- Phone: (202) 558-9745
- Mailing Address: 1616 7th St, NW, Washington DC, 20001
Blue FEMA tarps acting as roofs greeted our team as our plane taxied into San Juan. For the next six days, 19 strangers from the District Church would be serving communities in Puerto Rico grasping to climb back to a state of normalcy six months after Hurricane Irma. Our team was excited, but nervous, not knowing what to expect. Before arriving we were told the conditions would be austere at best, and that the level of devastation would be emotionally draining.
Because of the unknown conditions, our team committed to proactively drench the trip in prayer. We held a prayer meeting beforehand, and enlisted the TDC’s prayer team, the Latino Affinity Group, and the entire body to cloak our team and the communities we would be serving in prayer. With such high levels of devastation, we knew that any success of our mission would be coming from God.
Upon arrival we continued in our culture of prayer. Before starting our work week we split into groups and attended local church services with the pastors who would be directing our efforts. We concluded our first day, by having a powerful prayer walk through La Pearla, a community featured in the hit song “Despacito”, but is also infamous for its violence and drug addictions. Our team committed to meeting every night to share our testimonies, pray for the communities we served, and each other.
Through the power of prayer we began to see change occur. Our team built strong relationships and ministered to each other each evening. We were able to hear the stories of the people who lost so much, and continued to rebuild. We were able to walk alongside local pastors as they shared the “Why” behind our actions as we helped rebuild the communities they served. Many of the communities we served had been designated as church plant sites. Our work became a way to open the doors of people’s hearts to the gospel.
Throughout the week our activities varied, but our main task of showing Christ’s love to our Puerto Rican neighbors remained the same. We chainsawed trees, removed debris, handed out meals, cleaned and painted an outdoor library, and helped set up an outdoor baptism event where a new pastor was able to baptize eleven people the following Saturday.
Seeing our team use all of their gifts to serve was a true reflection on the image Paul paints of the body of Christ in Romans 12. Whether it was listening to someone’s story, translating a prayer in Spanish, or lifting a tree off a roof; our team of strangers transformed into the body of Christ that shined Christ’s love to all we met. Leaning into Christ, we were able to have our hearts transformed, and play a small part in the restoration of Puerto Rico.
Please join us on Sunday 3/25/18 after the first service in the CHEC Cafeteria to hear from a panel of people who went on the trip share about their experiences and how to sign up for our next trip to Puerto Rico occurring April 28-May 4th.