Bible school down there. This is a program that I've been working on for two years,” Mr. Cline said. The program will allow people to sponsor students to stay in Bible school, and become leaders in Cuban churches after they graduate.

        “We found that the evangelical Christian community is growing quite rapidly, and there is a need for leaders,” Mr. Cline said.

        Members of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy were originally scheduled to accompany the CPI team to Cuba.

        “But due to some confusion down there with the minister of religion for Cuba, he pulled the plug and said, "We've never done anything like this before; let's not do it right now,'” Mr. Cline said. Now, Cuban officials have agreed to welcome the members of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy next summer.

        “Part of our trip will be to finalize the date and the logistics for taking the gymnastics team down next summer,” Mr. Cline said.

        In April, more than a dozen doctors, dentists, psychologists and other volunteers from Greater Cincinnati and beyond spent 10 days in Cuba conducting training seminars in hospitals and holding childrens' events in churches. The trip was sponsored by CPI.

        Also, last spring CPI sent a 40-foot container of medical supplies to several hospitals and a retirement home in Cuba.

        “We will be going to those facilities to see the things that we shipped to them,” Mr. Cline said.


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