In October, our Monthly Prayer Focus was on Disaster Recovery, and during the month we mentioned that we were working on connecting with a C&MA church in Puerto Rico to partner with them in recovery.
There are 63 C&MA churches in Puerto Rico, as well as an extension campus of Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS). The island of Puerto Rico, their economy, these church properties, the people who make up these churches, and the neighborhoods they are located in were devastated by the hurricane. The road to recovery is long and hard, but there are also many opportunities to offer hope and love in the name of Jesus.
If you’ve ever been to Puerto Rico, the island is much different now because of the destruction. If you want to gain a good overview of the condition of the island, check out the video from C&MA President John Stumbo’s visit to Puerto Rico here.
We’ve made contact with the Theopolis C&MA church in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. They are excited and encouraged about us partnering with them in these days. The church is pastored by William Pacheco. Their facility did not experience much damage, but many homes around them did. They only recently regained electricity in their area. Pastor William shared these 3 prayer requests with us:
- For their school, Theopolis Christian Academy, and the teachers and students. They need to maintain enrollment, but many people are leaving the island for the states. This will make it harder for the school to continue functioning.
- They have teams that continue to go out to help the people next to them and in other communities. They want to be able to continue doing the work needed around the church and in the neighborhoods.
- Please pray for the people that still don’t have electricity or water, who have health problems, who lost their home, etc.
We’ve also made contact with the extension campus of Alliance Theological Seminary in the San Juan area. They are the leading seminary on the island. They have experienced extensive damage to their facility (roof, carpet, windows, etc), but are thankful that there was very little damage to their books and other education materials. That being said, they need to meet an $80,000 deductible before their insurance will kick in, and they are also facing an enrollment crisis after starting the academic year with record enrollment.
Many of the Alliance districts have already sent money to sustain the district office in Puerto Rico. One of the poorest Alliance churches in Africa has sent $1000 to provide relief to those in need in Puerto Rico.
Not only are we calling you to partner in prayer, but we also want to rise up in love to bless our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico financially. To that end, we will be taking a special offering on Sunday, 26 November, in both services to send to Puerto Rico for both the Theopolis Church and the ATS extension campus. Please begin asking God how He would have you participate in an above and beyond way. The people of the C&MA have a long tradition of rising up and giving sacrificially when needs arise. May we embrace that tradition and give to bless these brothers and sisters as they not only work to get back on their feet, but help others get back on their feet in the name of Jesus. Digital giving is available as well (choose Puerto Rico), especially for those of you who will not be in the service that weekend.
Thank you for praying and for giving to bless and love these brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico who have suffered much.
Pictures of the Theological Seminary in San Juan
Here are a few pictures of some of the damage to the Alliance Theological Seminary Extension in San Juan (STPR).
12/7/17 Update on the Offering:
Thank you for giving so generously. $11,208 has been collected and is on its way to both the seminary and the Theopolis Church in Mayaguez. Thank you for rising up in love.
On December 14, we received a thank you email from the Theopolis Church in Mayaguez regarding our gift. They are very appreciative and are praying for First Alliance as we pray for them. They hope to send us some pictures soon.
12/21/17 Update from the Theopolis Church in Mayaguez
We've received some pictures from the Theopolis Church of some of their damage. It was not extensive, but they continue to have concerns regarding their school and its enrollment as people leave for the states, making its continuing functioning more difficult. They also continue to seek to minister to the needs in the community around them. Check out the pictures, as well as the brief video greeting from the church.