Spending time with each of the three families that serve full-time with ACTION Cuba was extremely important. Since we formalized our team just one year ago, God has blessed us with new connections, new projects, and a host of new invitations for future ministry. It has been a whirlwind year and it was necessary to sit down in the quiet of their homes, debrief, and plan for 2015.
Celia and I also had the privilege of spending time with some of our key colleagues from the Eastern Baptist Convention, the Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba, and the Christian University Students Group, as well as meet new partners from the Western Baptists. Our time really flew by.
The highlight of the trip was accompanying our Hope of Life team that ministers to the children in the pediatric cancer ward of the provincial hospital in Camaguey. We met an 18-month-old boy, Rodelky, who was successfully recovering from testicular cancer. We met darling Helen (8), whose hair was just growing back when she needed to come in again for more chemo for her abdominal cancer. We also met Yasmini (13), who has lost her sight and has a misshapen head due to a cerebral tumor.
I honestly don’t want to write about all the other kids because I don’t want to start crying. Though the hospital staff is loving, dedicated, and self-sacrificial, 40% of the kids don’t survive their cancer. Pastor Yoan, the founder of this monthly outreach (the hospital won’t let them come more frequently) asked me to pray for each kid as we made the rounds. I did okay, but got a bit tongue-tied at times due to the importance of the moment. And I just couldn’t pray for Yasmini. I didn’t want her to hear me crying. So Pastor Yoan helped me out. Yoan has made 22 visits; he prays with great faith and hope.
If you gave, if you prayed, let me tell you: this trip was worth your investment. Thank you so much.