I had the opportunity to be in Puerto Rico this past weekend to attend the 109thAnnual Convencion of the Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) in Puerto Rico (ICDCPR) where hundreds of clergy and delegates came together for their annual assembly. There was time for worship, reports on the different ministries and committees of the church, prayers for one another, and gratitude to God for the gift of being in fellowship with each other. The General Pastor, Rev. Miguel A. Morales Castro, gave an update on the church's recovery efforts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and while there has been much struggle due to the impact of the storms, the church continues to serve its community and other people in need.
It has been close to five months since the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and today, places that are away from the city, especially remote communities in the mountains, are still struggling to get access to basic needs like electricity and clean water. Many places are still without electricity. They must continue using loud, diesel fuming generators, such as at ICDC in Dajaos, Bayamon, the church where we gathered for our assembly.
In the midst of so much destruction, the theme of the assembly was "Serving in Spirit and in Truth," based on 1 John 3.18 and Philippians 2.5-11. As the church tries to rebuild itself, it also recognizes the call to serve the community by partnering in feeding and opening doors.The focus on not forgetting to serve these vulnerable communities remains at the heart of the convencion gathering, and it also remains as our focus for Week of Compassion.
Week of Compassion is working with our partners in slowly transitioning from immediate relief to long-term recovery efforts. In partnership with the Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) in Puerto Rico, we are developing a long-term plan to partner with local congregations and agencies in rebuilding many homes, but more importantly, many lives.
As I received words of "Muchas Gracias" from so many of our brothers and sisters on this island this past weekend, it's really a gratitude to you, our church and supporters, in this long recovery work. We remain committed to rebuilding Puerto Rico for the months and years ahead, as well as other places around the world that have experienced disasters. In a few months you will hear from us about opportunities to partner with us in Puerto Rico to help and work on some of these homes.
Through your gifts to Week of Compassion, especially this week during our special offering, you are joining Disciples in Puerto Rico in "Serving in Spirit and in Truth." Your generosity strengthens our partnership in the much needed, long term recovery of the island.
Rev. Vy Nguyen, Executive Director
Week of Compassion