SPAIN/CUBA, Mónica and José Delgado-Iribarren •
Mission Cuba as a family!
In July, the entire family departed for Santa Cruz del Sur, a coastal city in southern Cuba. During Jubilee 2014, we met Fr. Bladimir, the pastor, who encouraged two families to go there during the summer. During the same time, eight young professionals with a great missionary vocation prepared their trip to the same parish. On 1 August, all of us were there together.
We have four children ages 12-19. When we finally finalized our trip and we bought the plane tickets in March, we told our children that this year we would not go to Cádiz. We would go to Cuba. When we shared this news, it was not received enthusiastically but with surprise: “It is my summer.” “It’s our time at the beach with friends…” Moreover the question that immediately arose was what are we going to do? Why are we going to Cuba?
There we met wonderful people who wanted to share their time with us.
We arrived at Santa Cruz with our activist and accelerated Spanish mentality. What does everyone need to do? What is the plan for the day? There we met wonderful people who simply wanted to share their time with us, to learn from our experiences, and to transmit theirs, a simple people who shared everything they had with us in the material as well as spiritual sense. People with whom we quickly felt very close to and united with under the protection of Mary, present in our actions. Children, youths, adults, and couples who welcomed us and made us feel at home. This was how life began to emerge…
Our older children joined the group of Cuban youths along with the young Spanish missionaries, and they had an impressive missionary experience, visiting the neighborhoods and villages close to the parish, collaborating in the organization of a spectacular camp for children.
The younger ones organized themselves with their Cuban friends in a group led by Fr. Bladimir. They joined the missionary task and contributed much joy to the community.
We will never forget the faith and generosity that we experienced within these families.
We visited families with a sick person in their homes, with which we shared our time and we prayed together. I believe that we will never forget the faith and generosity that we experienced within these families. Very simple families who shared the little they had with us, and they showed us how one could be happy with few things. Families who accepted their illness and they offered it to God with great serenity and hope. We also accompanied a recently created group of couples eager to live their faith and with whom we shared considerable time and experiences.
This was God’s answer, to each member of the family, to the question that our children had asked in March. Why are we going to Cuba?
This is living our faith as a family
At night when all the members of the family gathered, after returning home walking through Santa Cruz’ dark streets, we shared the experiences that each person had, and how it transformed the idea we had of the trip. Some of them even thought about staying longer, or of returning someday with their friends.
As a family apart from the personal experiences of each one us, I believe that this mission has left us with something very important: feeling that we were together doing something for others as Jesus asks us in the Gospel, that is to live our faith as a family. This experience filled us so much that we did not have a single fight or family discussion during our stay in Santa Cruz; that is unusual in our family!
Three months have passed since we returned, and the day to day routine at home has returned to normal. However this group experience has left a profound mark on us, and we know that although we have daily frictions and discussions, we share the most valuable thing: our faith and the desire to share with others.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA