As the 24 hour, caffeine driven,TSA checked, and 18 suitcase packed traveling comes to an end, there is much to be taken away. The Cuban people are some of the most loving and caring people to come across. We were welcomed by a wonderful couple who greeted us with smiles as warm as the weather and a peace you receive like when you are reunited with family. Pastor Victor and the church has been such a support, with welcoming arms and a true servants’s heart. God is doing a might work in Cuba, and it is a honor to be the LORD’s hands and feet.
There is a saying among the team, “We are not on American time, We are on Cuba time,” and today was no exception. Although for today, it was God’s timing we were put on schedule with. An all-day preparation of Trey Montanez and Theo Alexander lesson was meet with rainstorm as the team approached the campsite. But the rain did not stop the spirit of playfulness that abounded throughout the camp. With what many would accept as a defeat, was in fact turned into an opportunity for family, fellowship, and slippery soccer matches. Despite the change of planes the rainstorm was an an absolute blessing because it allowed the people to laugh and for the team to serve in ways that would not have been possible to do before.
As tonight’s festivities fad further into the night, the team takes their daily last moments to reflect on the day. Reagan Ames sought to point out the team’s constant devotion to help the community out and was deeply impressed with how well his lesson went with the children. Trey Montanez loved every moment of the day as the LORD presented him with many opportunities to speak in Spanish, which blessed him and his girlfriend Alex, with a copious amount of children to be an influence on. Without a drop of rain in the sky, the team and the church came together for a competitive game of baseball and refreshing matches of water ballon fights God’s love is imprinted on these people and it is easy to speak for the team, to say that we all are excited to come back next summer.
As a bitter end comes to the marriage conference, both campers and the team spend every opportunity to make lasting memories to satisfy until next neat. Diane Montanez and her daughter Emily, wanted to give the church something they consider priceless, a family photo. More than 50 families gathered together to celebrate their time, their friendships, but most importantly, their love for one another with one last meal and endless laughter as they reflected on what they had learned. Family is one of the most important things in this world, and we should take every moment to be grateful for those who love us the most.
Despite the wedding conference coming to an end, it is only the beginning for the team in terms of spreading the love of the LORD. Monday morning was full of anticipation from friends and family as Trey Montanez began to go over and prepare for his lesson in tonight’s Thrive youth group. Trey grew up not knowing much Spanish, but in the preparation of this trip, he has been working diligently to be able to communicate with the church on his own ability. Thrive is a college ministry at Church at the Mall, previously ran by Pablo and Diane Montanez, who have decided to bring the spirit of the ministry overseas with them in order for the youth of the church to be more active and involved. Trey’s message on becoming spiritually mature not only grasped the attention of the youth, but also the adult leadership, has he confidently taught with authority and in the Spirit.
As the final hours of the trip come to a conclusion, there is no time to sulk in sadness, but to revel in reflection. Over the week the power of God’s work was evident in excess, form divine appointments to the construction of new relationships between the team and the church. God will be forever faithful to those who call upon His name and seek His face. Let all the praise and honor be given to the LORD for providing the team with, not only safety and security, but also a renewal of passion to pursue Him as a result of doing His work. Marriages have been strengthened, the community replenished, and the families of Baire have now been entrusted with a wisdom to share with their community. This trip exceed the expectation of the entire team, even those who are veteran missionaries, because of the divine power God has used to move the cultural mountain between the team and the church. It has been a honor to be a witness to the degree of servitude the team as presented and I encourage anyone and everyone to take a step of faith to be a part of a missions trip such as this.