The thought of going to Cuba filled me with apprehension and even dread. Anyone who knew I was going said, “You must be really excited about going to Cuba.” Truthfully, I was not. What was wrong with me? I am being given an opportunity to experience another culture, another group of people all as part of the mission of the church. Still, I could not muster any enthusiasm for the journey ahead.
That changed in the time it took to read an email. The message came from one of the leaders, David Rogers. Our hosts are married couple, both doctors. The wife runs a clinic that serves at least 800 people. In her clinic are the following supplies: one stainless steel exam table and one sheet. She takes the sheet home every night to wash it. Dave indicated that bringing supplies for her is something we could do.
It was in that moment I finally internalized what this is all about. I sensed my place of privilege; it isn’t just “me” that I’m taking to Cuba. There began a growing sense that I represent the people in the church I serve and people in churches that value collegiality among Christians, across borders and boundaries of all kinds.
Suddenly, much to my surprise and delight, I found myself looking forward to what is now a mission, an adventure. Feelings of trepidation linger in the background, but they are mitigated by a deeper sense of purpose and hope. I know that you will be praying for Mike, Jim Ross, myself and all the others from other congregations. We will be stewards of your hope and kindness as we serve and represent you.
Originally, this is where the article ended. Circumstances changed. Here is an update.
This just in; the health clinic is no longer open. It has been closed. Does this mean the old apprehension is back? No! Because the door of shared purpose and mission was already opening up. Our purpose is to bring ourselves with open minds to learn and serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our mission is to encourage and be encouraged by the work we share when we are together and the ministry we share each in our own place.