Hurricane Maria Relief: A Need for Encouragement, An Opportunity for Outreach
by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator (November 11, 2017)
Pastor Dick Ellis, a representative of the Presbytery of New Jersey, to which our OP churches in Puerto Rico belong, continues to be in communication with our pastors in Puerto Rico as they work to assess needs and meet them.
Dick recently provided us with this update following a conversation with OP Church Planter Bradney Lopez.
Even as efforts to restore the lost infrastructure in Puerto Rico continue, this island continues to struggle with morale issues, having seen more than 100,000 of their 3.4 million residents leave the island since Hurricane Irma hit in September.
The usual “disaster response" efforts (rebuilding homes, handling debris, etc., such as the OPC is doing in Texas and Florida) are not what is needed most in Puerto Rico. The biggest problem is the significant economic setbacks that individuals have experienced due to the devastation of the island's infrastructure, including destroyed roads, loss of jobs, lack of electricity, water, and internet, etc. They are also experiencing the physical, mental, and emotional drain of living without the everyday western conveniences they always took for granted, as we do, while still trying to maintain western standards of living.
How Can We Help?
Members of the Presbytery of New Jersey would like to see individuals and teams visit Puerto Rico to bring encouragement and to assist in outreach opportunities. There are many occasions to point to the true hope found in Jesus Christ as many are wracked with despair over their circumstances.
How to Pray:
Pray for wisdom as to how best to help and serve in this complex situation, and pray for the Lord’s daily grace for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.
Full Report on Puerto Rico:
Click here for a full report on Puerto Rico.
Write to MariaVolunteers@opc.org if you are interested in getting involved. Thank you.