“My people will abide in a peaceful habitation in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” – Isaiah 32:18

In response to the devastating one-two punch leveled at Puerto Rico by hurricanes Irma and Maria in fall 2017, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), in partnership with American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), launched the “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” multi-year initiative.

ABHMS is thrilled to share that the initiative’s initial fundraising goal—$1 million via One Great Hour of Sharing was surpassed as of Feb. 9, 2018!

However, great need still exists in Puerto Rico, and ABHMS urges continued giving to help our brothers and sisters on the island.

ABHMS continues to answer the call, but much remains to be done, as tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico remain without the roofs that were torn away during Hurricane Maria’s fury.

It’s been two years since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, and ABHMS has kept its commitment to serving our brothers and sisters on the island on behalf of the American Baptist family through the ongoing “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” initiative.

One can hear, for example, the relief in homeowner Mary Luz Jiménez’s voice as she recounts the blessing and comfort she experienced when ABHMS replaced her post-Hurricane Maria makeshift roof–a leaky blue tarp–with a dry, secure roof.

“My life is so much happier now,” she says. “I don’t have to keep putting towels and buckets on the floor if it rains. …I can finally sleep in peace.”

ABHMS continues to answer the call, but much remains to be done, as tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico remain without the roofs that were torn away during Hurricane Maria’s fury.

Few of us could imagine spending a single stormy night without a roof over our heads. Yet, since 2017, many of Puerto Rico’s residents have endured the real-life nightmare of sleeping under leaky, blue tarps.

Homeowner Magaly Figueroa recalls the trauma that she and her family experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Figueroa’s anguish was palpable as she worried about her family’s health and safety.

“It was hard,” she recalls. “The house kept getting wet with every rain.”

As ABHMS moves into Phase III of the initiative, rest assured that it remains committed to undergirding the people of Puerto Rico with Christ’s love and replacing leaky, blue tarps with sound, sturdy roofs.

Every $25 will help replace a blue tarp with a sound, dry roof. We must raise $300,000 to bring healing and hope to a people who have felt abandoned and forgotten far too long.

Please send your gift by November 28!

Give

Donations may be made via your church; via credit card online; or, if making a donation by check, please make checks payable to American Baptist Home Mission Societies and on the memo line place: Puerto Rico and send to

American Baptist Home Mission Societies
Attn: Kim Wilkins
Puerto Rico Rebuild
1075 First Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Volunteer

The need in Puerto Rico is so great that ABHMS is not designating specific volunteer work weeks on the island. Churches, other groups and individuals are urged to determine their own volunteer work weeks, beginning March 1 or later.

Volunteers can create their own work groups or contact ABHMS to be placed with a group. Cost of $150 per person per week includes housing, food and supplies. Volunteers are responsible for round-trip transportation to Puerto Rico as well as transportation on the island.

Resources

  • Sign up for updates as they develop about recovery plans, ways you can help and volunteer mission opportunities.
  • Join the Facebook community of individuals, churches and other organizations supporting the Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico iniative.
  • Litanies, and other church resources written by ABHMS staff and submitted by American Baptists, are available free of charge.

Videos

In the video above from a fall 2017 visit to Puerto Rico, ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray discusses the island’s needs.

 

In the video above, Laura Ayala, pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, speaks to the devastation, infrastructure challenges and scarcity of desperately needed resources as a result of the impact of Hurricane Maria.

 

In the video above, the Rev. Salvador Orellana, ABHMS national coordinator of Latino Ministries and deputy director of logistics and relationships for ABHMS’ “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” multi-year initiative, discusses the ways in which American Baptist individuals and churches can help Puerto Rico recover in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. In addition, he shares details about the destruction and challenges he witnessed firsthand on a visit to the island after the storms.