All Hands On Deck in Cuba!

By Roberto Reyes, YMI Latin American Trainer

 

An Amazing Privilege and Honor!   

I remember getting a call from Randy that we had a group from a church in Kentucky (Highview Baptist) who desired to go on a missions trip to Cuba. Honestly, it was a bit overwhelming at first as this was my first time leading a trip of this size.

There were many things that had to fall into place for everything to work out. Communication with our friends in Cuba was extremely difficult due to government restrictions. Before meeting the ministry team from Kentucky I prayed for them, that they’d be an “all hands on deck” type of group – willing to sacrifice their comfort in order to have the biggest impact for the Lord in Cuba.
 
In July I had the great privilege of leading this team of 16 people to Cuba for 10 day. It was one of the most delightful events I have ever been a part of!

It was great to see this group of senior high and freshman college kids being so involved in this type of ministry from day one. I marveled at their maturity and by their servanthood. We had A LOT of hot, humid days but team never once complained and were more than willing to lead and participate in every single activity.

The people we were serving in Guanabacoa were so excited to see this Kentucky team each day. It was a blessing for me to see how this group of American young people were serving and building relationships with others, despite language and cultural differences.

As a mission team we completely submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ every morning and every night. God opened doors for us to get to know some Cuban young people better and friendships started. Relationship evangelism was evident from the start. From having a devotional in the morning with all the kids – to playing soccer outside in the hot sun! Sometimes after lunch we would walk twenty minutes to a park where we would teach them to play some games they had never played before. On some afternoons all the girls had their own activities at the local church, painting nails, or just talking and singing with our team.

As a mission team we completely submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ every morning and every night. God opened doors for us to get to know some Cuban young people better and friendships started. Relationship evangelism was evident from the start. From having a devotional in the morning with all the kids – to playing soccer outside in the hot sun! Sometimes after lunch we would walk twenty minutes to a park where we would teach them to play some games they had never played before. On some afternoons all the girls had their own activities at the local church, painting nails, or just talking and singing with our team.

The English curriculum the team brought was fantastic! Having free English classes in this part of the world is a wonderful tool to attract more people, as knowing and speaking the English can literally change someone’s life.

However, our purpose was not only to teach young Cubans English for a few days, or just provide them with some fun new activities, but more importantly, to attract young people from the neighborhood to come to the local church and hear about the love of Jesus.

These kids showed us so much love in so little time! Many didn’t miss a single day! By the grace of God, on our last day of camp, 19 made decisions to trust Jesus as the only Way, Truth, and Life! Many received certificates for their attendance and for learning Ephesians 2:8-9.

As we left Cuba we all committed to pray for our new friends – and brothers and sisters in Christ. I praise God for His grace and protection, the souls that were saved, gospel seeds that were planted, and how He worked out all the logistics for this trip to be a success.

What a privilege it was for me to work alongside this amazing team. I can’t wait to lead another Quest trip!

Training Trainers in Cuba

Center For Youth Ministry, Cuba

Monterrey, Mexico Youth Ministry

Expanded Training in Mexico in 2019