A hardy band of pilgrims from PCWS travelled to Nueva Paz in June 2017 to help with some maintenance and repair work on the church. Jane Boxell, Paul Banovic, Andy Hoskins, Mindy McMahon, Mary Jo Sindelar and Kathy Wennerstrum all made this trip. Loaded with an extra 49.9 pounds each of donated supplies, medicine, computers, etc. we spent 1 ½ days in very hot Havana, staying in the mercifully air-conditioned sleeping rooms at the Presbyterian Church of Luyano (a neighborhood a little outside of central Havana) before heading by small bus to the Seminary graduation ceremony and then on to Nueva Paz.
The work we’d anticipated doing in Nueva Paz was, as in almost all of Cuba, dependent upon the supplies available at the time – or supplies that they were able to stockpile over a period of time. So, adjusting, adapting and making good use of the materials available at the time, we worked with a large group of congregation members, young and old, to paint the detailed metal grillwork on a community room door; and scraped, scrubbed and painted the exterior of the community building with the bleach and paint they’d been able to source.
After two pretty solid days of work, a trip to the beach on Saturday was very much appreciated! And, per usual, the Sunday service was beautiful.
Our friends in Nueva Paz really appreciate our visits and welcome us with incredible hospitality. Our days are shared with an intergenerational group of congregation and community members and good cheer and laughter abound. It’s easy to see how this partnership is so important for both of our congregations as we work side-by-side and share in mutual prayer and concern both together in Cuba, and “together” from our sanctuary at home.