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Boosting international ties, couple from Cuba visits church



Published: Sat, November 18, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The husband and wife specialize inmarriage and family relationships.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A Cuban couple visiting the United States to connect with Latino churches and their leaders paid a visit to Spanish Evangelical Church on South Avenue.

Alfredo Linares and his wife, Barbara Clavero, came to the United States about two weeks ago on their first visit. They are guests of Joseph and Alma Horst of Mars, Pa. The Horsts have a connection to Spanish Evangelical Church through former foster children who attend the church, and arranged the Cuban couple's visit to Youngstown.

Together Linares and Clavero specialize in marriage and family relationships. Clavero is also a medical doctor.

Linares said as a result of Joseph Horst's many visits to Cuba -- 14 in the past 10 years -- Joseph is now "in the hearts of many Cubans."

During Joseph Horst's trips to Cuba, he visits churches and delivers medical supplies. He met Linares and Clavero during those travels.

Linares spoke Thursday about building relationships with congregations and leaders in the United States for mutual encouragement and prayer support.

About the bond

Americans and Cubans have a bond that began before the revolution, he said. Many churches started in Cuba before the revolution in the 1950s were started by Americans and Puerto Ricans, Linares said.

He wants to encourage Latino groups -- Cubans among them -- in American churches to continue to work together and help one another. He said the congregations of Spanish churches in the United States are made up of many Latino groups who meet together in unity with one another and with other Americans of all ethnic backgrounds. The nationality of the people doesn't matter because all are important, he said.

Joseph Horst is self-employed and able to devote time to travel abroad. He said diplomatic red tape is making it increasingly difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba legally, but he does so with arrangements made by members of Congress. He, in turn, then arranged for Linares and Clavero to visit the U.S. as his guests.

For more information about Spanish Evangelical Church call the church at (330) 783-1376 or visit the Web site, www.spanishevangelical.org.




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