Women’s Retreat in Cuba
Last weekend a team from the Midwest Region traveled to Cuba to help host a women's retreat for the ladies in the church there. I felt God's grace and provision so strongly the entire time. By His hand, we were the ONLY flight to Cuba not cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew. By His grace, he protected us when we broke down on our way to Colon (in the middle of nowhere). He sent us another vehicle and we made it there by midnight! By His might, many women were blessed and encouraged through the retreat. Our God is truly amazing!
We were able to bring supplies from The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) to the churches and pastors there and even visited the little print shop that will print TUMI modules! They are the only printing place in Cuba that prints Bibles. One of the TUMI sites is moving so fast, the students will complete all of the Capstone Curriculum in one year! Their passion and committment is astounding.
Dallas missionary Sol did a wonderful job teaching the women—she prayed for women who were then released from deep burdens. The women showered us with kindess and blessings. They were so excited to receive their retreat t-shirts and make a bracelet craft.
Leidy (the pastor's wife) said it felt "like Christmas" when we came. We provided her with things she can use for prizes and gifts for the ladies and children (she teaches AWANAS). They have so little yet they are so content and full of the joy of the Lord.
A special treat for me was meeting one of the local missionaries in Cuba. She is a Cuban national who travels to other churches to minister. She was so happy to receive our retreat book and use it in her ministry.
The children were so fun. They were very amused by my height and my blonde hair. They also enjoyed the candy we brought. We were told they rarely get candy—especially American candy. They love to play games on the cement court in the church, but they always remove their shoes so they don't wear them out. Many only have one pair.
Pastor Ezras and his wife have an amazing church ministry. Their people are faithful and committed. It was so fun getting to know their family. Within a few days, we all felt like old friends. Leidy opened up to us women about her personal story and how the revolution and the withdrawal of the Soviet Union impacted their lives—the poverty, fear and desperation was unimaginable. But, they are a strong, beautiful people.
I was so thankful to be a part of this team. I know I received more than I gave and was blessed more than I blessed.