Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Well that's a first

"At the last minute, the travel agency called to say that the day we need to fly is the start the Santeria festival dedicated to OchĂșn, a pagan deity - may the Lord rebuke her - and all the flights are full. I will try and find someone with a car to drive us across the island. If that doesn't work out, that last option is the bus. That takes 14 hours."

We received that message last week from one of the organizers of the youth leadership event that we've been invited to in Cuba.  The following emails confirmed we will indeed be taking the bus from Havana to Santiago. Thanks to Google Maps I now know that is 541 miles, nearly the full length of the island. Who knew Cuba was so long!?

Seventeen years working in Latin American and we continue to be surprised by new experiences and challenges. Travelling by bus in Cuba for 14 hours with people going to celebrate a fertility, love and wealth goddess with a "horrific temper" (Wikipedia.org/Oshun) will definitely be one of those.

We will be on the bus after leading a week-long retreat for veteran youth leaders. When we get off the bus we begin another week of teaching and consulting along with partners from Youth Hope and the Cuban Baptist association. We have heard only good things about youth ministry in Cuba, but the context cultural and spiritual context is significantly different than anywhere else we've worked.

So when Friday the 13th of September appears on your calendar, please remember to pray that God would give us His wisdom, strength and Spirit to be of use to the Cuban youth leaders. We would also appreciate you prayers for health, endurance and spiritual protection.

1 comment:

dthaase said...

unfortunately, the reality of your lives offered Kat and me a good laugh ~ the "it's funny because it's so sad" kind of funny...the 13th has been tagged on our calendar