Cuba in photos part 2

El centro de Kairos

The Kairos Center in Matanzas, Cuba, a mission of First Baptist Church of Matanzas, overflows with purpose. Dorm-style guest rooms provide temporary homes for visitors who go to experience the city and the culture of this Asheville-like town. I’ve stayed there several nights each of the last three times I’ve been to Cuba.

But the Kairos Center is infinitely more than a bed and breakfast. It is a powerhouse of intentionality that links worship with service, art with liturgy, and social justice with creativity . . . And then some.

The Kairos Center focuses its efforts in three areas: liturgy, art, and social justice. Responding to Christ’s call for justice, the Kairos Center reaches into the margins in a variety of ways: from serving meals to the most vulnerable in their population to promoting small business opportunities for women and persons with disabilities.

There is always some creative project underway at the Kairos Center. Director Wanda Hernandez says, “We are made in the image of God and God is the great Creator. Therefore, we must create.” Students learn how to play instruments, creating music; members of the tapestry group take fabric scraps and create works of art; worship planners collaborate to create sacred and welcoming spaces. The Kairos Center pulses with the energy generated by these activists, artists, and ministers building the Kingdom of God–on earth just as it is in heaven.

Jim McCoy, Stan Wilson, Joshua Linhart at the Kairos Center, Matanzas, Cuba
A view from the first level of the Kairos Center looking up at a few of the sleeping quarters.
Lunch at the Kairos Center prepared by Chef Aldo and staff.
Chef Aldo pays close attention to presentation and our plates are always lovely.
Kairos Center director, Wanda Hernandez (center), had been out of country for three weeks, arriving back to Cuba the day before we were to leave. She graciously gave us a full presentation about the center that was as energetic and comprehensive as ever. With Wanda is chaplain and pastor Alicia Hidalgo (left) and pastor Kim Christman (right).
Every year, I try to choose one special work of art to bring back. This hand sewn tapestry by Maria Victoria is a replica of a painting (below) done by our friend Lazaro. It is exquisite!

By Aileen MItchell Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 35 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.