When you visit a place, you end up bringing a piece of that place back home with you. When you make friends in faraway places, those places no longer seem so far away. We’ve all heard the news: flooding in Texas, earthquakes in Mexico, wildfires out west, wind and water damage in Florida and the two storms that came hit the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. There a lot of tragedy to take in and lives have been disrupted in ways that will go on for months or really years to come. We certainly have connections to Texas and Florida, we also have connections with the people in Puerto Rico.
Back in July, we had 25 people from Calvary and two other congregations volunteer their time and energy to the church and people of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We ate meals with the people there, worshipped and prayed together, enjoyed the beautiful beaches and paddled kayaks in the bioluminescent bay. And this is the third time the church has sent a crew to work in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria hit the island head-on with sustained winds of 150 + mph stripping off roofs, tearing the leaves and bark of trees, and dropping enormous amounts of rain. When the storm was over, the troubles were not. The island of roughly 9,000 people depends upon shipping from other islands. The port was heavily damaged making it difficult for people to obtained gasoline, food and water and medical supplies. Powerlines have been knocked down. And being on an island, you can’t just drive away from the problem.
We can pray that the situation improves. We can also ask/insist that our government take swift action to alleviate the suffering of these U.S. citizens who are every bit in need of help as those who live in Houston and Tampa. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow citizens, and friends also.
Pastor Steve Larsen