Our family was prepared for Hurricane Irma, but minimally affected, so life went on as we scheduled some of us to head to St. Thomas for a relief trip as Julian planned to head to Haiti. Maria changed our plans. For months.
These photos are just from our home in Mayaguez. It took about 5 days of the neighbors working together with machetes and chainsaws to be able to have one lane of the road cleared to traffic. Julian walked out to check on a nearby senior lady with health concerns every day. Our water was off for several weeks and our electric was off until the last week of November. The used generator we purchased years ago, was an amazing help, but very expensive. We ran it about 4 hours a day to keep some items in the fridge cold enough to hold us through and not need to shop as frequently. Stores were dismally under-stocked for weeks.
Phones were down throughout the island for a scary amount of time. Local radio broadcast only LOCAL news and we were thrust into a crazy season of not understanding the impact around us. Our college girls had to endure dramatized news, not knowing how we were doing. That was probably the hardest thing for all of us.
Spurred on by generous gifts from many away and here on the ground, we began making our own adjustments while reaching out to impact the great needs around us. We co-labored with other ministries and our own church to provide spiritual encouragement and practical help. We were able to give solar lights, food, water and filters, assisted in serving warm meals and began using a solar cinema with the “Jesus” film. Donations also brought 10 turkey meals to needy families. Amazing opportunities are opened to the Gospel at this time!