Update from Puerto Rico

update-from-puerto-rico

On September 20, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. The storm’s destruction changed the lives of thousands of Puerto Ricans and left a majority of the population without clean water and electricity. It was and continues to be devastating.

My friend and fellow pastor, Joselo Mercado, has spent time helping friends and family all over the island. Joselo pastors a Sovereign Grace Spanish-speaking church in Gaithersburg, MD. Through previously established relationships, Joselo has had an opportunity to serve families and churches in Puerto Rico.

The Leadership Team wanted to publish this update from Joselo for the purpose of soliciting prayer for these people, as well as a way for, you to donate should you feel led. As you read this update, please pray for provision and protection, as well as opportunities for the gospel to go forth in the midst of this trial. Here’s what Joselo has shared:

Thank you, all and thanks to your churches for the generosity you have extended toward the Puerto Rico Relief Fund.  We have been extremely grateful for the provision of the Lord during this time to be able to finance the mission work that the Lord has laid on the heart of on our local church.

Right now there is an estimated only 30% of power on the island of Puerto Rico. They estimate it will take months to complete the work of getting the power grid back to normal.  The situation can be summarized by saying that the island is still in a state of emergency, even 6+ weeks after the storm.  Some of the regions are still out of communication and there still a need for potable water in some parts of the island. In the midst of this, our small church, with your help, has been able to support churches that are doing great Gospel work during this time.  We have taken four trips to the island so far.  Each trip lasted two days and between those trips we were to bring 30 generators.  The generators are serving multiple people in multiple ways. Some of them are being used to give power to churches to be able to have their worship service on Sundays.  Some of the generators are used by the communities to store medicines that need refrigeration. Others are used to power tools to fix roofs, and some have been given to pastors to power their homes while they are out serving from dawn to dusk each day.

We spent time with pastors of 10 different churches. We have distributed approximately $5k in cash to people for everything from paying for food and gas so that churches could take much needed supplies to areas hit the hardest, to paying for a freezer so that a church could give ice to the community and many other things. Our main focus during these first few trips was just to tell our friends on the island, “We are here for you, ” and I believe the Lord has helped us to do just that. Over and over we heard words of thanks for taking the time just to listen, pay for a hot meal, or give them money for an immediate need. Some people drove from great distances just to be able to see us and spend some time chatting.

Joselo is currently in Puerto Rico to continue helping with relief efforts. Please pray that God will provide wisdom and encouragement through him to serve those he ministers to. Please pray that amidst much need many will see their greatest need met in Christ. And please pray for more finances to meet material needs. And thank you for your continued partnership. As a family, we serve together in joy and trial. May he do much through us for His glory!