Our time in Cuba was almost like a time warp going back to the early 1950’s, vintage cars, horse carriages, music on every comer, no internet and street vendors everywhere. What an experience and privilege to have had a month in Cuba. We faced the language barrier with body gestures and our Spanish booklets. Embraced every moment and laughed a lot with those first country giggles when you still in shock that you’ve left South Africa.
In Cuba we slept our first night on the airport in true global challenge style and then slept a night in Havana. The following day we took an 18 hour bus ride in a vintage red taxi to Santiago. We spent most of our time in Santiago where we were overwhelmed by the welcoming and hospitable hearts of our hosts. We stayed in the Baptist Church in the middle of the town, so street noises and music bands soon became the sound of home during our stay. In Santiago we were really blessed with a lot of free time yet spent it in the word, going through the book of John as a group. Each individual challenged and motivated differently yet we had the opportunity to grow spiritually on our own but also as a group in unity. We were also able to go on prayer walks through the streets of Santiago, just praying for the city and the church. We believe that it was really a time just to spend in His presence and glorify our Father daily.
We had an opportunity to go on an outreach with the Baptist church, going into the mountains and inviting people to a church service of which many came. We also just spent some time with the youth during this time and even though language is always a struggle love speaks a thousand words. We also had an opportunity to serve at the church we were staying and helped on the building site of another Baptist church in the area. We helped load sand, bricks and do whatever else we could. Even though we went to the church to help them they blessed us abundantly with snacks, coffee, cool drinks and even an amazing lunch on the one day. We were overwhelmed by the serving hearts and love from the Cuban people, just always giving even if they struggle financially. We also helped a lady in the church with the cleaning and refurbishing of her house and in the true Cuban style she invited us to her restaurant where she blessed us with a delicious dinner. It was such a blessing to experience the love and hospitable hearts of the community we served in. It was also an example for us as a team, what true community and love for one another is.
We also experienced that the body of Christ crosses all and any borders. We spent lot of time in church services, youth services and cell groups where it was evident that we all serve the same almighty God. The reality of singing the same songs in different languages was just a testimony to that. As a group we learnt a few Spanish songs and could sing along every now and then which was very exciting. Fellowshipping with other believers not always understanding each other but knowing our Father understand us was also a revelation of how powerful our Father is. No language is a barrier, no culture is unreachable and that HIS love conquers all.
As team we also tasted the local treats and indulged in the 40 cent ice creams. We experienced the Cuban culture and loved wherever possible. It was an honour for the Hidden World group 2014 to serve, experience and taste Cuba. We grew and learnt a lot, saw examples of what community and love is. With blessed and thankful hearts we glorify or Father for protecting us, blessing us and allowing us to meet the amazing people we met in Cuba.
Now we are in Jamaica, excited for what the Father has in store for us.