After reading these pages in third grade, I announced, “I’m going to be a missionary to Cuba!” Being that it was a closed country at the time, my parents said hesitantly, “Let’s keep praying about that…”
Through the years, Cuba still lingered in the back of my mind. Known for their bravura and impeccable technique, the Cuban dancers came onto my radar and as I pursued more serious ballet training, I began to wonder if dance would be my way into the country. “Train with the Cubans.” I had one instructor tell me out of the blue.
Around the same time that Bluebird Uncaged began to travel internationally, the US and Cuba began the process of normalizing their relationship. I had just begun to discover how the universal language of dance could open doors to talk about Jesus and started dreaming about expanding our outreach to other countries—Cuba, of course, was on the list.
After traveling to Panama for four consecutive summers, we decided to take a break from traveling internationally in 2017 in order to refocus our efforts and research more destinations.
I started looking into Cuba through talking to other [dance] groups who had been before.
One night I was perusing a missions organization site and came across a dance trip to Cuba with a group in California. I emailed them for more information to add to my research. “Come with us!” was the reply. At the time, things weren’t exactly lining up. I had previously committed to teach during the time the trip was taking place and didn’t want to go back on my word. “Maybe we can change the dates,” they said.
The next week, my boss came to me and said that the hours I was scheduled to teach were actually tentative. Was God releasing me to go somewhere this summer?
The trip with the California group got postponed to later in the fall, close to our preparations for Uncaged Christmas.
Weeks went by and still no confirmed summer teaching. I continued to pray for clarity in my summer plans.
On Tuesday, May 16, my friend Lauren, texts me and says “Hey girl!! Random but would you be interested in going on a dance mission trip to Cuba?” I hadn’t told Lauren at all about Cuba! “Oh. My. Goodness” I replied, “Call me with details”
Turns out that they had a team going and someone dropped out last minute. They needed one more person in order to get the group airfare rate and I just “popped into Lauren’s head.”
She needed an answer by the end of the day. I reeeaaaallllllly wanted to go and thought it was a God orchestrated situation but called my parents for wise counsel before committing. “Sounds like you need to be in Cuba this summer” Daddy said. I texted Lauren back, “I’M IN!!!”
You might have to scrape me off the ceiling with a spatula, I can barely contain my excitement! I’M GOING TO CUBA!!!!!!
Our team will be working with Ganadores de Almas para Cristo (Soul Winners for Christ), a youth evangelism training and discipleship program. More specifically, we will be training them with tools to use dance in worship.
I’m excited and a tad nervous but completely in awe of the Lord’s faithfulness to fulfill the dreams that He plants. May Jesus continue to be the center of this adventure as He draws hearts to Himself.
Stay tuned for updates!
Prayer request: because I am taking someone’s spot on the team and they had already started the visa process, we have to request a name change on the visa. Pray that we will have favor and permission will be granted expeditiously.