Lending a Hand to Puerto Rico


June 25, 2018

By Susan Sneed

Rev. Lucas Endicott, mission strategist, presented the Global Connect website, a resource for learning about mission opportunities and planning for a trip.
    
Churches can share information on this site, register their teams and put them in connection with other teams in Missouri. There is a unique opportunity for service now and for the foreseeable future in Puerto Rico. There are plenty of opportunities to pray, go, and give for this work and other work. 
    
Pastor Alex Gerena, pastor from the Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico, brought greetings from his church and his bishop. He spoke of the island of Vieques, one of the smaller islands making up Puerto Rico. 
    
“There are only four doctors available on the island and being able to travel to the mainland (Puerto Rico) is difficult,” he said. His own spiritual journey includes an early conversion to Christ and a baseball scholarship to a Kentucky college. It also included in 2012 the loss of his aunts and mother to cancer and his own battle with cancer.
    
The devastation left from the 2017 hurricane is still present and the hurricane season is beginning again. Gerena’s church was left without a roof, subjecting the building’s interior to the rain that followed.     
    
They still have power issues on the main island as Vieques depends on power from two power cables from the main island, and that it is projected to continue for the next four or five years. The only hospital was destroyed.
    
“But this is an opportunity for the Methodist church,” Gerena said. “We can rebuild our church, our houses, we will turn our parsonage into a medical clinic. We live in a town called Esperanza, which means hope. I believe we have hope, and I’m asking you to be a part of the mission work going on now and in the future. Thank for what you’ve already done and what you will do.”