A few days after Hurricane Dorian finally moved past the Bahamas, the prime minister referred to the hurricane’s impact as “generational devastation,” recognizing that it will be many years before any sense of normalcy returns to the islands.
Jobs have disappeared. Food and water aren’t easily available. Beyond that, there are some less tangible effects like grief, trauma, and the loss of stability. Many are still homeless with nowhere to go.
The Church of the Nazarene has been present throughout the islands’ recovery efforts. The first teams distributed supplies like food, clothing, water filters, tarps, and other necessities. In October, church members served more than 1,000 people with relief aid. In Florida, two districts put out a call to gather necessary supplies and filled two containers with items that were shipped to Freeport.
With the immediate needs addressed, attention is now turning to repairing and rebuilding homes. Other churches are seeking ways to support those who are unable to reside in government shelters. As immediate needs begin to stabilize and Nazarene churches start the rebuilding process, long-term needs will become more and more clearer.
Because the Church of the Nazarene is already present in the Bahamas, it is easier to continue ministries beyond the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. District Superintendent John Wildgoose says that the church will continue to minister to the communities during the long period of recovery.
To learn more about recovery efforts and make a donation, visit ncm.org/dorian.