If at first you don’t succeed . . .

try, try, try, try again

Signing agreement with EliseoTrip #54 was one of the most memorable ever. Not only because of what was accomplished in Cuba, but because of how many tries it took us to actually get there! If you have been praying for us during the past several weeks, thank you! We have needed your prayers more than ever.

Celia and I had tickets to travel on May 16th, and our itinerary had us scheduled at important ACTION- sponsored events such a the Elim Bible Institute and the Leadership degree program. However, just hours before leaving for the airport Celia had a severe medical issue that required immediate attention, which postponed our trip. She felt better over the next couple of days, so by faith we re-booked our trip for May 20th. Unfortunately, Celia had a relapse and we canceled that trip. As she gained strength, she encouraged me to travel to Cuba by myself, to at least make it there in time for the final event. I bought tickets for May 28th, but then my head cold turned into a bad case of bronchitis and I could not go.

That was “strike three” and we decided to spend a a couple of weeks resting, seeking medical treatment, and getting healthy. Regaining our strength and trusting that “the fourth time’s the charm,” Celia and I then re-booked our tickets to travel to Cuba on the evening of June 15th. We took our kids out for lunch that day but at the restaurant

I had a terrible coughing spell that made me weak and dizzy. Our son Alex drove us home and I headed straight to bed. We missed our flight that day, as well.

At this point we had canceled the trip four times and had racked up over $2,000 dollars in ticket change fees. We didn’t feel any pressure to keep trying, nor were we embarrassed to keep notifying our team of our cancellations. It just all felt a bit surreal, to the point of being absurd. I didn’t sense any confirmation that God was closing the door, so after resting for a couple more days, Celia and I finally boarded a plane for Cuba on Father’s Day June 18th — our fifth try. We arrived in Havana more than a month later than scheduled, but the important thing was we made it!

At this point we were only able to stay for a week, but what a week it was! We spent quality time with each of our national team members individually, had a four-hour team meeting, signed an important agreement with a partner denomination (pictured above), delivered project funds and needed supplies, met with several pastors in order to confirm our September 2017 and January-February 2018 plans, and celebrated a good friend’s birthday.

Thank you again for praying for us. It made the difference in us finally getting there!