Our friends at Lifetree Adventures provide incredible international mission experiences for youth groups, church groups, individuals, friends, and families all over the world. One of their unique mission experience destinations is Cuba! (Yes, you can travel to Cuba!) Dave Hoffman, recent Lifetree Adventure Traveler, shared about his time there. Read below about how awesome your Cuban Lifetree Adventure could be!
“From the time we stepped through the doors of customs, I knew that Cuba was going to be an amazing Lifetree Adventure.
We met our Cuban partners and started our drive to the “casa particular” that would be our lodging and home base for the week. Many Cubans make their homes available for rent to travelers and tourists, and our group had the pleasure of having wonderful hosts, and wonderful food at our “casa particular.”
Over the next five days, we visited home churches and learned more about the ministry partners that Lifetree Adventures has established. Each night, we shared stories about where we saw God at work, and discussed our lives back home. In just a few days, we went from total strangers to a close knit circle of friends!
Over the next four days we were able to worship with the Cuban people, meet a pastor that was imprisoned during the early days of the Castro government, pray for the pastoral teams of many churches and visit the seminary where leaders of all denominations receive training.
During this time we had the opportunity to work with a group of women that reach out to families that have children with disabilities. Seeing their dedication to supporting each other, whether they were church members or not, was inspiring.
We were also able to help out on the farm as the Mango trees were laden with fruit, overloading the branches and the fruit was touching the ground. One afternoon we worked to prop up these branches using branches (for braces) and strips cut from palm bark to tie the braces to the branches. We enjoyed working and sweating together to get this fruit off the ground, knowing that it was going to help support the pastoral teams that we had visited, worshipped with and prayed for.
Thursday morning was bittersweet as we left our gracious hosts, and headed toward the tourist beaches of Varadero. It was sad saying goodbye to our friends at the house, as well as our new Cuban friends in ministry, but we were also looking forward to an afternoon and morning on the beach!
Varadero was like crossing into another world – a tourist world and not the world that the Cuban people we had met lived. We stayed at a wonderful resort and enjoyed time on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve had the pleasure to step onto. We swam, enjoyed the sun, had some wonderful food, saw a show and enjoyed time together as a group.
On Friday, we left Varadero for the city of Havana. The drive along the coast was amazing as it is truly unspoiled (except for a few Chinese oil interests and Cuban military facilities). Havana is a city that is beginning to see its beauty restored. Yes, there are many building in disrepair along the Malecón (a famous 7 km drive/walk along the city’s sea wall), but there are also signs of restoration and pride as the city begins to wake up from years of neglect. We spent the night at the Catholic Church in Havana and enjoyed walking around the old town, the Fort protecting Havana, the central square of the revolution and many of Havana’s sights.
I can’t wait for my next trip to Cuba for another Lifetree Adventure trip in just a few months.” – Dave Hoffman, Lifetree Adventure Traveler
To learn more about Lifetree Adventures, visit the website or call Robin, your experienced international mission advisor, at 800-747-2157!