‘We are all trying our best to cope’ (Updated)
Update: The U.S. Postal Service has resumed deliveries to Arecibo,…
Update: Vanessa Jarvis, a member of the Park Gardens Church of Christ in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, sent the following photos of Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. The island is without power and Jarvis had to stand on the roof of her home to get a cell signal strong enough to send the photos.
Church-supported ministries including Healing Hands International are exploring opportunities to send relief to Puerto Rico and other islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. We will post updates as they become available. Meanwhile, see this post for information on Healing Hands’ efforts to serve church members and others in need on the island of Anguilla.
(Original post below)
Vanessa Jarvis and her neighbors are still without power after Hurricane Irma battered their homes in Puerto Rico nearly two weeks ago.
Now the member of the Park Gardens Church of Christ in San Juan, capital of the U.S. territory, is bracing for another storm — Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 hurricane threatens catastrophic damage to the island of 3.4 million souls, CNN reports.
“No generation has seen a hurricane like this since San Felipe II in 1928,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said. “This is an unprecedented atmospheric system.”
Jim Gullette, a longtime minister for the Iglesia de Cristo en Arecibo (Arecibo Church of Christ) said that he and the congregation are preparing for the worst.
“We have been through hurricanes before, but never this strong,” Gullette told The Christian Chronicle. “We live in a concrete house and the hurricane shutters are up.”
In Jarvis’ neighborhood “we have been buying water, batteries, and are looking for ice and battery powered fans,” she told the Chronicle Tuesday afternoon. “We also bought canned food — chicken and tuna — plus sliced bread.
From the archives — Puerto Rico para Cristo
“The majority of the people are filling their cars with gas and some are looking for diesel for their generators. The gas stations and supermarkets and the megastores have long lines. Right now the weather is overcast. We have had some showers. Last week some coworkers cooked lunch for some of us that didn’t had electricity as yet.
“We are praying that we don’t get a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, for protection, that no life may be lost, that all the homeless may find shelter, for clean and running water, that the electricity may come back soon, that no matter what happens we may be calm and help each other, that the recovery period may be speedy.
“Thank you so much for watching out for us,” she added. “Please continue praying for us!”
To the east of Puerto Rico, Maria devastated the island of Dominica, population 73,000, and tore the roof from the home of the Caribbean nation’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit.
Lewis Romain, a former minister on the island, said that members of Churches of Christ there are safe.
“Was just able to make contact with brother Errol Emmanuel in Bath Estate Dominica,” Romain posted to social media. “They lost part of their roof and flooded, but they are safe and praising God. They presently experiencing winds of 120 mph. Let us continue to pray for their safety, and for that of all other family members, brethren, friends, relatives and residents on the Island.”
Two years ago, Tropical Storm Erika caused catastrophic damage to Dominica. Then, “many of our brethren and friends from Houston and other parts of Texas came to our rescue through their assistance,” Romain said, adding that he and fellow Christians in the Caribbean are praying for those recovering after Hurricane Harvey.
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