Hurricane Dorian left many houses, establishments, and people displaced when it hit the Bahamas on Aug. 31 and wreak havoc for over two days. In the wake of the disaster, churches have come together to provide support in any way they can to the thousands of people affected.
Honorary Consul for the Bahamas Lynden Rose said prayers are greatly needed to uplift the spirits of the victims and to heal them emotionally and physically. But he added that there is also a great need for relief efforts to provide the people with their basic necessities.
These include the items needed for the initial phase of recovery including canned goods, water, first-aid kits, formula, flashlights, baby food, batteries, insect repellants, sunscreen, and small generators. Rose stressed the need for generators to help with communication since the hurricane knocked down the power grid.
It would require millions if not billions to rebuild the damage, according to Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest. The damages in Abaco Islands alone is “apocalyptic.” According to Lia Head-Rigby, who runs a local hurricane relief group, the island would need to start from scratch to rise up again.
In the meantime, long-term goals are put on standby to help the victims with immediate care. Several private individuals, organizations, and churches are ready to provide the people with relief goods.
Bahamian-founded churches Christ Episcopal and Greater St. Paul A.M.E. Church are leading a drive to deliver canned food, bottled water, toiletries, diapers, and other basic personal needs to the victims by seaplane. The churches are working with Fort Lauderdale’s Tropic Ocean Airways, which has volunteered its pilots and seven Cessna Caravan cargo seaplanes to fly the relief goods as soon as the weather permits.
“People have lost everything. We were spared, thankfully. Why not send our hurricane supplies to those who truly need them?” said Jonathan Archer, rector at Christ Episcopal.
Meanwhile, volunteers from Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, which is a member of a network of Baptist churches that aid with hurricane relief efforts, are also on standby to supply goods. Pastor Ted Taylor told ABC 3 that he has coordinated with other local churches and that they are just waiting for good weather to deliver the donations.
It’s during these natural disasters that humility, kindness, and generosity abound. Christians unite to provide support to their fellow believers in Christ in any small way they can, be it through relief efforts or through prayers for guidance and recovery from the trauma.