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Viva La Reformacion

Viva la Reformacion

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba with three local PCA pastors. Our fearless leader was Rev. Raul Bermudez, pastor of Iglesia Reformada Pacto de Gracia. Raul has traveled to Cuba dozens of times has a heart for the Cuban people…he must because he married a Cuban.

Our trip was multifaceted: we trained church leaders, made personal home visits, met with Cuban Presbyterian pastors, met with leaders of the National Council of Churches, and preached a couple of times in home churches. I’m thankful for the diverse nature of the trip; it allowed me to experience Cuba, the Cuban people, and ministry within Cuba, while exercising my gifts and desires.

Many people have asked what Cuba is like…it is unlike any place I’ve ever visited. There is a Spanish feel combined with a Caribbean feel combined with a cold war communist feel. You don’t step back in time as much as you experience six decades of time simultaneously. In the bustling metropolis of Havana you have modern European vehicles driving alongside 1950’s American made cars and horse-drawn buggies. You also have classic Spanish architecture alongside mid-century eastern European architecture (read: blocky imposing concrete dorms) This is the daily surreal scene that we experienced.

And yet, the people are like every other people I’ve encountered…caring, hospitable, warm, inquisitive, informative, desperate, content. They are like you and me. Their fundamental needs are the same, their fundamental questions are the same, their fundamental desires are the same. Of course, because of the poverty, government oppression, and socialistic policies, it appears at first glance as if their needs, questions, and desires are quite different…but they aren’t, they’re just more acute. This was the reason why I was comforted by what I taught and preached, even in the midst of language barriers. I taught on the christocentric nature of Scripture and I preached on the prodigal son. Both are simple subjects with a profound message of our need, God’s grace, and Christ’s sufficiency. I recognized that while our situations may be different, our fundamental human identity is the same.

In some ways it was a hard and depressing trip; in other ways it was a wonderful experience of the Gospel’s power. Raul has asked us to return with him and I suspect I will.