American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABHMS Coordinates Support
with Puerto Rico

 

The American Baptist Home Mission Societies is coordinating a comprehensive American Baptist response to the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico.  Rebuilding, Restoring and Renewing Puerto Rico will be a multi-year initiative consisting of a fund-raising goal of One Million Dollars through One Great Hour of Sharing to provide multi-pronged support to our American Baptist family and others in Puerto Rico.

Ms. Victoria Goff, Director of Disaster Response and Development, is ABHMS’ staff lead in developing the coordinated strategy. Rev. Salvador Orellana, Director of Latino Ministries, will provide logistic and relational support to this important initiative. Victoria will convene a Task Force comprised of diverse American Baptist partners to design and implement the multi-year strategy. The Task Force should include representatives from the American Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico, Region Staff, American Baptist Men, American Baptist Women, ABEC, ABF, Office of the General Secretary, Board of General Ministries, International Ministries, the Latino Caucus, American Baptist Colleges and Seminaries, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors, Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board, among others. You may contact Victoria at Victoria.goff@abhms.org with ideas, suggestions and questions related to this initiative.

ABHMS has faithfully deployed mission staff, disseminated One Great Hour of Sharing Funds, mobilized volunteers, and managed resources in the aftermath of natural disasters. In the words of Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, “Hurricanes Maria and Irma have presented American Baptists an extreme challenge to be the hands and feet of Jesus in ways that exceed past interventions and responses. We must develop a comprehensive response that fully engages our ABHMS partners in collaborative, strategic and effective ways in Puerto Rico.”

Please know that ABHMS remains committed to addressing needs elsewhere caused by recent and ongoing hurricanes and other disasters. Vickie and other ABHMS staff will visit the Gulf Coast and Florida next week—then Puerto Rico as soon as possible—to show the support of the American Baptist family and conduct a needs assessment.

We earnestly solicit your partnership as we undertake the long-term response effort ahead. From Hurricane Katrina and other extreme disasters, we have learned that long after the news reports have ceased, the rebuilding needs will remain. ABHMS has responded to the call and is committed to leading a massive multi-year effort with our American Baptist partners to address the manifold needs that exist in Puerto Rico.

A more detailed press release about Rebuilding, Restoring and Renewing Puerto Rico will be published later today, but we are sending this brief message to alert you to the effort. Regular updates will be provided through the website, www.abhms.org. Additional resources including litanies will be uploaded on the website on an ongoing basis.

Continuing with you in Prayer and Action,
Lisa

Rev. Lisa R. Harris Lee
Director of Mission Engagement and National Network Initiative
American Baptist Home Mission Societies