Roy Cooper Missionary Update

Christmas 2019
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! What a miracle of God’s grace towards us all that He sent His only begotten Son, born as a helpless baby--the Word made flesh--to save us from our sins and to give us new life, abundant and eternal. We can rejoice in His forgiveness for our past, count on His strength and wisdom right now, and look with expectant hope toward the future because He is Emmanuel, God with us.
It has been some time since we last wrote to catch you up on the work in Cuba and to let you know how to pray for us. Please forgive us! There are some significant changes to our role within IMB, and the learning curve has been steep as we broaden the scope of our ministry. More than ever, we need and appreciate your participation with us through prayer and encouragement.
Here are just a few of the highlights from these last months:
Cuba. Dirce and I made 4 strategic trips to Cuba during the first months of the year to finish missionary training for Cuban missionary candidates from western Cuba and to participate in the annual meetings of the two Baptist conventions. However, since May I (Roy) have not been granted the religious visas necessary to travel to Cuba; three petitions have been denied - for the first time in these 19 years of service to Cuba. We certainly miss the face-to-face fellowship with our Cuban family! But we trust the Lord to guide all of us in discerning His will and being faithful in this season of service.  It indeed is wonderful to see how the work carries on as many in Cuba are coming to Christ, churches are being planted, leaders are being trained, and new Cuban missionaries are being sent to hard places as ambassadors for Christ. That is awesome!
Role as regional ambassadors. IMB leadership has asked us to expand our horizons a bit, putting into practice what we have learned in Cuba in the formation of missions agencies in other countries. We are working to discover those throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico who are mobilizing national believers to reach the unreached around the world. This has been an exciting addition for us. So far, we have had the privilege to connect with many faithful servants who have inspired us and taught us about our role:
  • In Panama, we met with other IMB mobilizers to begin praying and considering how best to mobilize churches and prospective candidates in the areas we serve to obey the Great Commission.
  • In Ecuador, we participated in a camp for a missions agency that is training and sending out young Ecuadorians to carry the Gospel around the world.
  • In the Dominican Republic, we met with a large church that is asking for help in sending their members to impact people groups without Christ in Latin America.
  • In Madrid, Spain, we enjoyed a week of cross-cultural communication training, interacting with people from many religious traditions.
  • In Brazil, we worshiped and trained with 350 leaders from around the world who are doing the same kind of work that we are called to do—and their enthusiasm and sacrifice have challenged us to give our best to the Master.

Prayer Requests
We ask that you would pray with us:
  • That God would continue to bless our Cuban colleagues, leaders of the two Baptist conventions, and that they would remain faithful to the Lord and to His Word. The challenges in Cuba are tremendous, and the discouragements are great.
  • That the Lord of the harvest would continue to send Cuban laborers—evangelists, disciple-makers, pastors, teachers, missionaries—into His harvest field, both in Cuba and around the world.  
  • That Dirce and I would abide in Christ, be sensitive to His leadership, as we work with others in helping churches and denominations discover how best to send missionaries to unreached peoples intentionally and effectively.


Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Many Southern Baptists support missions through their local churches, giving through a united effort called the Cooperative Program. Thanks to each church which sacrifices generously so that many convention ministries might flourish! We are also grateful at this time of year for those individuals, families and churches which donate to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering as well. This offering is an annual collection by the IMB that supports 3,692 IMB missionaries, like us, as we take the gospel to some of the 4,488,180,841 unreached people of the world. In the last year alone, your prayers and gifts helped plant 13,898 churches, train 18,428 pastors, and baptize 52,586 new believers.

Together, we can share the gospel with even more people. If you want to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, please visit
Missions College, January 7-10, 2020, Rockville, VA
Missions College is an annual training event for US churches, both pastors and church members, engaging in short-term, mid-term and long-term missions. This is an intense week with lots of opportunities for learning, networking and strategizing. And it is less than a month away. If you are interested, you can find registration information at
Cubans to the Nations: Help Cuban Baptists take the Gospel to the unreached world.
Doors are open for Cubans to share the Gospel with people groups around the world, but they need partners who will help the Cuban churches in sending their missionaries. If you are interested in knowing more, please check out the project website at:
God with us - Emmanuel. Psalm 16:11 says that, in God's presence, there is "fullness of joy." Thank you for helping us, through your prayers and gifts, to prepare others to share the joy of Gospel around the world. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
In Christ,
Roy and Dirce
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