Traveling Tuesdays is going to Cuba. I am writing this the week before I head to Cuba to participate in a Mission Trip with a team from my church in Lethbridge. This year will be the fourth year in a row that I have gone to Cuba in February to work with our Cuban Baptist friends and help them prepare for the annual Assembly of FIBAC. The Fraternity of Baptist Churches in Cuba. We do not go as tourists, instead we go to build relationships and to learn from our friends in Cuba.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud plus several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet.
The national flag of Cuba consists of five alternating blue and white stripes, a red equilateral triangle with a white five-pointed star. It was designed in 1849 and officially adopted May 20, 1902. It is one of the two flags of a currently socialist country that does not use any communist symbolism.
We arrive the week before the assembly and have three to four days to help with preparations. This is a great time of team building with the team from Cuba. Cuban young adults work with us to make a gift to give to all the delegates who will come to the assembly. While working on this project we have plenty of time to talk and share our hopes and dreams.
The majority of this time has been in Matanzas at the Kairos Centre.
This place offers free clean water to those who stop by. Many classes take place here too. There are sewing groups, art classes, music groups, and many other projects and events that serve the community. Just standing in the doorway and greeting the people who walk by is a great way to experience life in Matanzas.
Nearby the Centro Kairos is a square surrounded by many older buildings. One was the home and shop of the Oldest Pharmacy in Matanzas. Today the building is a museum. I had the opportunity to go and explore the shop as well as view the rooms upstairs which served as the residence for the owners.
Here are some photos taken inside and outside this part of Matanzas.
Two of the times we were in Cuba, the Assembly meetings were held at the seminary in Matanzas. This facility is located up on a hill and the view of the countryside and water is stunning.
Often the Assembly is held in Havana and we had the opportunity to see some of the old parts of Havana with its cobblestone squares and old shops.
Here are some photos taken last year when we had the opportunity to explore parts of Havana. I enjoy ringing Hand Bells, so I had to have my picture taken standing beside these huge bells!
Another special place is Molino Verde – The Green Mill. This is the name of a camp owned by FIBAC. Our church’s camp is called Mill Creek Camp so we were excited to see their camp too. A beautiful place to bring people together for opportunities to share in what God is doing in Cuba.
As I mentioned earlier, I will be in Cuba when this blog is posted today. I am excited to have the opportunity to return and meet old and new friends. The church is alive and well in Cuba and we have much to learn from our Cuban friends. I will be using my limited Spanish – Hola mi nombre es Lucy. Soy de Canada. ¿Cómo estás? Gracias por dejarme compartir mi historia sobre Cuba.
Hello. My name is Lucy. I am from Canada. How are you? Thank you for letting me share my story about Cuba.
Be sure and watch for next week’s Traveling Tuesdays when we will be traveling to a place starting with the letter ‘D’.