The Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation offered a challenge grant of $10,000 to help fund the recovery work in Puerto Rico. Pastors were asked to take a special offering and bring their donations to the March 4 annual “Lenten Day Apart” event. They responded faithfully. Peninsula Delaware clergy and churches contributed $11,613.50; and Eastern PA clergy and churches gave $10,417. The Mid-Atlantic Foundation added $10,000, bringing our total giving to a generous $32,030.50.
Bishop Hector Ortiz, head of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, was in attendance and described the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and the subsequent recovery work. Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams from all over the world, including our area, have come to the island and given thousands of hours of service and many dollars toward this effort.
When Bishop Ortiz heard the news of the donations raised, he wrote the following response:
“Grace and peace to you and the brothers and sisters of the Eastern PA and the Peninsula-Delaware Conferences. Your commitment to being with us by means of VIM groups, offerings and prayers are proof of God’s greatness and the sensitive hearts of our brothers and sisters in your conferences. Receive our thanks in the name of the people of our island and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to receiving the next team this coming June.”