More hurricane relief in Humacao

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Wait – STILL?  Yep, still without power nine months later.  This community in the municipality of Humacao is struggling to recover 9 months after Hurricane María.  Try to imagine living without electricity for three quarters of a year.  At this point, especially as most of the Island is seeing recovery, the frustration in the air in this little barrio is palpable.  People are wondering if it’ll ever come back.

Humacao is no far-off mountain town.  In fact, this eastern coastal town it is one of the major economic centers of the island.  From here, the ferries supply the islands of Culebra and Vieques, which are key drivers of our tourist economy.  There are several hotels and major golf resorts, and also lots of small local guesthouses, or paradores, where people stay to visit the world famous El Yunque Rainforest.  (Which is closed until further notice due to hurricane damage.)   Also, the Humacao airport is a major hub of transportation for Puerto Rico and adjoining islands, while the marina is filled with luxury yachts for the millionaires and billionaires who drop in year round.  So it is sobering to consider how severe the damage from María was, that even now, whole neighborhoods away from the glitz and glamor are going without power in this easily-accessible municipality.

We came to the neighborhood as we always do, finding local leaders who help us distribute the goods to those in genuine need.  Our own David Hernández led the effort to distribute solar lanterns, lots of flashlights, batteries, beans and rice, and Jesus Christ.  The electric power may still be out, but the light of the Gospel shone bright.

Please pray for this community.  Nine months without power is too long.  Pray that the Lord gets the lights on soon.

Story submitted by Brian Poirier

 

Sharing music and community

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This summer, the Teen Challenge Chorus continues on our tour of local churches.  On Sunday, June the 10th, 2018, it filled us with great joy to have the opportunity to visit two churches on the same day!  Both of these churches are in the municipality of Bayamón.

In the morning at 11 AM, we dropped into the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal M.I. on Santa Cruz Street in Bayamón.  Pastor Manuel Sánchez and his team greeted us with a warm hug and a fraternal welcome.  While our boys took care of the worship and song, our very own Pastor Samuel Vázquez opened the Word and preached.

Then after a break, it was on to another church!  That night at 7:30 PM, our team showed up at the Iglesia Valientes de Señor (Strong in the Lord) in the Comunidad Volcán en Bayamón.  The church “erupted” in love and welcome for our boys!  Pastor Norma Meléndez and her team opened the church for us in a very special way.  As always, her love and joy made us feel so welcome.   The boys of the Teen Challenge Chorus shared some rousing music and our own Brother David Haddock challenge the congregation with a message from the Word.

A huge thank you to the local churches that open their doors to us.  We love sharing and testifying to the great things that Almighty God is doing at Teen Challenge of Puerto Rico!  The Teen Challenge Chorus is made up of our students who show musical talent and a desire to praise the Lord in music ministry.  It is an important social outlet for them and contributes to their recovery.  By inviting them to your church, you are helping them to continue growing in their faith and to experience the joy of fellowship.  Not only can your own worship team take a break one service, but you’re making an eternal impact in the life of a young man!  If your church would like to host our Teen Challenge Chorus, please call  787-783-2219 or al 939-241-2101.

Story submitted by Alberto Rodríguez