Disciples News Service

A word about Puerto Rico and Mexico/Una palabra sobre los desastres naturales de esta semana

From General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens; Julia Brown Karimu, president of Division of Overseas Ministries and co-executive of Global Ministries; Lori Tapia, interim national pastor for the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries;  Vy Nguyen, executive director of Week of Compassion; and Angel Rivera- Agosto, area executive for Latin America/Caribbean, Global Ministries

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Selah). – Psalm 46:1-3

As our brothers and sisters across the Caribbean and Mexico have experienced devastation of their homelands through recent hurricanes and earthquakes, we join as Christians together to commit our support for immediate relief and long-term recovery. Many Disciples in the United States and Canada have family and friends in the areas affected by Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico. We have been praying fervently for those whose lives have been disrupted, for those who have lost loved ones in the storm or earthquake, and for those who now face great uncertainty in the aftermath of these disastrous events. Although the loss of electrical power and cell phone service has made communication difficult, we want to affirm our commitment to stand with those in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean with support, resources and prayers.

Given our close relationship with the Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) in Puerto Rico, several ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada are collaborating to come alongside communities in Puerto Rico who have endured the ravages of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Our Week of Compassion is in touch with our ecumenical partners and coordinating between Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM)/Global Ministries, the Pension Fund of the Christian Church, as well as the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries. Throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, Week of Compassion and the Division of Overseas Ministries/Global Ministries are working with both international and ecumenical partners who are responding to the needs of affected communities. It is still too early to know the full extent of the damage caused by the hurricane and earthquake, but once our partners are able to assess the damage, we will work with them to provide assistance–both for immediate relief, and, most importantly, for long-term recovery to help rebuild communities.

With so many facing uncertainty amidst horrific loss of loved ones, homes and the daily necessities of life, we offer prayers of comfort and peace. We are reminded that nothing can separate us from the love of God, including hardship or distress. (Romans 8:35-39). In the midst of our distress, we take comfort in the steadfast love of God: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, [God’s] mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in [God].'” (Lamentations 3:21-24).

Dios es nuestro refugio y fortaleza, nuestro pronto auxilio en las tribulaciones. Por tanto, no temeremos aunque la tierra sufra cambios, y aunque los montes se deslicen al fondo de los mares; aunque bramen y se agiten sus aguas, aunque tiemblen los montes con creciente enojo. (Selah). – Salmo 46: 1-3

Mientras nuestros hermanos y hermanas de todo el Caribe y México han sufrido la devastación de sus países a través de los huracanes y terremotos recientes, nos unimos como cristianos y cristianas juntos y juntas para prometer nuestro apoyo para el alivio inmediato y la recuperación a largo plazo. Muchos Discípulos en los Estados Unidos y Canadá tienen familiares y amigos en las áreas afectadas por el huracán María y el terremoto en México. Hemos estado orando fervientemente por aquellos cuyas vidas han sido interrumpidas, por aquellos que han perdido seres queridos en la tormenta o el terremoto, y por aquellos y aquellas que ahora se enfrentan a una gran incertidumbre después de estos desastrosos acontecimientos. A pesar de que la pérdida de energía eléctrica y el servicio de telefonía celular han dificultado la comunicación, queremos afirmar nuestro compromiso de apoyar a Puerto Rico, México, Cuba y el Caribe con apoyo, recursos y oraciones.

Dada nuestra estrecha relación con la Iglesia Cristiana en Puerto Rico, varios ministerios de la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en los Estados Unidos y Canadá están colaborando para unirse a las comunidades en Puerto Rico que han soportado los estragos de los Huracanes Irma y María. Nuestro ministerio Week of Compassion está en contacto con nuestros socios ecuménicos y coordinando entre la División de Ministerios de Ultramar (DOM) / Ministerios Globales, el Fondo de Pensiones de la Iglesia Cristiana, así como la Oficina Central de Pastoral para Ministerios Hispanos. En todo el Caribe y México, Week of Compassion y la División de Ministerios de Ultramar / Ministerios Globales están trabajando con socios internacionales y ecuménicos que están respondiendo a las necesidades de las comunidades afectadas en todo el Caribe y México. Todavía es demasiado pronto para conocer la magnitud de los daños causados ​​por el huracán y el terremoto, pero una vez que nuestros socios puedan evaluar los daños, trabajaremos con ellos para brindarles ayuda, tanto para el alivio inmediato como, lo que es más importante , para la recuperación a largo plazo para ayudar a reconstruir las comunidades.

Con tantas personas enfrentando la incertidumbre en medio de la pérdida horrible de sus seres queridos, los hogares y las necesidades diarias de la vida, ofrecemos oraciones de consuelo y paz. Nos recuerda que nada puede separarnos del amor de Dios, incluyendo las dificultades o la angustia. (Romanos 8: 35-39). En medio de nuestra angustia, nos confortamos en el amor firme de Dios: “Esto traigo a mi corazón, por esto tengo esperanza: Que las misericordias del Señor jamás terminan, pues nunca fallan sus bondades; son nuevas cada mañana; ¡grande es tu fidelidad! El Señor es mi porción —dice mi alma— por eso en El espero.” (Lamentaciones 3: 21-24).

7 Responses to “A word about Puerto Rico and Mexico/Una palabra sobre los desastres naturales de esta semana”

  1. Thomad Russell:

    Do we know about Eunice and Fred Velez?? And our congregations there? When you know please let us know? Tom Russell. We graduatex together

  2. Marcus Adams:

    How can Disciples congregations lend financial support? Will there be a collection point for supplies?

    • Emily Martin:

      Hi Marcus, the best way Disciples can help congregations and communities impacted by these natural disasters is by donating to Week of Compassion – they are in communication with churches and partners in those areas, as they offer support for immediate relief and long-term rebuilding efforts.

  3. Norma Hill:

    I am new to Disciples of Christ fellowship. I want to help with disaster relief, in my limited way(s). With the situation so dire in Puerto Rico and other islands now, it seems that monitoring and waiting for assessment before taking action is far too slow. Can’t we provide immediate relief?

    • Emily Martin:

      Hi Norma, thanks for your question. Week of Compassion has made immediate grants to congregations and individuals to help, and the Pension Fund has made grants for ministerial relief, and has worked with local Disciples in Florida to ensure that several generators are being shipped to PR, likely tomorrow. Week of Compassion will continue to make grants for relief as needed. This is in addition to assessing long term rebuilding needs. This is, of course, another unprecedented event, and we are in constant contact with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico to determine how we can meet needs both in the short term and the long-term. The best way to help is to encourage donations to Week of Compassion. Everything designated for Puerto Rico goes to Puerto Rico.

  4. Romel Gonzales:

    I would like to help with efforts to help in a Puerto Rico .