Our July trip was a tremendous challenge and an amazing blessing.
Our team of eight from ACTION arrived in Havana on the 6th and later that evening I translated for our International Director, Nelson Reed, at the evening service of a small church in the Chinatown neighborhood of the capital.
On Sunday, five members of our team left for Bayamo early in the morning, while I accompanied Nelson and ACTION Board member Danny Scott to a local church in Caimito. I had the privilege of translating for Nelson again as he taught at Sunday School. We later met with leaders from CIMPEC, which is the national pastors’ association of Cuba.
On Monday Nelson and I had a very cordial and beneficial meeting at Communist Party headquarters with María de los Angeles of the Office of Religious Affairs. It was a good conversation about ACTION’s 13 years of ministry in Cuba as well as possibilities for the future.
At the same time, Donna Carlaw, Celia Stewart, Meghan Parrick and others from our team were hosting 99 middle schoolers at a campsite near Bayamo. This event was coordinated in conjunction with Arelis Quiñones and her team of children’s workers from the Christian Pentecostal Church of Cuba. Donna did a lot of the Bible teaching, the ACTION team helped with the craft times (which were coordinated to match the teaching) and our longtime colleague Hugo Curbelo led the sports and games (and made for a great “Zacchaeus” during a skit of that Bible passage!).
Nelson, Danny, and I arrived in Bayamo to join a Christian Education conference that was already in progress. Over the next three days Nelson was the main speaker to over 200 Baptist and Pentecostal pastors, church-planters and Sunday School teachers. His messages drew heavily on Donald K. Smith’s book “Creating Understanding: A Handbook for Christian Communication.”
Having finished the camp in Bayamo, Donna, Celia, Meghan, Arelis, Hugo and the team traveled to Camaguey, where they hosted 76 middle schoolers for another three-day camp.
On July 12th a fantastic team of 12 from the Miami Vineyard Church, led by mission’s pastor Abdy Sellas, joined us and we all traveled to Moa for a 6-day discipleship conference for over 350 college-age believers.
For a further glimpse into this hectic but edifying trip, please view these pictures and accompanying captions. Thank you and God bless!