By Haley Bradley
(Haley Bradley grew up at Wieuca and will graduate from the University of Georgia next May. She spent her spring break on a mission trip to Cuba. This is her story. She’s a fantastic example of what it means to love God, connect people, and change lives!)
I am Haley Bradley, and I have been attending Wieuca my whole life. I am currently involved in the Wesley Foundation at the University of Georgia where I was given the opportunity to go to Cuba for a mission trip. When I found out that a team was going to Cuba, I had to jump on the opportunity. I felt I needed to go, and thankfully, I got placed on the team of 15. We teamed up with 25 other people associated with Rick Bonfim Ministries to go serve the First Methodist Church in Cuba. I have never been so blessed to go somewhere with such wonderful people and to serve such beautiful people.
We took a charter plane to Havana, Cuba on March 8th. We stayed in a building owned by the bishop, who is a big political leader, that night. On Monday, we traveled 4 hours to Santa Clara, Cuba to attend a conference for missionaries, evangelists, and pastors designed to educate, inspire, and encourage. That night we got our first taste of Cuban worship, and boy do they know how to praise God. It was celebratory. I was in awe of how joyful and thankful they were for all God has done for them. They danced and sung with such humility and happiness that I have never seen in the US. There was no denying that the Holy Spirit was flooding over them. I experienced a lot of new and different ways of worship as well. I never knew what it looked like to be overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. Our team of 40 did a prayer tunnel where we got into two lines, and the people would walk between us while we prayed for them. We had to pull them along sometimes because most were shaking, dancing, or even passing out in the Holy Spirit. It was a very new to me, but I was open to it. It was amazing to see how hard the Holy Spirit was working and moving there.
For the next three days, we attended the conference. We prayed for the people every day after each seminar. The older people that we went with emphasized and taught us praying with authority. Again people started to shake and pass out because they were overwhelmed, which was crazy because most of them did not even know what we were saying. It was an awesome experience.
Outside of the conference, our group of 40 was split up into 4 teams, where the Wesley group made up one. Every night each team went to a different church to pray for the people. We had an older adult with us who preached, and we always had one translator with us. Everywhere we went, I saw nothing but joy, humility, and love for God. When we prayed for them, I could tell God was moving in both us and them. Me and a few others went to an outside church in Havana Friday night, and I got the opportunity to pray for healing over one lady. I had to hold her up because her knees and lower back were in so much pain. However, later, I was dancing and worshiping, and I look over, and there she is, dancing with me. It was the best moment of the trip because I knew God was using me. I even made a few friends that I am staying connected with through email, so that we can continue to encourage and help each other.
Overall, this trip was life changing. It was a time of healing and gaining a new perspective for me. I feel I inspired and encouraged the Cuban people about as much as they inspired and encouraged me. I have an abundant amount of love for Cuba and the people there. I have come back wanting to pursue God more than I have ever wanted in the past, and I think that is the best thing I could have gotten from the trip. I want to thank everyone who supported me because I couldn’t have made the impact I did without your help.