Great trip to Alamar community where 3 teams participated in a medical clinic, youth camp, and baseball clinic. Over 200 in the community were seen by a Cuban medical physician and assistant. A team from South Carolina brought an ophthalmologist and glasses were provided to many who could not afford glasses at that time. The youth camps were awesome relationship building opportunities and allowed them to share what Christ is doing in their lives.
The baseball clinics provided instruction to younger players and afterward each day a baseball game was played with players and coaches. The mango and papaya were in season and nothing is more refreshing than a cold plate of fruit after a hot day!
We had an awesome time in Alamar during this time as we installed 3 residential circuit breaker panels and re-wired 3 buildings. Two great fellas from READY ELECTRIC went down with me and did a beautiful job! Much needed for safety and to power air conditioning units and hot water heaters for the missionary lodges. We are always looking to improve conditions there to make things more comfortable for everyone. Contact me if you are interested in making a trip to assist in the community. 502-724-3816.
Visited Havana last month and wanted to update on situation currently. A lot has happened politically in the last 30 days. A new US administration will be in place beginning 2017. Fidel Castro passed away at age 90. Many questions are being asked and just based on my knowledge and folks I know and have spoken with, here is a little commentary. The Trump administration has stated that there will have to be a new renegotiated agreement with Cuba. I’m not sure what will change as it could have an effect on trips for 2017.
The general population is starting to see improvement gradually now in their lives but it is a slow process. Getting money to trickle down from the Cuban government has been slow in the past but with open travel recently, the tourists business has really helped those in the Havana area that have restaurants, taxi licenses, airbnb and hostels for tourists. This money has made it to the people, which has helped them afford transportation and better food for their families. My hope and prayer is that the new administration will first visit and discover firsthand what is needed to help the general public improve their lives in regard to diet, healthcare, and transportation. Negotiations should be directed on helping those in need and not broad plans for an equal exchange in regard to commerce.
With Fidel passing nothing is going to change in the government. Brother Raul is supposedly stepping down in 2018, but there has been a succession plan in place for many years so it is going to take a great deal of relationship building between the US and Cuba to be together in future decisions.
THE NOVEMBER VISIT
Pastor Eduardo and I went to the Super Mercado and bought large quantities of powdered milk and medicine for his next trip to Baracoa. He will be making his second trip soon and he pulls out all the seats in the van and loads it with food, medicine, diapers, and basic needed items and delivers it to the congregation and their families in need. I’ll post a few pictures once I receive them.
No rebuilding to speak of is happening as materials in the area cannot be sold until the government ascertains those that are desperate and have no money. They are the priority right now. We think by March we will be able to buy materials to repair roofs and cinder blocks to rebuild the many homes destroyed by the hurricane. Right now we are renovating part of the church in Alamar for meetings for the house church leaders and for community bible training.