March 28, 2015
By Simon Chambers
PWRDF sent a delegation of diocesan representatives, Youth Council members, a local farmer and PWRDF staff to Cuba in mid-March. They blogged while they were there, and now that they’re home, we will be posting their adventures in their own words. Today’s instalment comes from Jordan Waterbury, Youth Council member from Kentville, Nova Scotia.
On Wednesday we visited a Pentecostal church in the town of Palmira north of the city of Cienfuegos on the southern coast of Cuba. I didn’t know what to expect, and was wondering what the church I had heard so much about would look like in person. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived, and was amazed at how involved the congregation was in its work with the Sustainable Development Program (PDS.)
There I met two youth who are involved in being leaders and mentors in the faith community. One of the youth knew some English and wanted to practice the language with us. I was amazed at how each of the churches we visited in Cuba seemed to have a contingent of very active youth that participate in the life and ministry of their respective congregations.
Later on during our visit with the church in Palmira some of our delegation visited the church farm outside of town, where we were engaged in planting yucca.
The planting of the yucca seemed to be symbolic of the planting of a seed into dry, rough, inhospitable ground, the seed of faith in an otherwise inhospitable place. It made me think of the church in Palmira, how it seemed to flourish in a place that people wouldn’t think a church would flourish.
It gave me hope that the church here in Canada has a future in the wider community, that it can bring people together in an inhospitable, unwelcoming place, and flourish to serve those less fortunate and build up the community as a whole, not just the one inside the four walls, but a community as whole, inside and out.