Frazer sent a team of 13 people from four different churches to our sister church in Guanabacoa, Cuba in March. The team experienced a wonderful week with our brothers and sisters at Guanabacoa as we worshiped together and served side by side in various ministries.
The island of Cuba also had a special week as President Barack Obama visited. This was the first visit to Cuba by a sitting U.S. President since 1929. Cubans were very excited about his visit to the island and his appearance on Tuesday at a special baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team. Cubans saw his visit as the start of a normalized relationship with the United States. Significant change is on the way for Cuba.
On Saturday, around 70 children from Guanabacoa participated in a “pet show.” Many of the children brought their pet dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and fish into the church as the Bible focus was on God’s Creation. One little boy even brought in his pet crocodile! The children had a blast and were entertained by one of the children’s ministry leaders who dressed up in a dog costume made by Frazer member Jo Grooms. Cindy Cochran provided materials to the church Children’s ministry leaders as they conducted the Bible studies.
Mike and Lisa Conn continued their Family Teams for Christ Ministry. Twelve leadership couples from different churches across Cuba traveled to Guanabacoa for a train the trainer session on marriage enrichment. The training was conducted by couples from the Guanabacoa church who had been through the workshop on an earlier trip. The workshop was an outstanding success.
Over 130 ladies participated in afternoon Bible studies led by team members Susan Bray, Oda Hildago, and Rosanne Tidwell. The sessions would often last close to 3 hours as the ladies studied God’s word, prayed and sang beautiful songs together. It was a week in which several of the Guanabacoa women experienced physical healings. Oda, who is from Venezuela, provided invaluable translation and leadership in these worship events.
The team connected with members of the deaf community at the church. Chris Mapp, a team member, had great signing conversations with the deaf even though she signs in American Sign Language which is different than the Spanish sign language used at Guanabacoa. Frazer plans to come alongside the church on future trips to expand ministry to the deaf in local community.
John Fox, formally a member at Frazer and now a Pastor at Auburn UMC, delivered 3 sermons during the week with the final one being on Maudy Thursday. The team received a special blessing as we were received communion alongside 350 members of the Guanbacoa Church. It was special worship service as we remembered how Jesus suffered for us. John closed his message with the question, “Will you drink the cup?” Will you give your life to Jesus?
God put this 13 member team together. It was a team with different personalities, different spiritual gifts and different talents. God used each person’s special gifts throughout the trip to glorify Him. It was a trip filled with spiritual blessings for the team and the Guanabacoa Church. Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me”