Or your contribution may be sent to:
Baptist International Missions
Caribbean Hurricane Relief, Account #15
PO Box 9
Harrison, TN 37341
October 2, 2017
Update on the Devastation Caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria
As of Friday, September 29, limited communication has been established with many areas where Hurricanes Irma and Maria have hit. Devastation and shock are still evident. Assessments of damage are coming out slowly, and the evidence of great need is expressed. Please pray for the following:
• DOMINICA — Lighthouse Baptist Church and school were damaged severely. Many independent Baptist churches had major damage.
• St. Maarten — Good News Baptist Church (French side) lost its roof entirely.
• Anguilla — Central Baptist Church lost its classroom building entirely. Roofs are damaged and the interiors were water damaged from the rain. All three independent Baptist churches experienced great loss.
• St. Thomas — Grace Baptist Church lost its roof and Calvary Baptist Church lost 25% of its roof.
• St. Croix — Pastor Harrington lost the roof of his house.
• Ceiba, Puerto Rico — Maranatha Baptist Church lost the roof over the pastor’s apartment. Missionary Jerry Harmon reported, “We are homeless.”
• Carolina, Puerto Rico — Tabernacle Baptist Church lost its college building entirely.
• Mayagüez, Puerto Rico — New Life Baptist (Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida) lost the roof over the pastor’s apartment, and all of their school supplies and books were ruined by the rain.
• Turks and Caicos Islands — A missionary in North Caicos reported over $10,000 of damage to his church.
These reports are only a few examples of those who are suffering at this time. Many of the missionaries and national pastors have been uprooted and are in temporary housing. Churches are closed, and the lights are off for now. Communication is unreliable. In many areas, the banks are open only to permit a withdrawal of $100. Gasoline is scarce, and generators are being used on a limited schedule.
We praise the Lord that many groups and countries have begun to send humanitarian aid and to assist in the hurricane ravished areas! Pray with us that we will be able to provide the needed funds to encourage the churches and ministries that have been affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, so that they can begin to rebuild.
September 14, 2017
Hurricane Irma was classified as a Category 5 hurricane on September 5. For three days Hurricane Irma lashed out Category 5 winds (over 155 miles an hour) upon the Leeward Islands toward St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and then into the Turks and Caicos Islands before entering the United States. One national pastor said, "It was the scariest event in my lifetime!"
Caribbean Radio Lighthouse on the island of Antigua was spared a direct hit. All night long the FM band was reporting weather reports and news to help those in listening distance. Barbuda, the sister island, was totally devastated by Hurricane Irma. North of Barbuda lie Anguilla, St. Maarten, and St. Barths. These three islands were heavily affected by the storm surge and the high winds of Irma.
Since communication has been hard to establish, limited reports have been received concerning the damages. It has been reported that Good News Baptist Church on the French side of St. Maarten lost its entire roof. Bible Baptist and Good News Baptist (Dutch side) also had water damage from loss of windows and some roofing.
Pastor Cecil Richardson in Anguilla has reported that Central Baptist Church was severely damaged. They lost most of the steel roofing and a classroom building. Windows were blown out and their A/C system and sound systems were destroyed. Two other independent Baptist churches on the island were also severely damaged and need help.
In St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Calvary Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Church report that they were heavily damaged. Part of their roofs were missing and many windows were blown out.
In Puerto Rico, Missionary Jerry Harmon reported many trees were down and roads were impassable. One tree dropped on the entrance to Maranatha Baptist Church and damaged the roof. The zinc roof of the parsonage sustained wind damage and needs repair.
As Irma approached the northern coast of Cuba, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 4 storm. With winds of around 135–140 miles per hour, Grand Turk, South Caicos, North Caicos, and Providenciales Islands were bombarded with winds and storm surge. We have not received any communication out of these islands, but we are sure they experienced heavy damage. All three islands are very low, and a storm surge of 15–20 feet would cover much of their island. Several good independent Baptist churches are located in these islands.
Throughout the islands, people are without electricity, and the common cry is “We need water and food!” A number of agencies are starting to bring in those supplies. Two US Navy ships have been sent to assist in the medical care of the needy. Many churches and congregations are now sorting through the rubble. They need our prayers and our assistance.
We have received calls from a number of Christians desiring to help the numerous independent Baptist churches that were damaged in this hurricane. If you would like to contribute to this need in the Caribbean, please send your gift marked Caribbean Hurricane Relief, Account #15 to BIMI, P.O. Box 9, Harrison, TN 37341.
All contributions will go to help those churches that have been established or assisted by BIMI. If you have a specific ministry you want to send your contribution to, please clearly designate that information.
Gary and Joy Sprunger
Read more about the Sprungers. He can be contacted through the BIMI office: (423) 344-5050.
32150 Country Road 112
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