BY BISHOP DAVID ROLLER
UPDATE: Currently, for those living in the capital, San Juan, life is slowly returning to a new normal. Many trees are still down; electrical power has only been restored to some areas and then only for a few hours each day; cell phone reception continues to be spotty. Hurricane debris has not yet been picked up.
A great way to provide direct aid is to purchase Walmart or Walgreens gift cards and send them to Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery, 770 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214. Or contributions can be made through the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund (include “Puerto Rico” in the Comments box).
If you’re still dry, perhaps you’ll want to help. Although communication is not yet fully restored, we are getting reports out of Puerto Rico of extensive damage to homes and Free Methodist churches. Everyone and everything got wet — some much worse than that. We thank God that we haven’t heard of any loss of life among our community.
The Free Methodist churches that have been able to report in, tell of trees down, a large tree laying on one church, glass doors and windows broken and extensive interior water damage. Of course, musical instruments are destroyed and furniture is unusable.
And now, the long slow path to recovery begins. No electricity. It’s hot. Mosquitos. Shortages of supplies and equipment. This is the time for us to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.
If you can read Spanish the best news source is the local newspaper: www.elnuevodia.com
Delia Nüesch-Olver, Area Director for Latin America, will be working with Superintendent Mercedes Reynoso and country leaders to develop a list of priorities and to organize themselves to best meet the needs. We will keep the broader FM community aware of developments.
Please pray for the people of Puerto Rico and for our FM family there.
The Free Methodist Church will mobilize and use its resources to assist where most needed in response to Hurricane Maria. If you’d like to contribute, please do click to give to through the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund (include “Puerto Rico” in the Comments box) or the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.