|From left to right: Scott Folsom (Chaperon), Rev. Acanda (Cuba), Grant Reecher (back row), Carly Ellsworth (Chaperon), Kayla Wagler, Sarah Wagler, Amanda Wagler, Sierra Mearns, Conor Peters, Trace Walker|
By Grant Reecher:
In July, myself and a group of six other teenagers plus two adults ventured to Cuba for a mission trip. We began our journey in Havana where once we survived the painful endeavors of passport control, we made quick stop at the national Methodist church before our four-hour drive to Camp Canaan. Once we arrived at the camp we had a short amount of time to unpack and get dressed before we went to an amazing dinner and a life changing church service. This service was our first service in Cuba and is one of the most memorable for me personally. I had never encountered such love and passion before and to see it was extremely enjoyable for me. Read more.
By Sarah Wagler:
In the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba for one week with a mission team composed of both old friends and new faces. Even though I have struggled a considerable amount with the emotional aftermath of this trip, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There are too many short anecdotes of our time spent on the island to recount everything in a meaningful summary, so I choose to focus on that which was the purpose of the trip to begin with: relationships. Read more.
By Amanda Wagler:
When I discovered I was going to Cuba, I was very excited, but I had many apprehensions. Among many were the less than comfortable living conditions, airport troubles, and in general, being away from home for so long. It wasn’t until the day of departure when I realized those things couldn’t hinder me from seeing the love of God. I choked up when I took my first step in the country. I couldn’t believe I was actually there! Read more.
By Conor Peters:
My trip to Cuba was certainly an experience of a lifetime that will be with me forever. This trip was such a unique experience, and such an eye opening one. Staying at Camp Canaan was so much fun, along with staying with Pastor Isel in his home, and being able to visit all of our sister churches. It was so easy to see God's love and work wherever we went. This trip allowed me to see Methodism in a raw form of a different culture. It made me rethink many things and opened my eyes to what it really means to be a Christian. Read more.
By Kayla Wagler:
Before going on this trip, hearing the word “Cuba” stirred within me visions of pain, oppression, and helplessness in the face of a poverty that plagues an entire nation of a beautiful people that do not, under any circumstance, deserve to be the treated the way that they are. But, as I soon discovered, not all of this is completely valid. True, the people certainly are beautiful, and I would never believe that they deserve any maltreatment or anything but the best, but they did not seem to me oppressed or pained at all. Cuba is home to the most unique, talented, perseverant, and overall happiest people I have ever met, and perhaps on the face of this planet. Read more.
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