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Stories tagged with: puerto rico

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  • 'After Maria': Puerto Rico remains changed by storm

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Send Relief photo
    GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (BP) -- "Before Maria and after Maria" is the word on the streets of Puerto Rico. "That's how life changed," native Puerto Rican and Southern Baptist minister Jonathan Santiago told Baptist Press a year after the hurricane.

    In Santiago's observation, churches including Southern Baptist congregations lost about 35 percent of their attendance. Congregational financial giving is down because many members still on the island lost their jobs. Several schools remain closed. Homes still need repairs from storm damage. Many people are hopeless, resorting to suicide in greater numbers and affecting an official death toll already near 3,000. Read More

  • Puerto Rico hurricane toll 'a miracle' at 2,975

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, August 29, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from MSNBC files
    PUERTO RICO (BP) -- It's "a miracle" Hurricane Maria's death toll in Puerto Rico is not even higher than the new official total of 2,975, a massive jump from the long purported 64, a Southern Baptist disaster relief leader told Baptist Press.

    The new count, based on an independent study that the territory commissioned from George Washington University (GWU), makes the hurricane one of the deadliest in U.S. history.

    David Melber, president of North American Mission Board's Send Relief arm, is in the territory today (Aug. 29) and sent BP a comment. Read More

  • New planters, resources energize Puerto Rico ministry

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Monday, August 06, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Photo by Sam Porter
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (BP) -- Two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, Félix Cabrera and his wife Denisse arrived to visit the island where he was born and deliver aid in the storm's aftermath. Cabrera thought he was just there to help in a time of need, but God was working on something more.

    "God convinced us that He wanted us to return to the island to help in this new church planting movement," Cabrera said.

    "I confess that the feeling is bittersweet," Cabrera, pastor of Iglesia Bautista ... Read More

  • In Puerto Rico, Baptists gear up for hurricane season

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Friday, June 01, 2018 (5 months ago)

    Photo by Casey Jones
    PUERTO RICO -- With the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season, Puerto Rico is bracing for what could be more rough weather while in the midst of a recovery from last year's devastating storms. The North American Mission Board (NAMB) and its Send Relief outreach are expanding their mission work on the island, including disaster response readiness and church planting.

    "Since Hurricane Maria hit last fall, Send Relief has been active in Puerto Rico with recovery efforts and seeking to create new church-to-church partnerships between Puerto Rico and the mainland," said David Melber, president of Send Relief. Read More

  • Puerto Rico missionary anticipates NAMB initiative

    by Tobin Perry, posted Friday, February 09, 2018 (9 months ago)

    Photo courtesy of Andrew Laracuente
    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Despite the devastation across Puerto Rico in Hurricane Maria's aftermath, Puerto Rican church planter Andres Laracuente has seen God at work.

    Thanks in part to his participation in the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network's efforts, Laracuente has gained new opportunities "to get to know my community better, to get to know the surrounding neighborhoods."

    "I've seen many kids that I didn't see before Maria. I'm preaching the Gospel with different people than I was before. My family has also grown more focused on the Gospel and the Word of God," Laracuente said. Read More

  • Puerto Rican evacuees aided by Fla. Baptists

    by Keila Diaz/Florida Baptist Witness, posted Tuesday, January 16, 2018 (10 months ago)

    Screen capture from the Orlando Sentinel
    ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) -- More than 200,000 hurricane survivors from Puerto Rico have trekked to Florida for refuge, with several Baptist churches in central Florida at the forefront of ministering to their needs.

    "The Florida Baptist Convention is excited to partner with the churches in the central Florida region as they respond to the needs of the Puerto Rican community moving into the area," said Tommy Green, the convention's executive director.

    Another 100,000 Puerto Ricans are projected to arrive in Florida in the coming months as a result of catastrophic damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma last September across the U.S. territory. Read More

  • Puerto Rico missionary's relief aid opens hearts

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Monday, November 27, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    COMERÍO, Puerto Rico (BP) -- Even in the aftermath of Puerto Rico's devastation from Hurricane Maria, church planting missionary Jorge Santiago has been experiencing the truth of Romans 8:28 that all things can work together for good.

    In July, Santiago and his wife Rebeca moved to Puerto Rico with their two children, Sebastian and Sophia, to serve as North American Mission Board church planting missionaries in Comerío, a municipality of 20,000 about 30 miles south of San Juan.

    "Right after the storm," Santiago said, "we just focused on helping people. We started looking for resources, food and water so that we could take it to Comerío." Read More

  • Puerto Rico relief needs ongoing volunteers, funding

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Wednesday, November 15, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo courtesy of Sam Porter/NAMB
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (BP) -- Southern Baptists continue to serve Puerto Rico's residents after Hurricane Maria's devastation in September, creating a nationwide response from the ground up.

    Sam Porter, national director for disaster relief for the North American Mission Board, has spent several days in Puerto Rico in two separate trips to assist disaster response coordinator Jack Noble in facilitating the large-scale response by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) and Send Relief. Read More

  • Puerto Rican pastors 'not forgotten' by SBC

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, November 14, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo by Bobby Sena
    SAN JUAN, P.R. (BP) -- The "heart and spirit of Southern Baptists" are evident as churches and leaders help Puerto Rico recover after Hurricane Maria, pastor Jorge Alvarez said Nov. 11 in San Juan.

    Alvarez, executive director of the Convention of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, was among 150 local pastors and guests who attended an appreciation dinner held in their honor. The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and the North American Mission Board sponsored the event. The Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance (HBPA) and LifeWay Christian Resources also supported the event, held at the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel. Read More

  • Puerto Rico DR efforts advanced by Texas volunteers

    by Jane Rodgers/Southern Baptist TEXAN, posted Friday, November 03, 2017 (one year ago)

    Southern Baptist TEXAN photo
    GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (BP) -- Flooded streets, potable water shortages, communications disruptions, power outages and six-foot-long iguanas were among the obstacles encountered by eight Southern Baptists of Texas Convention volunteers in completing initial projects to facilitate Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts in Puerto Rico following hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    The SBTC team deployed Oct. 15-23, responding to SBDR national director Sam Porter's request to establish a communications center at the Seminario Teologico Bautista in Guaynabo, southeast of San Juan. Read More