Today is Sunday here in Pilon. Sunday means quite a bit of church attendance here in Cuba. This morning I was given the honor of teaching the adults of the church (about 40). Needless to say I was a bit nervous. Of course the Holy Spirit was alive and the lesson went well. We then all gathered together for worship. I’m sure as others have explained worship here is alive, loud, and spirited. What a way to start your day.
Having been here a week working, eating, being served and serving these people are truly our family. Brothers and sisters. How quickly and deeply we have bonded and tomorrow we leave. At the evening worship Barbara preached. Pastor Alcibiades convinced her to preach a second Sunday and basked in the “time off” grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The congregation responded so heartily to Barbara’s message as it was translated as fast as our coordinator Alba could speak. Near the end of the service we were prayed for as a team. Surrounded by the congregation, hands laid on us by the pastor, prayers came streaming forth from not only the Pastor, but the people surrounding us as well. The experience was intense and hard to fully impart the feeling of love, connectedness, and power of the Spirit moving around us. Gloria Dios, Bendiciones, Te Bendiga, Spiritu Sanctu, just a few of the words to be heard in the circle of escalating voices swirling around us.
The day was incredible and caps a week here in Pilon. I will miss my new family. Warm faces everyday, smiles, hard work, spontaneous praise songs from Joel and Alexis. They are honest, and humble with integrity and a consistent recognition of God in the center of everything they and we do. It is easy to come here and see the lack of what we have in the U.S. but to realize that they lack nothing from God. I’m trying to internalize a great irony; the freedom that they actually have in Christ and my bondage to my northern VA way of life. If I carry a fraction of their trust and faith what a blessing that will be.