“After the hurricane, Linda felt lost and hopeless. She was in danger of losing custody of her kids because they were homeless.
"World Renew DRS is partnering with the Adventist Disaster and Reconstruction Agency (ADRA) in Puerto Rico, who had gotten in touch with Linda regarding her needs. Then, a team of volunteers from World Renew DRS and ADRA, an outreach of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, built a 3-bedroom home for Linda’s family that can withstand the high winds that buffet her hilltop land. Linda can once again live with hope and raise her children in their new home.”
After Hurricane Maria destroyed Linda’s home, World Renew and ADRA are building her and her children a new house
Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through Puerto Rico in September 2017, interrupting lives and destroying homes across the island. World Renew is thankful to be welcomed to the city of Mayaguez by ADRA to work together to rebuild homes in the community.
World Renew is also working with a historically Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, which was founded by a CRC missionary many years ago. Although the church is no longer officially a part of the denomination, the congregation’s roots are strongly CRC. When Hurricane Maria hit, the pastor in Fajardo reached out to their founder, Ron Sprik, who connected them with World Renew.
Iglesia Cristiana Reformada (Christian Reformed Church) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Len and Carrie Blauwkamp, the World Renew DRS regional managers for Puerto Rico, have been meeting with the pastors of the church. Through the church leaders, the couple met Ramón, an elderly man who has lung cancer.
“Ramon lives in three rooms on the second floor of his home. He also takes care of his disabled brother who lives on the first floor. The hurricane almost entirely blew away the roof of the house, and the hole is covered with a tarp that is only somewhat leak-proof. Ramón received $8,000 in government assistance to repair his home, but his nephew stole the money and ran off,” said the Blauwkamps. “Now Ramón is left with no resources to repair his home.”
The congregation in Fajardo is actively serving their church family and community after the hurricane. They are in touch with Ramon and 20 other families who need help rebuilding their homes. World Renew is walking with them to take the preliminary steps of organizing needs and offering support.
“Thanks to the generous outpouring of financial donations to World Renew, we will be able to help hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico for quite some time,” said Bob Laarman, World Renew DRS Director.
“Ministry in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and Irma involves special challenges and opportunities. We are excited to have quality local partners with which to work,” Laarman said. “Those who volunteer with DRS on the island will have interesting experiences and learn a lot.”
PHOTO TOP: World Renew is partnering with a local organization, ADRA, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Pictured are World Renew and ADRA volunteers.