Dorian and the Bahamas by A-Chuck Allen
Where to start? Oh my stars! Hurricane Dorian came to the Bahamas and camped out on the little island of Freeport. On the east side of this tropical island, the best word to describe what I saw was DEVASTATION! There isn’t much that either wind or water hasn’t ruined on this place where sunshine and cruise ships connect affluent travelers to the clear aqua waters of the Caribbean.
It was hot and breezy when we arrived, and it didn’t take long to see that Dorian had left a calling card of trees snapped off like twigs and buildings destroyed by either the fierce winds or the water.
There isn’t enough fresh water here yet. The municipal water system is slowly catching up, but it’s nowhere near potable. Thank God for Convoy of Hope and Paula White Ministries. These folks have done a massive work already and eighteen-wheelers, filled with fresh water from Convoy of Hope are on their way. Paula White’s Chief of Staff, Todd Lamphere is a pretty amazing guy. He is like the hub that keeps the resources and the ministry work on track. Jensen Franklin’s ministry has jumped in and is providing huge support for the people here. One of my favorite groups, (of all time) is Operation Barbecue Relief. These guys, lead by a former Green Beret, with a prosthetic leg, is all in. Last year, Operation Barbecue Relief provided more than 1.2 million HOT meals following disasters and humanitarian crises. I’ve gotten to know these guys, through our work on the Southern Border and they are the real deal. They have committed more than 24,000 meals, each day. They are starting today with 5,000 meals and ramping up to 24,000 by Tuesday September 17.
I’ve seen people in triage units (thank you Samaritan’s Purse). I’ve seen people whose homes were literally washed away while they clung to trees, as the winds whipped and the water rose. But what I’ve really seen is the resilience of these fine people. It is fascinating. They aren’t looking for someone to come give them out of this mess. They want people to know that, with a little help, they can rebuild the Bahamas into an even better land.
Yes, I’ve seen some good people, doing some good work. Yes, I am proud of Sugar Hill Church for their sacrificial work. I am honored to be a small part of a process that is in full force, doing good work. But I am really, truly, encouraged at the faith community that has stepped in without regard to denominations and orthodoxy, and simply done good work for the Kingdom of God. My faith in our people and the people of the Bahamas is that we can indeed do more and do better, together. Between the sacrificial giving of God’s people, the willingness to go and serve people that could never repay you and the graciousness of a people that have just literally had their lives turned out to sea, my faith in our Creator is greater than ever.
His desire for His children to serve side by side,with no concern about who gets the credit, is being played out with the many faith focused partners here in the Bahamas.
Please join us. The needs are great and the people are more than worth it!
Go In Peace,