Lessons from Cuba


As I am writing this, I am currently on a mission trip to Cuba. Let me just say right off the bat, I have been extremely blessed so far. I could fill up pages and pages with all the crazy God-things that have happened, and the trip isn’t even over yet! Jonny and I came here with the Andrews Theological Seminary, and the nature of our trip is an evangelistic series. 

Every evening, for the whole 10 days we are here, we are holding meetings. There are five of us in our group for our specific church. It’s a small church with some great need, much different from the central church in the center of the city, though there is need everywhere. 

As part of the trip, we are supposed to come up with something called “creative evangelism.” This is basically what it sounds like. We try to connect with the community in unusual and unexpected ways. We have a few hours in the afternoons to put everything into action. 

In Cuba, there is no internet in homes, or anywhere really, except in public parks. Citizens can obtain a WiFi card for 1 or 2 CUC (one of the two currencies in Cuba) for 1 or 2 hours of internet. That is roughly 1 or 2 dollars. But for the Cuban citizens, 1 or 2 CUC is over a day’s wage. 

Jonny had the idea to buy a bunch of internet cards as incentive to come to the meetings. We passed them out at a park with internet the first afternoon, but only a few people came to the meeting to get their cards because the park was too far away from the church and most people walk or ride bikes for transportation. 

Slightly discouraged, but still hopeful, we decided that the next day we would try our creative evangelism in the neighborhood in front of the church. Then transportation wouldn’t be an issue, right? Remember, I mentioned we had those evangelism hours in the afternoon. In the heat of the day. And it is HOT here (And that means something coming from a Texan). So, everyone was either at work in the middle of the day, or inside taking a nap because it was so oppressively hot outside. 

We had failed again. We had prayed and prayed over this idea and were seeing no fruits from our labor. 

Finally, in a last ditch effort, we decided to offer the cards at the next night’s meeting for anyone who brought a new visitor. 

The next night, we weren’t even thinking about the cards. There were other things going on that took our focus. Then, the pastor of the church ran up to us saying we had 13 people who had brought visitors and were expecting a WiFi card! 

Frantically, we tried to pull together the cards. We pooled our own internet cards with a few we had happened to bring in case anybody showed up with a new visitor. The total came to 12, just one short! 

But if we didn’t keep our word even for one person on the first night, we would break the trust of the audience. We HAD to find one more card. 

The lady who was to announce the winners of the internet cards took the stage. Our group was running around behind the scenes like pollos sin cabezas trying to decide what to do. One of our group members remembered he had some cards in his room. There was a frantic race against time to go to the house and locate it. 

And finally, the prizes were announced and the lady sat down. I approached her, asking what we would do with the one person who didn’t get an internet card. She smiled and told me everyone had gotten one and she had two left over for tomorrow! 

I don’t know whether some of the visitors didn’t want an internet card, or if God decided to multiply a few pieces of plastic the way he once multiplied five loaves and two fish. I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. God had our backs even when we were disorganized and unprepared. God knew those people needed a gift from us as a show of love in a way they immediately understood. 

So, if you ever find yourself in a situation that seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things…but it’s important to you… know that it is important to God, too. God uses little things to change the world. He likes to show flashes of his glory through seemingly impossible and relatively insignificant situations.

Stephanie Wilczynski has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2009. She is pursuing an MA in English and Religious Education at Andrews University.