The Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba (ICPC) has been a close ministry partner of ACTION for twelve years. Several months ago the president of that denomination, Eliseo Navarro, expressed to me that his greatest wish regarding our collaboration for 2012 is that ACTION would provide an event where pastors and families could take a well-deserved and much-needed break from the hectic schedule of church life.
God was gracious to us and allowed us to fulfill Eliseo’s request sooner and much better than I could have imagined. From April 16 to 19 (spring break in Cuba), ACTION hosted about 70 pastors and their families, about 240 people total.
These pictures will give you a sense of the joy we experienced at this event. Each morning we divided into four groups (adults, college age, teenagers, and children) for teaching sessions through lunch. After lunch we had fun, fun, fun. There is something special about playing volleyball with and against your ministry colleagues! Then we met back together for dinner and an evening service.
One night we showed the Spanish-language version of the movie “Courageous” and afterward had a brief discussion.
To sum it all it all up, I was . . .
GRATEFUL for Dr. Stewart Brown, who accepted the challenge to return to Cuba only five months after our November trip together. He did a fantastic job teaching.
PROUD of my 14 year-old daughter, who made so many friends at the retreat that she didn’t want to leave. What a joy to see my children becoming good friends with my colleagues’ children.
IMPRESSED with Rob & Dr. Mei-yit Dods, who came from Mexico to teach the group of 11 to 14 year olds at the retreat. They came well-prepared for their sessions and their eight-month old son, Nathan, was a real delight to have on the team.
AMAZED at the quality of the government center we were able to rent for the retreat. Each family had its own air-conditioned apartment, with two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and small living room. Many pastors commented that they had never slept in an air-conditioned room before, and many children had never been on a swing or a slide such as were found at the playground. And being only a block away from the beach made this place truly a slice of paradise for these families. The opportunity to be at this retreat center came up just three weeks prior to the event and required a lot of last-minute logistical changes.
Praise God for this wonderful event and, as everyone remarked as we said goodbye, “let’s do it again next year!”