In response to the devastating one-two punch leveled at Puerto Rico first by Hurricane Irma and most recently by Hurricane Maria, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), in partnership with American Baptist Churches USA, has launched a multi-year initiative, “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico,” ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray announced recently.
“Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” seeks to raise $1 million within the next three to six months through One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) to support rebuilding the homes, churches and lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. ABHMS has pledged $25,000 to launch this major renewal effort, matching OGHS funds already earmarked for Puerto Rico recovery.
“Within the next three to five years,” Haggray said, “we will work with our American Baptist partners to restore all 114 churches and nine missions in the Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico as well as Corporación Milagros del Amor and Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico.”
In this first phase of the long-term ABHMS initiative, a task force of staff and American Baptist partners is being convened by Victoria Goff, ABHMS associate director, Mission Advancement and Passionary Movement, to develop a comprehensive plan for sustained support of the region. The Rev. Salvador Orellana, ABHMS director of Latino Ministries, will provide logistical and relational support to the initiative.
The relationship between the Puerto Rico region and ABHMS has longstanding and deep roots: The American Baptist Home Mission Societies, a forerunner of today’s ABHMS, established the first Baptist church in Rio Piedras in 1899 and sponsored home missionaries from the mainland who ministered across the island.
Please GIVE generously to the Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico multi-year initiative. Your contribution, no matter the size, will make a big difference for our Puerto Rican American Baptist family.
One hundred percent of donations will go to relief efforts; donations will be used for immediate needs, such as water and food, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. No dollars are retained for administrative costs.
If making a donation via check, please make check payable to “OGHS-Puerto Rico” and mail to:
Attn: Kim Wilkins
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
Box 851 Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851
To ensure that your church receives credit for your gift, write the church name on your check or, if giving online, in the “comment” box.