Our inaugural trip to Cuba was an adventure in the truest sense of the word. Unsure of what to expect, we began the trip with great anticipation as to how the week in this unique destination would go. Having lost a dear member of our team in the passing of Jose Wejebe in April of this year, the trip took on a very special meaning for each of us. It was an incredible honor to travel to his native country alongside his daughter, Krissy Wejebe, and cameraman, Mike Torbisco, neither of whom have previously been able to visit and explore their Cuban heritage. In fact, it was the heritage, history and culture of Cuba that amazed everyone on our team. The abundance of classic cars, love for baseball, great food and lively music made this trip like no other.
The majority of our time was spent serving alongside local Pastor Eduardo Ortega and his partners, located around 15 miles outside Havana. As we worked to build meaningful relationships in various communities, we found the Cuban people to be kind, warm and generous. Proud of their unique culture, the local residents were among the friendliest of any place we have ever visited. Not only were we welcomed into their homes, but also greeted with a smile, an embrace and a kiss on the cheek at nearly each encounter. Although most maintained a fairly low standard of living, they seemed content and thankful to have their basic needs met. As we shared our faith and motivation for coming alongside them, seeds for lifelong friendships were planted.
Our host explained that humanitarian aid from the U.S. is only able to be carried out through local churches, making it clear that our new connection with Pastor Eduardo and his Campo Amor Foundation will provide us with an excellent opportunity to assist our new friends in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Together with our host, we discussed and explored the possibility of a permanent structure for housing teams and supplies. This structure will someday be named Campo de Amor or “Field of Love.”