Update (September 09, 2019): AG World Missions immediately sent emergency relief funds to the Bahamas, and Convoy of Hope mobilized a three-person team to begin damage assessment and help Bahamas AG leaders organize relief through local churches. AGWM Area Director David Speer has been in regular contact with Bahamas AG General Superintendent Patrick Paul. Superintendent Paul and other leaders have flown to Abaco and Grand Bahama to meet with local pastors and begin delivery of family packs of relief supplies. Other packs have been taken by boat to Moore’s Island. Thanks to the generosity of a ministry partner, Convoy of Hope has had access to several planes to expedite delivery of relief supplies, including more than 89,000 meals to more than 7,500 people and nearly 100 water filters. The Bahamas AG is developing a five-phase plan for long-term relief, and AGWM and COH will continue to assist local AG churches in carrying out each phase.
Assemblies of God World Missions and Convoy of Hope are partnering to provide emergency relief to the Bahamas following the historic devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
David Speer, AGWM area director for the Caribbean, reports that of the 30 inhabited islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco Island were in the hurricane’s main path. Five AG churches are located on each island.
Bahamas AG General Superintendent Patrick Paul told Speer that Abaco Island’s March Harbor city center had been under 8 feet of water Monday. Superintendent Paul has learned from his leadership team living in Freeport, Grand Bahama, that flood waters have reached 20 feet in depth, and nearly two-thirds of homes are completely underwater. One pastor reported climbing into his house rafters to escape 11 feet of water flowing through the structure.
David Ellis, AGWM Regional Director for Latin America Caribbean says, “I urge our AG churches across America to join us in fervent prayer for the Lord’s comfort and strength for our fellow AG believers in the Bahamas who have suffered such devastation. At times of crisis, our partnerships enable us to serve our fraternal churches and increase their reach to their neighbors with the compassion and message of Christ.”
AG World Missions already disbursed emergency relief funds to the field to purchase urgently needed relief supplies. Convoy of Hope personnel are already in the Bahamas working with AG national leaders to help determine how to most effectively serve the suffering.
“Partnering with AG World Missions, Convoy of Hope’s assessment team is on site to assist AG church leadership. We want to bring the most-needed services to those in the hardest-hit areas of the Bahamas,” says Keith Boucher, Convoy’s Chief Operations Officer.
Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane when it struck the Bahamas Sunday morning, with winds gusting to 220 mph. Hammering the area for two days, it was the strongest storm in the island nation’s history. By some estimates, nearly half the homes on the main islands have been damaged or destroyed, creating scenes described as apocalyptic by reporters onsite. At least 30 people died across the islands, with rescue teams expecting to recover more bodies among building debris.
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