Recap: Cuba (part one)

May 31, 2011 at 8:06 am (Ministry, Photos, Travel)

In case you thought I fell off the face of the earth last week … well, I sort of did.

I flew into Havana, Cuba, on Monday, May 23. After about a half hour of waiting around in the airport baggage claim, I found the Mexican group I would be traveling with for the week. The troupe included Pastor Eric Jaquith and his wife Ida, one of their interns Edika and her mom, and two young people from their church. We hopped on a bus and drove a few hours to Varadero – a gorgeous peninsula about 30 kilometres long, sandy shores on both sides. After a couple of nights there I am officially a big fan of all-inclusive resorts. The beach was beautiful, the ocean clear and salty as it should be, the sand white, the sun hot.

We only really had a day to enjoy it though and do some exploring of the city. On Wednesday a group of 11 of us piled into a ridiculously old Toyota van, along with all of our luggage, and drove roughly five hours to Santa Clara, which is in the middle of the island country.

We spent the rest of the week at a Methodist camp called Canaan, basically going to church all day long; it was awesome. About 800 young people between the ages of 12 and 35 were there, soaking up everything the visiting pastors had to say. It was far from a five-star resort – we had to chase frogs out of our room and the shower was a cold trickle. But I absolutely loved it. I was able to meet so many people, and – thanks to my ever-improving Spanish – have some great conversations, learn a ton about the country, hear some powerful sermons and generally fall in love with Cuba.

On Saturday we headed back to Havana, but not before we prayed and cried with the pastors. We left a pile of our clothes behind and donated probably a year’s salary to the main youth leader / conference organizer.

With only a few hours left until our flights would wing us home, our group toured around the capital city and had dinner before collapsing into bed. I spent most of Sunday coming home … reluctantly. I feel like I was gone far longer than a week. So much happened … my life was impacted immensely. Photos and video will be coming soon – they will be able to provide far more than my words.

Needless to say, God is flippin’ awesome. And he’s doing some pretty incredible things on an impoverished and communist island called Cuba.


1 Comment

  1. andrewbpaterson said,

    sounds like an amazing trip…looking forward to pictures!!

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