Last fall the small Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was ravaged by Maria, a category 5 hurricane. The storm claimed the lives of 115 people in the region and caused more than $91 billion in damages. Included in those numbers were the congregations of the forty two churches of the Missionary Church Puerto Rico District. Today, seven months after Maria dissipated, Puerto Rico is still striving to get back to some sense of “normal life,” but progress is being made.
So far in 2018, ten work teams have been sent to Puerto Rico from various Missionary Church churches to help restore and rebuild on the island. Under the leadership of the Puerto Rico district office, more than 100 volunteers have worked with local pastors to do everything from tearing out ruined wallboard to painting and laying floor tile, to starting new church buildings from the foundation up. Sleeping on cots donated by FEMA, these volunteers, and the churches that sent them, have carried with them an important message to our brothers and sisters: “We see you. We mourn with you for what you’ve lost, and we want to help. We are family.”
Through the generous donations from our Missionary Church family, one church has been completely rebuilt. A second congregation has a new foundation and walls, and are awaiting the next team to get the building under roof. Two more churches have had significant repair and many others received funds to make repairs that could be accomplished without a work team.
Much has been done, but the work is not finished! As we work to finish the church buildings that need repair, we turn our sights toward those in the communities who need help. As we look toward summer, we invite you to consider whether you and your church could put together a work team of 8-12 people to continue the work that we have begun in Puerto Rico. Donations to the work in Puerto Rico are still being gratefully accepted. You can give online at www.wpartners.org or send a check with T140 in the memo line to rebuild churches or T141 for community work.
If you would like more information about sending a work team, please contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.