A month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, normal life is still slow in returning to Puerto Rico—but something good is coming, according to one Foursquare leader.
“I believe Puerto Rico is being primed for a move of God,” says Ricky Navarro, senior pastor of The Walk (Tampa Foursquare Church) in Tampa, Fla., who recently returned from a visit to Puerto Rico, where he grew up and still has many family members.
The massive storm that has left thousands still without power and running water has stirred both a spirit of resilience and cooperation, and a hunger for hope, that together have created a season of opportunity, he believes.
“The Lord is going to do something there,” asserts Ricky, appealing for other Foursquare churches to support ministry efforts in Puerto Rico financially and prayerfully. “It was through a Maria that Jesus came,” he notes, using the Spanish translation of Mary. “It was a Maria that went for Jesus when her brother died, and in the same manner this Maria that has come through will usher Jesus back to the land.”
Ricky shares his prophetic hope for Puerto Rico fresh from a scouting trip with Chad Isenhart, international response director of Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR), to see how the ministry and Foursquare churches might combine to support Foursquare’s four Puerto Rican congregations.
They took portable water filtration systems and funds to help buy food and other supplies as they toured Foursquare churches. Two had suffered serious structural damage to their properties, while a third’s rented meeting place was flooded out. A total of 14 Foursquare families lost their homes or suffered serious damage.
Communication and transportation challenges have slowed relief efforts since the Sept. 20 storm. Many people are having to resort to collecting rain water for bathing and even drinking—prompting some health concerns. Food and other provisions are in limited supply, with long lines, while many are still unable to work and have limited access to money.
FDR sent funds to help with immediate needs, while La Roca (Tampa West Hispanic Foursquare Church) in Tampa, Fla., which sent several containers of supplies after hastily arranging a benefit concert after the hurricane, is preparing to send more.
An immediate need is for funds for repairs to the Foursquare national church in Bayamon, so it can be used as a long-term distribution center for supplies. Meanwhile, members of the church in Caguas have already been distributing food packets to others. “They are just doing what they can,” says Ricky.
With travel to and from Puerto Rico still restricted and limited supplies there, now is not the time for outside Foursquare teams to visit to help, says Chad, though that may come in the future.
“Right now, we ask for support and prayer for our Foursquare churches there,” he says, “that they would be able to be Jesus in the midst of this. In times of need, people’s hearts are open, and they are looking for hope and for answers.”
To help FDR support Foursquare ministry in Puerto Rico, click the button below.