The following message was released today by the Inter-American Division (region) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Division’s territory, which includes Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, The British Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda, among many other countries and territories has been ravaged by several hurricanes and two major earthquakes. In the following letter, Israel Leito, president of the Church in Inter-America addresses the disasters, their aftermath, and relief efforts. ~ Adventist Review Editors
Ten Union territories in Inter-America have been battered or are under threat by natural disasters which have lashed across various islands and countries during the last few weeks.
From the very beginning, we have been in direct communication with local church leaders to get acquainted with the specific needs and help our church members to the best of our abilities. We have been informed of major damage in homes, schools, and church buildings. Losses amount to millions of US dollars. The saddest news, however, is that some people lost their lives.
Local church leaders and members have made efforts to assist in places such as Dominica, Antigua, St. Thomas, Saint Croix, Tortola, Guatemala, Mexico City, and the Mexican States of Morelos, Chiapas, and Oaxaca.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has moved across the region activating assistance and relief initiatives. Our institutions and organizations have contributed with food and basic supplies as well. Church buildings and schools are being used as shelters, and are available in collaboration with local government authorities.
We are still waiting for communication to be restored in places such as Puerto Rico, Dominica, and others, as we keep praying for everyone.
As I read about Jeremiah in Lamentations 3, I feel that it is relevant to reread the prophet’s words. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
We know that Jesus is coming soon, and as we wait for Him, I appeal to you to do what He did when He walked on earth, by helping our brothers, sisters, neighbors, and taking part in relief efforts organized by our local churches. Above all, let us pray without ceasing for His soon return.
President, Inter-American Division
To view a video message from Israel Leito, click HERE