A Somebody Cares team went to Puerto Rico recently to partner with local churches and bring aid to remote communities that have received no assistance in the four weeks since Maria hit the island.

“It’s hard to put into words the emotions I have felt while serving here in Puerto Rico,” says Lisa Stringer, who traveled to the island territory with SCA Vice President Jodie Chiricosta, Matt Stevens from SC Baltimore, and Mark Roye from SC San Antonio. “I have seen people rally together to help each other in the midst of their needs. I have seen some semblance of normalcy returning as a few fast food restaurants open and people flood open establishments to eat there, as it seems more cost effective and practical to eat there when you have no electricity or running water. Of course, there are many who have no means of getting out of their neighborhood. Every day a little more electricity is restored and water is slowing returning, although it is not drinkable without filtration systems in homes.”

Joining up with members of Ministerio Cristiano Catacumba 5 and other churches, the SCA team helped distribute food, water, and cleaning supplies throughout a mountain range community.

“The roads were just opened and these people had not yet connected with any aid,” Matt explains. “It was amazing to be a part of such an awesome group people who brought hope not only meeting physical needs, but emotional and spiritual as well. There were big hugs, laughter and many tears.”

Lisa says one highlight was the opportunity to minister to a grandmother and her three grandchildren, who began to cry when the team was leaving. “I’ve not seen anyone here to help us until you all showed up,” the woman said. “A few days ago you came with hot sandwiches and today you bring us water, groceries, bears for the kids, and prayer.”

As part of the trip, Somebody Cares provided our local church partner and new Somebody CaresPuerto Rico center with a 26′  box truck with a lift gate to make the pick-up and delivery of large amounts of supplies possible.  The truck will enable Somebody Cares Puerto Rico to serve churches and communities throughout the entire western half of the island.
“The sacrificial service of our local church partners in Puerto Rico is inspiring,” said Jodie. “They are giving in the midst of their own need to be a tangible expression of God’s love to others who need help and hope.”

For  more information, watch this video report from Lisa Stringer. And please consider a generous donation to help delivery more supplies to people affected by the hurricane in PuertoRico.