I have never been challenged this much and to such an extent as I have, being on outreach to Cuba. But in saying so, I’ve also never experienced family like I have with my team. We’ve had to go through some really hard situations where I thought our team was going to crumble and fall apart, but by putting God in the centre of our team and mission, we’ve been able to grow closer in unity. As an individual, God has been revealing so many amazing things while being here. Being in Cuba, we’ve been in 5 different locations so far, and I remember while packing up to leave one place, I found a bag with all my encouragement notes. I asked God to give me a note that I really needed to hear, and I pulled one out that said:
“1 John 4:18, PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR.
Daughter, there is no fear in me. I couldn’t be prouder of you. Thank you for letting me invade your heart! Stay present, and stay secure in me because I’ll always have your back. I love you darling.
That couldn’t have been better timing for God to reveal this note to me again. Prior to reading that, I was having a hard time here on outreach. I was missing my friends and family, I thought our team was falling apart which made me fear doing anything else to add to the issue and so I started to not be myself and to distance myself from my team members who were getting on my nerves due to our sticky situations. Everything seemed to be going downhill- because I was so zoomed in on my own life and my own desires and priorities.
When God placed this note in my hand, my whole perspective zoomed out and I noticed how I wasn’t living in the moment and how because I was starting to distance myself, I wasn’t allowing our team to unite and I wasn’t letting myself be secure in God and our team. I chose from that moment on to decide to put my 100% into this outreach in Cuba because I was here for God. Since then, I’ve stayed present and I’ve stayed secure in God because I know all things work for His good and I have enjoyed my time so much more. In doing this I’ve also felt more open and vulnerable with our team which has allowed for more unity and growth. It is just so incredible when you put love behind everything you do and staying completely present, knowing that God always has your back.
Recently, as a team we’ve been teaching many people at leadership seminars. One thing I’ve been speaking about is on filling yourself up with God and letting Him use you to overflow to the others around you. Preparing this on my own before teaching this made me look at my own life here and realizing how time with God is so important. Being here in Cuba on outreach is often quite difficult to find alone time, but each time I do, I find myself loving on people so much more easier because I’m filled to the brim with Jesus. And I find myself not only loving my teammates more but also the lovely people I have the opportunity to meet here. I’ve been able to build quite a few really great relationships with some of the Cuban girls who are my age and it’s so sweet to get to know them like I have. Being filled with Jesus and spending time in His presence has made me see everyone more like Jesus sees them.
Cuba is such a beautiful country with so many wonderful people who have impacted my life in one way another. It has been a crazy, unexpected, and fun past 5 weeks here travelling all over Cuba and I can’t wait for the adventures the next 2 weeks have waiting for us!
- Allison Wiebe