A number of months ago I found out that I would be assisting my good friend Josh Lake in leading an outreach team from our January 2016 DTS and I could not have been more excited! I was ready for this, I had just finished my first school as DTS Staff and was about to start my second, the time was right and I was getting an opportunity to step into greater leadership and responsibility. I thought back to my DTS outreach to Papua New Guinea and how much fun we had there swimming in the river, preaching sermons every night and getting to know the locals without a care in the world. Of course I knew leading would be different but I had no idea just how different it would be.
March 26th 2016 We left base and headed out on our way to Cuba! Before we even left the island of Ambergris Caye our credit card gets swallowed by an ATM as we tried to withdraw money for the first time for our travels. BOOM. The weight of leadership immediately hits our shoulders as Josh and I scramble to figure out a solution in the next five minutes before our boat leaves for Belize city. No immediate solution so we just push on, trusting God has a plan to take care of us.
The next afternoon we make it to Havana, Cuba and meet our contacts. Were staying at a Church and the family is great, were able to sit down and make a plan of attack for our next couple weeks, this allows Josh and I to grab a breath of air and get some answers before plunging back into the sea of unanswered questions that we were swimming in upon our arrival in Cuba. Questions like Where are we going next? How are we going to access the team money? What will we do for ministry? What are we going to eat? How will we get around? Will the government kick us out of Cuba if were found staying at a church? Can we legally preach? and the list goes on and on.
This is just a taste of what it’s like to lead an outreach team and let me tell you it is far different than the happy go lucky, worry free experience I had as a student. As a student It wasn’t my responsibility to feed myself and my 12 team members let alone get them all over Cuba and organize ministry times. But when we step into a situation we can not control, God is able to step in and save the day if we ask Him to. Lucky for us we did and he answered. By His grace alone we were able to not only survive but thrive in Cuba during our outreach. We traveled to 7 different locations, preached over 10 different sermons, conducted leadership training seminars for local pastors, and build lasting relationships with the Cuban church. God took care of us and lead our team trough an unforgettable experience full of personal growth, shared struggles, and finally, full reliance on Him.