Today, September 20, is a day Puerto Rico will never forget. A year ago, Hurricane Maria, a category five storm, slammed into PR leaving in its wake devastation in all directions that is still seen today. I read today 30% of our traffic lights do not work nor can more be readily purchased due to the prior demand curried by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 60,000 homes still do not have a secure roof in place. Yet things improve each day, and strategies are being implemented to better handle a similar event.
We finished up all emergency assistance the end of June, (check out the archive section of the blog for details) and have gone on to stage-two, building houses for two families that lost theirs. These two building projects are financed by a grant from International Disaster Emergency Service. The first home is fully underway as the photos show. The other project is coming together. Local legal matters are finally being resolved so we can proceed with the blueprints, permits, and contracts. We are grateful for IDES’s generosity, patience, and confidence.
House going up
We are back in PR after an eighteen-day hiatus to IL and MO. We visited five supporting churches, attended my 50th high school class reunion, and took a week vacation in St. Louis. While there we visited museums, enjoyed a concert by the St. Louis symphonic orchestra in Forest Park, took in a couple of Cardinal games, along with our son Ben and his wife, Tiffany (we lost ☹). We also visited with dear friends and former colleagues, and, I suppose, we ate far too much. Like our guilty basset hound, we ignored the voice of prudence and satisfied a craving for BBQ and a few too many ice creams at DQ. We got back to PR Tuesday night weighting just a few ounces more than when we left.
Is there any other team but the Cardinals?
While gone, the church carried on very well; all doing their assigned tasks. We must admit, we are still not at the attendance level we had in May and June. Although we were over 100 one Sunday in August, the attendance is still sputtering in the upper 70’s to mid-80’s instead of 90’s to 100’s. Causes are varied.
Last Sunday there was a baptism...a lady in her late 70’s. I had talked with her on more than one occasion but to no avail. I was surprise when I was told she wanted to be baptized because of the witness of my life; (I had no idea) a reminder that people are watching, observing, and making decisions based on what they see. So, let us live out our faith and honor Christ as best as we can with God’s empowering grace!
Until next time…
Johnathan and Mary