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The Power of People

There were six rows of benches on either side of the aisle. Each bench sat four people, which meant our United Methodist Volunteers in Mission team took up 25 percent of the space. It was Wednesday evening, and we were at a United Methodist church in Manajanabo in the center of Cuba. It was their midweek service, and it was packed. There was music, drama, reading from the Bible and songs sung by so many different people. Five small children came up, one playing a ukulele, and sang a song ... Read More »

Finding Community in Cuba

Hola From Cuba, We are here. Finally. Not that it takes so much time to get here like Africa or other remote locations. Just finally as in the moment we have all been waiting for has arrived. Months of preparation, anticipation, apprehension, all come together. As has been my experience, mission trips produce instant familial familiarity. That is, close quarters, a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, some sarcastic humor, some ribbing and teasing as we reveal our individual idiosyncrasies, and before you know it strangers are family. We have spent quite some ... Read More »

What is Cuba Like? by Bill Gray

I’m frequently asked about my trips to Cuba. What we do there is the most popular, followed by a curiosity of the island, and finally the mystique of a communist country. The politics are just that and change in that country is inevitable. But why I go there isn’t an easy answer because there is something intangible and mysterious about the experience. The Cuban Methodist Church is like many outside the US or Western culture, LIVELY. Yes, the worship experience is unlike ours, maybe closely resembling gospel here in the ... Read More »

Reflections from Cuba

On May 24, a team of 11 missioners left for Cuba for 12 days to build new and paint existing dormitories at Camp Canaan, a Methodist training and meeting center near Santa Clara, Cuba. While there, they did not have internet access.  Now that they are home, here are some reflections from their trip.  While I waited in Santa Clara for Aldo to update his Cuban passport (and thus able to leave the country), I waited outside on the busy sidewalk, which was very narrow. I stepped into an apt./house ... Read More »

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