2024 El Dorado Trip Blog

In 2019, we started a partnership with the The Alliance in a Creative Access Country (CAC) that we've given the code name "El Dorado." The goal of this partnership is to come alongside the national church to support the work that God is doing in that region, as well as build relationships.

2024 El Dorado Trip

Hola Daybreak Family and Friends!

We are just about 24 hours from getting on a plane to begin our journey to Cuba. We are so excited!! We will fly to Miami, spend the night and then take our flight into Cuba on Saturday morning, 3/16. We had an amazing final team meeting on Tuesday night where we were able to affirm each other for their YES to God's calling to go on mission together and experienced a beautiful time of worship and communion. God has been at work in beautiful ways preparing our hearts for what He has in store for us.

Thank you for all the ways you have supported us, whether through finances, prayers and/or words of encouragement and affirmation.  It all means so much to us and has made this trip possible for each one of us. As we go, here are some ways you can be praying for us:

  • Pray for safety, both as we travel and for our time in Cuba.
  • Pray for the team's mental, emotional and physical health while traveling and serving.
  • Pray for unity among our team and with all of the IW's and Cuban Team Members we will be serving with this week.
  • Pray for open doors and unique God-given opportunities for us to live out and share the gospel message.
  • Pray against ANY and ALL attempts of the enemy to distract, discourage or negatively impact this trip in any way.
We hope to be able to provide updates on this blog throughout the week, but it will be dependent on getting access to wifi, which is limited in Cuba. So, please keep checking back, but don't be concerned if you don't see an update each day. We'll definitely send updates as we are able. We love you all and we'll see you when we return!

March 15th, 2024


After an early arrival time of 5:00am at Daybreak, the team was met by staff and family for a time of prayers and goodies. They will head to BWI for a flight to Fort Lauderdale.

The team leading up to this trip were led to two verses that they ask the church family pray for:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)

They also ask that you pray for safe travels for today.

We arrived at Fort Lauderdale around 1:00pm. 

After a busy afternoon of packing supplies to take to Cuba and getting some basic training, we are enjoying a delicious pizza dinner out with some of the Envision Miami Team. 

March 16th, 2024

The team has arrived in Cuba!

March 17th, 2024 (Sunday Morning)

Hola familia y amigos!!

After successfully getting everyone through the Cuban airport and customs, we traveled to the Missions House, where we were greeted by amazing new friends who prepared a delicious lunch for us. We spent the afternoon shopping in a local market for some treasures and then were surprised by a Driving Tour of Havana in some cool classic cars!! A few of our team members were ecstatic that 2 of the cars were PINK!! We returned to the Mission House for another delicious meal and had a great night of rest. The El Dorado team is taking such good care of us. This morning, we went to a local PRIVATELY-owned restaurant for breakfast, which is unusual to find in Cuba. We were thrilled to be able to support their business. Up next...our 4 hour drive to the community where we will be serving this week.  

March 17th, 2024 (Sunday Evening)

Tonight our team traveled to Nueva, where we were greeted with a meal that they typically reserve for holidays and special occasions. 

Following the meal, we had the opportunity to engage in very meaningful worship service, where Pastor Ric was able to share about the JOY available to us through the presence of God, regardless of circumstances. And goodness, there was so much JOY present in the people thjere.

Here are two stories from 2 of our team members who had some very cool Holy Spirit led connections:

Before we left for the night, I had the opportunity to sit with these kids and show them my photo book! They were probably 1-2 years old and were fascinated by the pictures I had brought. I was able to give each of them a picture and this brought so much joy to their faces! Having a communication barrier can be hard, but that didn't matter because all those little kids wanted to do was to just have fun. I experienced so much joy and really felt that I could spread Jesus's love even if

I couldn't speak directly to them. 


Today we got to truly experience one church (The Alliance) and one God on a mission. Tonight I got to experience first hand the joy after the loss of my mother four weeks ago. During the service this beautiful Cuban grabbed my hand, held tightly and stroked my hand with her thumb, tears flowing from her cheek and mine. Despite us not knowing each others' stories you could feel God's love bonding us together. In the picture below you are witnessing the moment I was able to share my testimony with her. I wanted to assure her the tears were joy as God sent me to Cuba to find joy in my recent sorrow. She later shared her recent loss of her mother. A moment only God could have created! Night one and our God is here! He is so faithful.


March 18th, 2024

Today we arrived in Nueva by 9:30 to begin our full first day of ministry...lots of painting and preparing for he 100 kids that to VBS!!

A few of our team members have written a little bit to share about our day:

We've shared in deep, meaningful conversations with the pastors and leaders here at the church. We've shed tears together, smiled and laughed until our faces hurt. We feel so deeply connected to the Alliance family and mission here...God's family on God's mission together!


Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with a young adult about his generation's disillusionment with his country's history and his will to live day to day, guided by faith and perseverance. Our time in Cuba has been a powerful lesson in perspective, regarding God's desire for us to be grateful for our blessings, resilient in our faith, and totally dependent upon Him in all areas of our lives. 


Last night we had the opportunity to share a little bit about how people were a blessing to others and what they were doing. I got to share a bit about how these few people were very helpful to me and how I was very thankful for them. They brought a lot of joy to me. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I didn't have them. I am so glad for them. When I was not sure if I wanted to go on this trip, they brought courage to me and they made sure that I was going to be okay. Our affirmation time we had last night brought a lot of joy to them but also to me. 


