I was approached last Fall about the possibility of going on a mission trip to Cuba—are you kidding me…Cuba! My head was spinning at the thought, “Are Americans even allowed to visit Cuba?”, “A trip like that was not in our home budget plan!”, “I didn’t even have a passport.” So, the analytical spreadsheet I developed had about 20 reasons not to go and only one to go. The reason to go is one I have faced a few times during my spiritual growth journey, here are some examples: attend seminary; become ordained; take a youth group into an inner-city mission trip; complete a couple doctorates; complete some crazy races; go to Cuba!
Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” This is the verse I turn to every time I feel God calling me to do something—especially those somethings outside my comfort zone, those things I initially consider “improbable”, but God is saying “Trust Me”.
A good example of this happened when I was stopped and questioned concerning my purpose for traveling to Cuba by an Immigration Agent at the Miami Airport as we were boarding our flight to Havana. I will not get into the legal or political reasons for American citizens to travel to Cuba, but there are restrictions. I thought I was pretty well-versed on what to say, but I had a problem…I was not sure if I was answering to an American agent or a Cuban agent! As I rattled off the answers, I thought were appropriate I could tell that the Agent was not impressed with my answers—especially when he informed me that I would be denied entry without say the correct words! To add to that I was slowing down the boarding for the people who knew what they were doing. I had only one option and as I closed my eyes I said under my breath, “Lord, if You want me in Cuba, You must intervene right now!”
Immediately the Agent’s attitude and tone with me changed and he “guided” me to the proper answer he was looking for (by the way it turns out I was going for a “cultural experience”). After I repeated that answer, he smiled and wished me a safe and nice trip as he allowed me to board the airplane. Thank You God for showing me that through You all things are possible!
Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some experiences from this trip using this blog. As God leads, I may divert to a different subject some weeks. I will be attempting to post it in both English and Spanish so that my new Cuban friends can be part of this community. I pray that the experiences shared here touch your life and remind you of how great God is!