By Kaitlyn Daniel
Cuba was truly a life changing event. It was so evident that God was with us during this journey. The fact that we were even giving the amazing opportunity to travel to such a beautiful country, one that very few Americans ever get the chance to travel to, was a blessing in itself. My main highlight of the trip would have to be the people. I was able to get so connected to a group of people that I had never met so quickly, even though we didn’t even speak the same language. It seemed like every place we went I would love the people so much that I would be begging to stay and spend more time with them. Language barriers seem like a big obstacle but it is definitely not something that can stop God. He was with us during every step of the way.
Pastor Jose was truly the biggest blessing to us during the trip. He was very conscious of all our needs and he had this way of just genuinely caring about our every comfort. Many times pastor would go completely out of his way just to make us happy. I knew from the first moment that it was him. We were just leaving the airport and it was so stressful trying to get out of the doors. But when the doors opened, I saw a man with a bright smile on his face. I was sure that this was our guy. He came right over to me and told me that is was all going to be okay and to just follow him. I was suddenly relieved and I knew that God had placed us into the perfect hands to care for us on the journey.
We got the opportunity to visit the sister churches that we support and pray for on this trip. This was so incredible. I remembered that a few months previous to our Pastor Oliver had been to America and I actually got to know him when he was here. When Pastor Jose pulled up to one of the churches and the first face I saw was Pastor Oliver, I could only run up to him and hug him. Nothing else seemed fitting. All of the pastors in our sister churches were absolutely wonderful. They all were so happy that we were there and they all did their best to give us the best. I think that God really taught me that the people in Cuba are just like the people in America during this trip. We are all one church under God and that is all that mattered. I could worship with my brothers and sisters in Cuba just as well as I could with my brothers and sisters back home.
The camp that we visited also really touched my heart. It was completely amazing to me to see 800 youth the same age as me in love with Jesus the way that they were. The spirit of God filled their hearts and gave them joy even though they don’t have everything that we have in America. The worship that I experienced in that camp completely changed my view of what it means to worship God. When those youth worshiped it wasn’t just worship to them, it was them giving everything they had to God. They didn’t hold anything back. If they felt they needed to dance, they danced. If they felt they needed to sing , they sang. If they felt overwhelmed by the spirit that they couldn’t stand up, they fell down. These people would not allow themselves to hold back God’s spirit. This really opened my eyes. It made me think about how many times I have held back from giving God everything that I had.
This question also came to my mind when we talked about how little these people have and how truly happy they are. Now that I am home, I don’t feel like I even need all that I have. Things that used to be so precious to me now seem trivial. I feel like God has used this experience to allow me to see how I should be using the abundance he has given me to bless others. The fact that there are people out there with much less then me that are much happier than me really has changed my whole attitude towards material things in this life. I finally understand what Paul was saying in Philippians 3:7-11, that everything in this life is worthless when compared to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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If your church or district wants to arrange a Youth trip in your area please email or call:
Southwest District Cuba Coordinator
Direct Line: 941-308-4555