Hurricane Relief Update—Oct. 9, 2017
Thank you for your prayers, your concern, and your generous gifts on behalf of those affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean.
Here is an update on relief efforts. Christian Aid and Relief personalizes our efforts by working through our congregations and missions in the affected area. We work through our pastors and congregational leaders to make assessments and distribute aid.
It has been difficult getting feedback from Puerto Rico because communications have been down. Our liaison to Puerto Rico, Pastor Tim Satorius, has been in contact with pastors of the Lutheran Church of Puerto Rico. One church there was completely destroyed. Pastor Satorius and a representative from Christian Aid and Relief are making a personal assessment visit to Puerto Rico October 19. This will help us determine our response. In the meantime, we did send an immediate gift of $5000 through Direct Relief to assist those in need.
We have a project coordinator in place to make specific assessment of damage to one parsonage and church at Christ our Savior, Angleton, Tex., one school at Sierra Plantation Academy, and about 10 member homes in the Friendswood, Tex., area. We are in process of bringing in volunteers to assist with the recovery and rebuild efforts.
Pastors in the affected area continue to bring requests to us for immediate aid through our District President Chuck Westra. This includes generators and equipment, rental assistance while being displaced from home, and assistance with cost of repairs. We also are assisting Abiding Grace, Covington, Ga., as their church suffered water damage from the storm.
Volunteers from several Florida congregations have been assisting with cleanup efforts among their members and their community, making good use of the equipment we provide in our relief trailers. Those who have received assistance are most appreciative and wish to express their gratitude for a job well done.
South Atlantic District President Chuck Westra writes, “We give great thanks for the generosity of God’s people as they respond to the needs of their brothers and sisters. It has been encouraging for me and many others to see the generous assistance in this time of need.”
Antigua and Barbuda
Assistance is being provided to families displaced from Barbuda, who are staying with members and friends of our WELS mission, St. John, Antigua. 29 families have received $18,000 in immediate aid so far. Our liaison Pastor Tom Spiegelberg will be visiting Antigua this month to help us make further assessment of needs and opportunities.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief Chairman Rev. Bob Hein