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This Love

by Fred Dean


February 17, 2016

This Love

Photo by Evie Davis.

From December 26, 2015-January 3, 2016, young adult leaders of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz, la Fraternidad de Iglesias de Bautistas de Cuba (FIBAC), and the Alliance of Baptists met in Cuba and visited the churches and areas of ministry related to FIBAC. Through this trip, delegation members were able to develop friendships, nurture existing relationships, seek ways to work across cultures for justice for all of God’s creation, and empower young adults to become leaders in cross-cultural and international work in their broader faith community.

Below is a reflection from Fred Dean, a Young Adult member of the trip. Click here for more reflections and photos.

A whiff of pineapple caught my nose the other night as I finished cleaning some dishes. Ordinarily, I'd be too hurried to notice. Hurried to my next responsibility in a busy culture that won't stop. I hadn't stopped. I came home from Cuba and hit the ground running into all the things I had been wanting to do afterwards.

Cuba was a place where I could slow down and listen. It wasn't that slow, really. I slowed down long enough to speed up to a pace of community forming with young peacemakers from the United States and Cuba.

The memories were as fresh as the pineapple and papaya on my breakfast plate at Casa Elinda in Santa Clara. Memories of ministry that was simple, yet profound.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything that I need.

I have everything that I need, but it isn't enough. In Cuba I found that I had everything I wanted, and was unsatisfied.

I found a hunger for peace that brought people from their stories and wrapped them together in a deep love that knew not only one homeland. I had been afraid of this love when I arrived. Yet, this love called to me strongly. It had been a voice that busyness had tried to shut out. It was a love that called for me to recreate my life in its wonder, in its nonviolence, and in its hope. It was a homecoming and a homegoing that made me desire to know and be more careful with what it takes for peace, the seed that opens with love.

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