The Second Wave

I was all set to blog about Christmas/New Year's in St. Louis and then the LAC regional team meeting that just wrapped up in Belize (sneak peek below). 

But mission work doesn't happen in an orderly, linear fashion. For the second year in a row, the biannual gathering was interrupted by something somewhere in the region that saw part of our ranks leaving early to be present elsewhere. This time, it was the earthquakes in Puerto Rico. LCMS personnel have been on the ground since hours after the first quake, bringing the hope and peace we have in Christ to the thousands affected. An initial assessment team of regional leaders and LCMS Disaster Response personnel, together with local missionaries, continues to monitor a situation that is changing by the hour and determine the most prudent next steps. 

I learned yesterday that I've been requested as part of the second wave. I'll be packing light with practicality in mind and leaving Tuesday to stay with the Neuendorfs (who currently have no water or electricity) in Ponce. My task? Hold down the fort by cooking, cleaning, and doing what I do best - organizing - while they and the rest of the church planting team man the front lines. My absence means that Assistant Volunteer Coordinator Courtney got promoted to the Big Leagues and gets to host a short-term team on her own! In reality, much of the DR-based missionary team will be around to support her, and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving if I wasn't fully confident that she's going to knock it out of the park. I promise I'm not going to be out of the country EVERY time there's a group in Santiago from now on!

I've never been in a job where I feel so needed, and it's entirely exhilarating. I'm also humbled to my core, though, since I'm I covet your prayers for an open mind and an open heart to see and respond to the needs of my hardworking, selfless colleagues and to a community in despair. Pray also for safety as the quakes continue; another 6.0 hit this morning.

I WILL get to those Christmas/New Year's and regional team meeting posts, as well as share more about my first disaster response experience. This new decade is coming in with a bang. 

Until next time, blessings!

P.S. This Reporter article elaborates on the background of the situation and highlights its magnitude. Facebook users may also wish to follow the Neuendorfs' page or LCMS Disaster Response for regular updates, including photo and video. 


Anonymous said…
Blessings for all you do! Please be safe!