Hundreds of cleaning kits are being sent to hurricane stricken islands in the English Caribbean territory this week, thanks to donations recently sent into Miami by the Adventist Community Services in the Allegheny East Conference in Pennsylvania and the Columbia Union in Maryland. Some 1,615 buckets filled with disinfectant and cleaning supplies will go to St. Thomas for distribution in Anguilla, Tortola and St. John, as well as Dominica and Antigua for residents of Barbuda, church leaders said.
“We are happy we received the support and the collaboration from our brethren in the Allegheny East Conference and Columbia Union,” said James Daniel, vice president of the church in Inter-America and chairman of the IAD Disaster Relief for Church Members Committee. “The disasters have been so widespread and many are still in the process of cleaning up their homes and communities, so these items will be a real blessing to everyone.”
Daniel said many of the church territories have been requesting cleaning supplies as they deal with the reality that rebuilding their lives will be a long process.
Daniel, who visited the island of Antigua, an island which has been hosting all citizens from its sister island Barbuda, said church members are focusing on counting their blessings. Barbuda was deemed uninhabitable after Hurricane Irma devastated the island in September. “They are thankful to be alive and continue to cling to the Bible truths,” said Daniel, who spoke to hundreds of members at the St. John’s Adventist Church in Antigua. Daniel highlighted the power of God’s Word and the 500th anniversary of the protestant reformation.
“God used those reformers to make Bibles available to everyone. Through the Word of God, no matter what we may go through, we can have assurance that He has not left us, He will not forsake us, because He is with us,” encouraged Daniel.
Daniel said that Inter-America will soon launch phase three of its plan to help restore churches, schools and properties. Already, the IAD has sent funds and shipped basic needs to the church territory affected by the recent natural disasters and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency has been active in assisting dozens of affected communities.
“The Division is not only focusing on church buildings and institutions but is also assisting hundreds of its affected members so they can be fully in charge of their lives,” added Daniel.
At this point, the IAD Office is not accepting donated goods or supplies, but can channel monetary funds through its church organizations, or share information to coordinated efforts for direct shipping to specific islands.