Just over one month in and there is already so much to tell. The fact is that Puerto Rico had never been on my heart until it was. On September 20th, 2017, Puerto Rico fell victim to the most powerful hurricane to strike the island in 85 years. With the eye of the storm passing directly over the island, there was not an inch of Puerto Rico that was unaffected by the wrath of Hurricane Maria.
From that time until now, not a portion of my heart has gone unaffected by the people of Puerto Rico. The resiliency of people who have now gone more than 4 months without power, some still without municipal water is what is just the surface. The stories of those who lost everything; of those who watched as their neighbors lost everything; of those who turned their homes into places of refuge for the least of these; those are what stick.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be telling some of these stories, stories of victims and victories, trials and triumphs. Stories that break the heart and stories that melt the heart. There is a phrase here that reads “levantar la sabana,” which roughly translates to “raise/lift the sheet.” This is what is said to be one of the greatest effects that Maria had on the island. That which existed before Maria; corruption, superstitious beliefs, and the lack of a living Gospel in the hearts of the people have all come to be exposed with the sheet lifted to reveal the fertile soil for the Gospel beneath. Areas in which I am being molded to lead in a culture very different that my own, serving with people from every end of North America; these are those stories.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, stay warm and be well fed,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself” – James 2:14-17 CSB.
This is both our mission, and our objective: a saving faith. That our saving faith would continue to mobilize the laborers to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people of Puerto Rico, and that by this expression of our faith we might stir the people of Puerto Rico to know this saving faith. With the sheet lifted, the fertile harvest for the laborers has been revealed.This is both our mission, and our objective: a saving faith...With the sheet lifted, the fertile harvest for the laborers has been revealed. Click To Tweet
Pray that God would lift the sheet on the hearts of the people that they might better see His face shining upon them in the midst of tragedy.
Pray that God would lift the sheet of darkness that has pervaded communities here under the disguise of normalcy and complacency.
Pray that God would do what only He can do; bringing the people to know Him and love Him.