Nelson Cowan, a member of ACCESS 218, Jacksonville, participates at a Young Adult Summer Camp in Cuba as part of a Florida Conference team. Here he shares a summary of his experience.
Throughout our July 15th-23rd endeavor 90 miles south of Key West, the ACCESS218 Cuba team had the amazing opportunity to engage in mission all across Cuba. With much gratitude owed to the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church along with the Cuba Methodist Church, we were able to strengthen an already beautiful relationship between Florida and Cuba specifically in the UMC connection. Our trip began in Havana, Cuba staying in the official United Methodist office building of Cuba. We had the opportunity to explore, experience, and learn so much about Cuba, especially the role of the universal church in that country. Our "actress"/translator Laura provided incredible insight to our team about the food, culture, and the role of Christians in Cuba. After her great preparation, we headed to Camp Canaan in a rural part of central Cuba. This 4-day camp we attended was designed for young adults aged 30-39 from all over the country to attend. Our group had the humbling opportunity to be the 1st foreigners (or aliens as they called us) to attend a young adult camp. That’s exactly what we did: attend. I do not mean to trivialize the role of this, because it was very significant. We saw people only slightly older than us go absolutely insane for the glory of God. There was jumping, singing, dancing, laughter, prophetic words, and just an overall spirit of thankfulness resounding in the room. We learned what it truly means to have all we need in Christ Jesus. After the camp, we headed back towards Havana for a day of fun at the beach and then preparation for departure. Our experiences in Cuba will never be forgotten. We are hoping and praying that we will one day be reunited with our Cuban brothers and sisters once again.
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