Rick was blessed to be able to speak directly with Pastor Dodds on Monday night, via internet conference call with Evans, Jr.. Rick reports that it was wonderful to hear his voice and he asked to have his love and appreciation sent to all at SUMC. He also said he knew that SUMC had been praying for the Zion and Ebenezer churches, and that he was able to share this on Sunday services at Wesley. He asks for continued prayers, and is very grateful for SUMC’s immediate financial response.
Here’s more of what he and/or Evans, Jr. shared:
- The South of the island (away from Wesley/Marigot) was hardest hit. Many relief agencies and government support is focused there
- Pastor Dodds has not been able to communicate with all his congregations, but , as far as he knows, everyone is safe and okay. However, the truth is, there are a lot of folks he’s been unable to reach yet.
- Across the island, hundreds have been left homeless
- Potable water and non-perishable food in short supply
- Medicines, health care items, toiletries in short supply. Diabetics are particularly at risk
- Everything you see published by the Dominican Govt regarding needed supplies is true for Wesley and Marigot
- Airports continue to be unusable. Melville Hall Airport, in Marigot, has been bisected by a new river.
- The road from Wesley to Marigot is washed out.
- Pastor Dodds was able to drive from Wesley to Portsmouth yesterday, and counted 47 landslides that had to be bulldozed through to make the road passable.
- Folks are boiling water to drink
Progress, of sorts:
- More roads have begun to open… Folks from Wesley can get to Rosseau via Portsmouth and a roundabout journey
- Ports of Rosseau and Portsmouth open to shipping
- Many countries and NGOs sending emergency relief…but government is in short supply of labor and vehicles to transport
- Venezuela sending army engineers to Melville Hall Airport. Their aim is to re-direct the river and get an airstrip in …hopefully within a day or two.
- News reports on the island that an airline (American?Amerijet?) has offered to fly supplies in for free as soon as Melville Hall is accessible. He believes there will be drop-off points in New York/New Jersey. Evans Jr is looking into this in greater detail. If it’s true, and if we can designate shipments specifically to the Methodist Manse, then we’ll expect to have an emergency supply collection drive in Sudbury and Hartford CT. More to come on this one.
- Pastor Dodds indicated that there are two specific and immediate needs: Money to buy supplies available on the island, and non-perishable food/water/medical supplies. A large portion of Sunday’s special offering will be wired shortly to Pastor Dodds. As he learns more about the situation among his parishioners, he will let us know what his financial needs are
- Prayers! Prayer is felt, love is conveyed. God unites us. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters.