Here on the island, there are people still in need, even eighteen-months after the hurricane. Our Community Outreach team is committed to putting on a roof for a family in the mountains. I found out yesterday, much to my surprise, some people continue to live in shelters even now. They have no home to return to. Others still have blue tarps for roofs; no money to buy roofing materials. Our co-worker, Santos Torres, is plugged in to one particular Christian organization which is attempting to provide building materials to those who have damaged houses caused by the storm.
The last two weeks were spent taking bags of food donated by a food bank to those in need. Yesterday I bought a stove for a widow and daughter subsisting on an extremely limited income. I am hoping to raise the money from church members and then the church will supply any unmet costs. I also received a call to see if we had money to buy a terminally ill patient a refrigerator. I had to say "no". Requests such as these frequently come our way.
|Visit to hospital by Benevolence|
For example, today a group of four from our Benevolence ministry was in San Juan visiting the children's cancer hospital; taking toys to kids as well as personal items for them and their parents.
At times I read harsh criticism against churches in the States. I am sure some is deserved. Nevertheless, as disaster strikes, very often it is the church alongside the government with the boots on the ground. I heard that was the case after Hurricane Harvey in TX and I know that was the case in PR. I saw it with my own eyes. Furthermore, just last week, Santos Torres, a colleague and member of the church, was told by two mayors of towns on the southeast side of the island, where Maria first made landfall, that it was the churches that came first to give aid and comfort to thousands; not the government!
|Sharing lunch with the guest speaker|
Then two Sundays ago, the 24th, we celebrated Children's Day. The day was made special by a team of Christian clowns who did a great job teaching the children they are special, unique and made by God. After church there was food on the lawn, and an inflatable house for the wee-ones.
Mixed in with these events was a couples' banquet (around twenty participated), a couple of baby showers, the women's prayer group monthly meeting and the decoration committee changing the "look" of the worship area plus a few other odds and ends.
Coming up this Sunday, the 10th, is the church's anniversary...31 years. I will write about that next time.
Thanks for dropping by to read. Until next time...
Johnathan and Mary