I’m not a shopper, but this year I am excited about Christmas shopping! Let’s give to Puerto Rican families and churches still trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria almost 2 months ago!
The Puerto Rico Electric Power’s grid is working at less than 50%, leaving much of the island in the dark with no electricity. Pastors from Puerto Rico want me to express their thanks for the generators we all sent right after the hurricane.
The generators have not only been used to provide light for some homes and church buildings, but they also make life significantly safer once the sun sets. Bad things happen in the pitch darkness, folks!
An unexpected use of the generators is that neighbors with medical needs have been showing up at the churches to use the generators for routine medical therapies that require electricity. The word has spread among the medical communities near our churches, and neighbors keep coming. Our churches have become places of respite and healing – truly holistic sanctuaries. Who would have thought that our basic generators would keep people alive?! Friends in Puerto Rico have expressed that they need a few more for specific medical purposes.
Puerto Rican people are very creative, and are making do with gas barbecue grills, daily trips to the grocery store, and wide-open windows to stay cool. But it is not fun. No electric power means no jobs. No jobs mean no money. No money means all sorts of other unpleasant things. This is an economic disaster with no end in sight.
Thankfully we can continue to help! We can continue to come alongside churches, families and children – many that have become sanctuaries both spiritually and physically. Our giving this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas can make life a little bit more bearable for our sisters and brothers on the island!
Here is my suggested gift list for Puerto Rico:
- Walgreens or Walmart gift cards. The gift cards you have already sent have been given to families and individuals to purchase medicine and food.
- Generators (Please let us know if you choose to do this, as we need just a few more.)
- Sawyer Water filters (The bucket kind – found at this link.)
- A financial gift to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund (Click here to give). This money will be used to hire local labor to help rebuild the economy, provide jobs and help families.
- Prayer. Pastor Mercedes asked that we pray along these lines: “Pray for strength and discernment as we serve people with so many needs all around us. Pray for continued good relationships in spite of frayed nerves. And pray for our health; pray that God will keep us healthy in the midst of so many things that could make us sick.”
Items 1 - 3 can be ordered and sent directly to the address below.
Pastora Mercedes Reynoso
Hacienda Real Jazmín del Mar 322
Carolina, PR 00986
(Our friends in Puerto Rico tell us that items sent via UPS are getting there, while other means of shipping are not as reliable.)
Together we can! These gifts will not only make life a bit better under awful circumstances, but also will let our friends in Puerto Rico know that we have not forgotten them.