Andrews University students are divided into six teams of four students; each team is assigned to preach at one of the SDA churches in Holguin. They rented the “Amigos” (Friends) Church, which is one block from the Central SDA church, to host a youth outreach. The four AU students working with the youth and two female AU students who preach at the Central church live with us.
Each morning we walk to the conference office about six blocks from our home to join the whole group for worship. Each of the six AU teams and Sus Manos share stories from the previous day. Let me tell you a couple.
Dr. Ortiz came by to see the first day of VBS yesterday. It was raining, and as he stood at the front door of the church, he noticed a young couple who were soaked by the rain. He asked them how far it was to their home. “Five blocks,” they responded. “Here, take this umbrella,” he insisted. They hesitated, asking how they would return it. “Oh, just come here tonight at 7:30 for the youth meeting,” he answered. And they did—maybe we should be handing out umbrellas instead of fliers to invite people to the meetings! [Update: they continued coming after the first meeting.]
Dr. Ortiz teased a Korean pastor in the group about slipping in some Korean when he spoke and then shared a story from a previous trip. There had been a Korean pastor in that team as well. One night as he preached with great passion, he switched to Korean! The translator didn´t want to break his flow and prayed about what to do. He decided he would say whatever God impressed him to say. After several minutes the Korean pastor switched back to English. After the service, the translator asked him, “What happened?” The pastor had been unaware of his slip and asked the translator what he had said. As they compared, they found they had preached the same message, coinciding on each point!
After worship and sharing time, AU students have two hours of class taught by Cuban pastors (translated to English), which Mike is sitting in on. My students and I go back to the Amigos Church to prepare for VBS and our skits. Then it is back to the conference office for lunch.
Speaking of food, we are soooo well fed here. Several students have vowed to return just for the food. We have eaten yuca, fried plantains, sweet potatoes and arroz congrí, the Cuban rice and black bean dish. Although I am sad that it is not yet mango season, we have enjoyed pineapple, guava, papaya and melon.