Puerto Rico Relief

Responding to Puerto Rico's Devastation
December 12, 2017

As Peter prayed for the now-desperate people of Puerto Rico, he had a strong sense that God wanted him to go to help and to take others with him to join in the work. A small team took off in October and this was Peter’s initial response:

“Words cannot accurately describe what I have seen in the few short hours I have been here. It has been several weeks, almost a month, since Maria and the job ahead is going to be a long one. Many churches and volunteers have poured in and have done great work, but there is a lot to do. Pray for the Island of Puerto Rico and the people who call it home.”

A second trip was taken in November with team members replacing roofs, cutting downed trees, and cleaning out mud-filled homes.

Even then, the description was grim. You hear of the people in Puerto Rico who still have no electricity or running water. This means no electricity for refrigeration to keep food from spoiling, no use of microwaves and stoves to cook food, and no air conditioning. Lacking clean running water means water must be boiled for bathing and purchased for drinking and cooking.

A large percentage of Puerto Ricans are elderly, widowed, or living alone. They are physically unable to remove fallen trees from their roofs, let alone put in place the tarps left by social service groups. Peter’s team is doing the work for them that would otherwise take weeks or months to have done by others.

“I can't visit everyone on the Island, but I can help some,” Peter says.

It wasn’t long before Peter began to see God’s hand at work. First the Pure in Heart team was given free use of a warehouse in Manati, Puerto Rico that has become a point of distribution of relief supplies. Churches in the area can come to the warehouse, get needed food, water, and other necessities, and then distribute them in their own neighborhoods.

Everything is given freely, showing God’s love to those whose need is great! Again, in Peter’s own words:

“The last time we worked for ten days (in October), with and through a conservative Reformed Baptist church named Eglesia Biblica Emanuel in Santa Isabel and surrounding areas. This time (November), we are working with the Assemblies of God Church named Eglesia Antioquia in Manati. With and through these groups, we reach out to all people in the community. We are here as servants of the Kingdom of God. To God be the glory.”

When Peter returned on November 20, when it was time to come back to the mainland, Peter says,

“We leave with a heavy heart knowing that there is much yet to do. A large number of people have no home owner’s insurance so they are on their own. Pray for the poor, the widows and single moms.”

He goes on to explain the desperation, “Having no insurance means there are no funds for repair and no funds for replacement of all the contents in the home. Some have lost everything. There are tens of thousands of homes with nothing but blue tarps on the roof and every time it rains the damage gets worse.”

After returning to Chicago, Peter was offered, at no cost, 180 pallets of water, goods, and medical supplies for relief efforts in Puerto Rico by a fund-raising event held earlier in Chicago; all that would need to be done is get it to the Island.

The supplies given will fill between six to ten large shipping containers . The shipper quoted $8,900 per container but, after talking to Peter for awhile, he reduced his price to $6,500 per container and offered to cover the costs of one of them.

Still, Peter simply didn’t have the money needed to get the goods to Puerto Rico. He prayed and others did, too. He put word out on the internet and to all he thought might be interested. In a few days, the shipping costs of four of the containers have been paid for. One man, wrote a check for $10,000 because he felt God was telling him to do so.

Peter and his team is returning to Puerto Rico in December to meet the shipment and distribute the goods. His goal is to bring the remaining eight containers to the Island.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please consider joining our efforts to bring relief to the people in Puerto Rico.
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Peter Negron 
Franklin Park, IL
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