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Sixteen students in the Crandall-Acadia Bachelor of Theology Partnership took part in this year’s mission trip to Cuba from May 4-17. Entering into an existing partnership between Canadian Baptist Ministries and the Fraternity of Baptist Churches in Cuba, the team visited and partnered in ministry with eight churches and two camps. After flying into Holguin, they made stops in Las Tunas, Ciego de Avila, Santa Clara, Matanzas and Havana. Three students had the opportunity to preach, the team led worship and children’s ministries, completed challenging work projects and learned much about Cuba, Cubans, and the church in that beautiful country!
Work projects included planting fruit trees, gardening work, and digging a large hole to bury a cistern. The students called it mining instead of digging, as most of the time they were chipping through rock with pickaxes! In every place the team stopped, they had the opportunity to meet people and hear parts of their personal stories of faith and life, and when language failed we were often brought together through a game of pick up soccer or basketball! Everyone on the team was able to see life from a different perspective. Since coming home, students have continued to reflect on the experience to unpack what it means for their own lives and worldviews.
This is the third consecutive year that BTh students have studied and served in Cuba. The trip is a required part of the BTh Partnership, and is an excellent way for the students to learn about missiology and crossing cultural boundaries. In preparation for the trip, and in addition to team-building and ministry preparation, students completed a course with Dr. Malcolm Card on the theology and practice of short term mission.
The trip was led by Dale and Twila Stairs. Dale is the Director of the Crandall-Acadia Bachelor of Theology Partnership, and Dale and Twila are the incoming Directors of Crandall’s ClayStone Certificate Program.