by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator (September 23, 2017)
On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Category 4 Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico. This was the strongest hurricane to hit the island since 1928 and the first direct hit on the island in decades.
Puerto Rico is of particular concern to the OPC because there are two OP congregations in San Juan located on the northeast side of the island. They are part of the Presbytery of New Jersey. Pastor Tom Church of Immanuel OPC in Bellmawr, New Jersey, was able to make contact with pastor-elect Robert Quinones of Jesus es la Verdad (Jesus is the Truth) OPC on the north side of San Juan. We rejoice in learning that the church members and building seem to have fared well. But, Rev. Church was not able to reach Rev. Carlos Cruz of Iglesia Presbiteriana Reformada Del Caribe (Reformed Presbyterian Church of the Caribbean) OPC on the south side of San Juan. Please keep them in prayer until we confirm their condition.
A third congregation, a mission work of the OPC, Iglesia Uno Reformada (One Reformed Church) OPC in Arroyo, is located two to three hours south of San Juan on the southeast side of the island. Since Hurricane Maria, we have lost contact with Bradney Lopez, the key point of contact in Arroyo. We know that power to much of the island was affected by the storm. So, we wait and pray that the Lord would be caring for his people in their time of distress and that we might receive news from them soon.
After four days and and still little news to report out of Puerto Rico, we are concerned. We are not assuming that “no news is good news.” Please be in prayer for the 3.4 million inhabitants of this island, and in particular, those from our churches there. Thank you.
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