Headlines from NPR On-line for Wednesday, October 11, 2017
‘Here, We Are United’: A Puerto Rico Church Offers Comfort After Hurricane Maria
Every Sunday since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, Ada Reyes and her four children have walked half an hour to church. Down a winding road, dodging fallen trees and debris, they walk past concrete houses still bearing flood marks, and finally cross the Vivi — a small river in Utuado, a city in the central mountain region.
People here are about to start their third week without electricity or water. Nearly 90 percent of the island is still without power.
Reyes’ home suffered some roof damage, which has let in the rain they’ve been having this past week. Her car fared much worse — it’s pinned under a tree, so she’s had to go everywhere on foot. Still, she makes the trek to church because it’s the highlight of her week.
“It’s like my breakthrough,” she says. “I feel like nothing’s happening around me when I’m here. I forget about everything going on in the street for a little bit, at least. It gives me strength to keep on with my kids and the faith to see what happens.”
The church community has come together after hurricanes Maria and Irma, says Carmen Leticia Medina Gonzalez, an associate pastor. During the service, she passes out white envelopes filled with cash — money raised by the congregation for members who are struggling. As people approach the podium to collect, Luis Collazo, sitting in the back, stands up to offer help. He’s able to remove debris or clean up a house, he says, turning to address the pews.
Readings from the Prophet Joel for Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Joel 2.17 – Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
During World War II, a whose-who of Christian leaders paid their own way, rode trains, and prayed throughout the country for God’s mercy on our world. In the midst of disasters, mass killings, and war should not the ministers of today lead the way of repentance?
Prayers for Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Dear God, we pray for your grace to assist people who have been devastated by hurricanes, wild fires, and human injustice.