Recapping the Visit with our Cuban Mission Partners
Shared by Reverend Dr. Susan Rose
Our mission colleagues, Rev. Dr. Ary Fernandez Alban and Rev. Dr. Beidy Casas Aragon visited St. Augustine the last week of August, spending Sunday, September 3rd, with Memorial Presbyterian.
While they were here, Beidy requested to tour our church preschool, the Presbyterian Day School (PDS). She has a passion for early education, especially for children with special educational needs. Beidy dreams of opening a preschool in Cuba one day. During their time in the United States, Beidy visited as many church preschools as she could to understand how it is done well.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Idalia canceled two speaking engagements with two other churches in the presbytery. Because the anticipated weather didn’t happen in our part of the state, I enjoyed cooking dinner for Ary and Beidy on our “hurricane day”!
We regrouped with an already scheduled reunion lunch on September 2nd with people who have gone on previous Cuba mission trips. Because our midweek events were cancelled, I invited the pastors from those churches to join us at Mambos for lunch so they could meet Ary and Beidy. They got to hear the excitement church members have for our mission and ministry in Cuba.
On Sunday, September 3rd, Ary and Beidy spent all day at Memorial! They attended both morning worship services, giving a Minute for Mission at both. They joined the Apex Sunday School class for a discussion about parenting and pastoring, and what it means to be part of a Christian community. After the 11am service, they led a Lunch and Learn, where 54 people stayed to hear them share about their ministries at Central Presbyterian in Matanzas, Cuba.
Our time with our Cuban ministry colleagues is precious and always goes by too quickly!
What our time together showed us is the importance of connecting in person. Memorial Presbyterian is considering an intergenerational mission trip to visit our friends at Central Presbyterian in Matanzas, Cuba in the future!