According to ADRA's coordinator for Dominicia, the nation's government is looking to the Seventh-day Adventist Church during its time of crisis. Priscilla Prevost said the agency's work after past hurricanes has inspired confidence in the work ADRA will do in wake of Hurricane Maria. Prevost said the houses built after Hurricane Erika in 2015 are still standing as a testimony to ADRA's work.
Strategic plans for relief efforts include fundraising to assist the distribution of food, water, tarps, and medical supplies. The agency will also arrange for volunteers to help cleanup the island. ADRA will also call on skilled volunteers to help rebuild structures and professionals to offer counseling services.
Adventist leaders are also assessing how the Church's members and properties have been affected. Samuel Telemaque is the Sabbath School director for the Church's InterAmerica territory, in which Dominica is located. He traveled to his native country to accompany the Church's local leaders during their visits. He said, "There are no trees, no more coconut trees, no more banana trees. You can see one end of the island to the other, it seemed so transparent."
According to Telemaque, all of the nation's 7,000 Adventist members have been impacted by the storm. All but 5 of the 34 Adventist Churches in the nation were completely destroyed. The 4 Adventist schools on the island were severely damaged. Further, all the schools' computers and laptops were stolen.
Stay up to date with how Adventists are serving nations affected by Hurricane Maria by visiting interamerica.org. [photo: ADRA Dominicia]