Good News Singers director Chuck Hicks and Global Outreach and Mission Experiences director Kenneth Graves visited Cuba on Feb. 2 to make arrangements for Good News Singers to perform this August.
“We travel about God’s green Earth singing the message of good news and hope to a world that desperately needs good news and hope,” Hicks said. “We try to make sure it has messages that are bigger than we are and possibilities that could only be imagined by those willing to do so.”
Graves heard Tony Fernandez, a missionary currently serving in Cuba speak at Lectureship last year about the work God was doing in Cuba and approached Fernandez about the possibility of sending students to Cuba in the summer.
The Good News Singers will be the first Harding mission team sent to Cuba. During their trip, they will perform at churches, community houses and cathedrals. They will also interact with kids at the national youth retreat.
“Music tends to soothe the harshest of differences between people. I think that’s one of the reasons they would like us over there,” Hicks said. “It crosses sectarian lines. Music is so beautiful; it wipes away those things that divide us and pulls us all together into a vision of those things that unite us.”
Hicks and Graves met with the president of the National Council of Churches and the president of the Churches of Christ. Cuba’s president of the Churches of Christ extended the group invitations so they could receive religious visas, which will allow them to sing at the National Youth Retreat in Cuba.
“When we go there we are going to make sure it’s not about us,” Hicks said. “It’s about God and things that are bigger than us.”
Hicks said he believes the trip will help the people hear something in acapella music that they have not heard before. He also said Tony suggests it would inspire the people to want to sing better without their instruments.
“They’re looking for partnership in the gospel,” Graves said. “I think it’s a good way to open that up to our brotherhood and to encourage the kingdom there.”