By Michael Smith

JesusChurch in Riverview has been helping Puerto Rico recover since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in late September.

The hurricane slammed into the U.S. territory on Wednesday, September 20, as a Category 4 storm, destroying buildings and knocking out power throughout the island.

Curtis Welch, a member of JesusChurch, has been in Puerto Rico since shortly after the hurricane hit. He set up a base camp in Mayaguez (at the Vineyard Church there) from which volunteers can go out and work.

JesusChurch, which meets on Sundays at 10 a.m. at The Regent, sent 2,000 pounds of supplies to Mayaguez via Agape Flights out of Venice, including high-grade water filters, five-gallon buckets, tarps, bug spray and food items.

The Vineyard Church in Mayaguez–Iglesia La Viña de Mayaguez–has been feeding people at the church and bringing hot meals to neighbors. The church also has given out high-grade water filters and five-gallon buckets. The church has power and installed a washing machine and dryer that neighbors can use free of charge. Volunteers are clearing debris from lawns and putting tarps on homes.

JesusChurch Pastor Karl House traveled to Puerto Rico for a week in November to join the relief efforts. “It’s still very much a mess, and there’s a lot of work to do,” he said.

The pastor said if people want to help, they can get supplies for disaster relief, give financially to the relief work or go to Puerto Rico to help out. He said giving and going are the best ways to help right now. Donations can be made through JesusChurch’s website at myjesuschurch.churchcenter.com/giving.

JesusChurch has set up a page on its website titled “Three Ways to Help Puerto Rico” at myjesuschurch.com/three-ways-to-help-puerto-rico.

Tto assist with disaster recovery, contact Curtis Welch at 299-3217.