President Biden’s visit to Puerto Rico regarding Hurricane Fiona
On Monday, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the southern town of Ponce in Puerto Rico. They surveyed the damage from Hurricane Fiona, which killed over two dozen people on the island last month. Along with meeting with families and community and political leaders from the island, they participated in a community service project to help pack bags with food and other essential items. They were joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell.
“We came here in person to show that we’re with you — all of (the United States) is with you — as you receive and recover and rebuild… And I’m committed to this island,” Biden said during his visit. Biden pledged his commitment to investing in the island “as long as it takes,” making a clear reference to former President Donald Trump’s holding up aid to the island after Hurricane Maria in 2017. “I’m heading to Puerto Rico because they haven’t been taken very good care of. They’ve been trying like hell to catch up from the last hurricane. I want to see the state of affairs today and make sure we push everything we can,” he said. He also mentioned that “this latest storm dealt a serious blow to all – all the hard work that has been done since Maria. Roads and bridges built after Maria have been washed away again. Families who spent their savings building new homes after losing their last ones have seen them flooded away.” Please, see https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-visits-puerto-rico-fiona-commits-recovery-long/story?id=90871372 and https://www.npr.org/2022/10/03/1126626977/biden-visits-puerto-rico-to-assess-damage-from-hurricane-fiona
Our churches in the U.S. and Canada activated their programs and ministries to walk in solidarity with Puerto Rico. Week of Compassion and Global Ministries have been providing resources to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico to distribute among churches that assist their communities and households with home damage. In collaboration with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the American Baptist Churches, WOC also facilitated an order of 1000 UZ2 bucket-system water filters. In addition, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) and the Global Ministries’ Latin America and Caribbean Office have joined efforts to provide funds to the United Evangelical Church of Puerto Rico/Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico. Those resources will cover purchasing batteries they need for communications and energy supply. Also, the funds would provide for emergency needs (food, water, gasoline) and any other matter relating to the emergency. Many funds are still needed to continue assessing and accompanying communities in the southern and southwestern parts of the island.
Churches and ecumenical organizations in Puerto Rico are discovering the presence of Jesus Christ among the people in need. “For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you gave me clothing, I was sick, and you took care of me…” Matthew 25:35-36. Let’s continue our work to accompany them in times of pain and sorrow. You can make a gift towards the recovery work by following the links
- One Great Hour of Sharing Response (UCC)
- Week of Compassion Response (Disciples of Christ)
- Global Ministries Partners Response