Dear Friends In Christ,
Recently, twenty-two Trinity Missions volunteers, including myself, completed a two week service project in Loiza and Cubuy, Puerto Rico. We can’t stop talking about what an amazing and humbling experience we had!
The main focus was to spread the Gospel by meeting the physical needs of the people we encountered- to show them the love of God by helping them with tasks that improve their living conditions. Working on someone’s home reminds one how important dwelling space is, and each volunteer took great care to ensure every task focused on quality.
After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the infrastructure of Puerto Rico is severely damaged and individual homes are often in disrepair. It’s difficult to find local skilled labor, and even when a family has the resources to pay for repairs, scammers make their way into the labor force and leave projects half done after receiving payment. Often these scam artists take the money and leave without starting a project at all.
One family in Cubuy had received assistance from FEMA for a new roof on the second floor of their home before we arrived, but FEMA did not cover water damage to the first floor which was occupied by one woman. (First and second stories of homes are often occupied by different families.) Our volunteers focused on those unmet needs.
We worked on large tasks, such as installing cabinets and structural wall issues, but also small tasks like installing handrails on stairs, and patching holes made by termites. Volunteers were reminded how seemingly simple repairs can make a huge difference in the daily lives of those served. Thanks to a $3000 grant from the Home Depot, we were able to get equipment and supplies so each project could be completed at the highest quality possible. This will ensure that repairs last and truly improve the lives of those served.
Volunteer George Degnon noted, “The collection of skills among our volunteers was amazing, as was the help we received from the Holy Spirit when the going got tough, it was comforting to know He was watching over us! Beautiful thing about Puerto Rico is that the people are so kind and gentle. I can sum up our experience in one word: Joyous!”
Although working on projects was the priority, we were able to spend some time in fellowship with folks from a local parish. One evening the parishioners from the missions provided music and singing for the volunteers in both Liza and Cubuy. The entire mission was blessed from start to finish. It’s amazing to see what God can do in a few short weeks!
John T. Butler
Vice President for Development & Mission Advancement