While waiting in the line for security in Baltimore, I was anxious about leaving home and be able to do the physical work in Cuba. The Holy Spirit reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says God's grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. God woke me up at 4am reminding me of this. Today I have felt God's strength in me while engaging in physical work and spending time with my Cuban friends. This is my second time in Cuba and it seems like a family reunion with my Cuban family. We are all united in Christ! 


March 19th & 20th Reflections

We continue to be in awe at how God is at work here in Cuba! The projects are going well, the kids have completely stolen our hearts and the relationships we are building are providing friendships that will last the rest of our lives.

Here are a few more team member reflections:

Last night, I had conversations with 2 members of our support team. I was so encouraged by their tremendous faith in the Lord, even as they spoke of their lack of hope for the future of the country. My heart is broken for the struggles they face everyday, however, I also see how much the prosperity we experience distorts how we perceive our need for the Lord to sustain us. I look forward to the Holy Spirit continuing to teach me dependence as we continue to serve alongside our Cuban

brothers and sisters in Christ.


The children have won my heart. Kid Min begins at 4pm - the kids begin to arrive around 2pm. It is 3pm as I write this and about 50 kids have arrived. We expect 130-140. It's "go time" for me. If weather is good - time to play games - if weather is iffy then I walk around to chat with them - sing to them  - dance with them - anything to see their smiles. Warms my heart. I found out in craft area they are excellent at coloring - a neat snack experience was each kid was given a small cup of goldfish crackers - many ate 1-3 and dumped the rest of them into a plastic bag to eat later. When you have nothing, you spread it out. My brightest joy is playing with two, young girls - Brenda and Bianna. Brenda's picture sits in my living room from when Margie was here last July. Bianna just lights up when she sees me - I held her and we danced yesterday. Loving on these kids is easy - exhilarating - humbling - energizing. One little girl, Natalie came up after yesterday and asked to see my pictures. She asked me through an interpreter if she could have a picture of me. This is not uncommon here. I'm coming home with a lot less pictures. Praise the Lord!


Yesterday, I met the sweetest little girl. Her name is Martha and from the moment I met her, I knew she was special. I was having a pretty hard day and during craft time she came up to me and asked me to come and sit with her. When she asked me to come sit with her, she said my name, I wasn't sure in the moment how she knew me but I went over to sit with her anyway. She asked me to write my name next to hers on her craft and after doing crafts with her for a little while, she asked me if I had a picture of me that she could take home as a memory. Of course, I said yes and gave her a picture of me from my photo book. At the end of VBS she came up to me and gave me the biggest hug. She filled my heart with so much joy after having a pretty hard day. I still wasn't sure how she knew me but after thinking for a while I realized that earlier in the day I offered for her to sit next to me on one of the benches during group time. This really opened my eyes how much things that we do can mean to someone. Something that felt so small to me meant so much to her and gave her the courage to come up to me. God sent Martha to me because He knew I needed her. God is good!


It's hard to pick just one thing to reflect upon when God is doing so much here. Two of the ways I most connect with God is through nature and music. And there has been no lack of both fun and meaningful times of worship here. I have been deeply moved by our spontaneous "worship sessions" that break out with our Cuban friends while we are on a "work break" or in the afternoons while getting ready for VBS to start. It's been a sweet taste of what I imagine we will experience in Heaven. 



March 21st, 2024

Our final day in Neiva was pretty emotional for our team and our Cuban family! It was truly a joy to serve!! Here are the reflections of the remaining members of our team. 

This week our team has been able to build beautiful relationships with our new brothers and sisters in Cuba. Today I had the opportunity to share my story with the pastor's wife as well as some of the other ladies from the church staff. We came to be a blessing to the church but we were all blessed by their hospitality and love towards us. -Kelly

This whole week has been amazing I have felt God's presence through his people. I would like to share about a particular time that lead me to sharing my story in front of our Cuban brothers and sisters. Wednesday night I was woken up by the sound of my name. My roommate was asleep so I went back to bed. It then happened again however, this time it was more powerful, it was "Joe get up!". I got up and went downstairs to journal but felt I need to look at my testimony. Then at breakfast Pastor Rick shared with us that we were going to have three people to share today at the service. It was at that point that I felt God pull at my heart again saying, "You know what I want you to do.". After breakfast I told Pastor Rick and then shared it later. It was a beautiful picture of obedience to my Father that will hold me close and never abandon me.  -Joe

One of our projects this week was transforming a room at the church to be the sanctuary. We spent a great deal of time this week painting, running wires for electricity, and installing lights. When we finished working today we went into the near by village to pray over the members of the community. When we returned, the new sanctuary was filled with pews, a pulpit, and a beautiful cross hung high, front and center. It was such a beautiful site. We were able to experience the first church service in the new sanctuary with the members of the church. it was a joyful celebration filled with singing, tears, and smiles. God is alive in Cuba! -Logan 

Today was our final day in Neiva the passage Psalms 133. How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony was the message we were left with from the Cubans. They felt so blessed that we came to visit their home and share our love for Christ together in harmony. WE were the ones that were blessed. -Jarrett