By Grey Backus
While more than 200,000 people in Cuba leave each year to come to the United States, James Engle and his father Lance have the opposite plan.
James, a senior, lives for a challenge and does work and volunteers for activities around our community like Secret Families, a charity that provides families with presents for Christmas.
On Dec. 27, James is leaving with his father to go to Cuba, which is 1,392 miles from Indiana. There they will serve God, work on mango and coffee farms, and help special needs kids in orphanages.
This trip will be the first time leaving the country for James, but he has done mission work before in Tennessee.
On the other hand this will be his father’s first time on a mission trip
On James’ last mission trip he cared for kids in a day care so that people that are in poverty could drop off their kids for free and go to their job. He also worked for a local farm and pulled potatoes.
“I’ve always enjoyed serving others and doing mission work and this would be a really cool opportunity to go outside of the country to help people and serve people and God,” James said.
Freedom of speech in communist Cuba is restricted, so James will not be able to talk about the rights and freedoms he has in the United States.
This trip will cost $2,000. James is raising the money by selling candy bars and working a job, as well as collecting donations from friends and family.
James’s father means the world to him when going on this trip.
”If anything goes wrong he’s there for me and he’ll be with me every step of the way and if I have any questions I can go to him,” James said.
They will be In the town of Varadero about 2 hours and 30 minutes from the capital city of Havana and will be staying in a Father Son’s Gospel Mission for 10 days.
Lance finds serving others and showing God’s love to be important. He thinks this could be a great opportunity to get out of his comfort zone and experience a different way of serving others.
“God loves you. He has big plans for you,” Lance said. “Seek His plans first and you will not be disappointed.”