I spoke with Robert McKinney, National Director for the Caribbean, and his wife Tania, an hour ago. They are fine as are the brethren on Nassau. Abaco is a different story. All communications have been cut so they only have a few details as Dorian continues to inflict damage. Tania says houses there have been flattened. Not just roofs off, but solid cinder block homes have been leveled. Relatives of a member lost their home and have been moving from one evacuation center to another as they have been compromised. In some places, flooding is 10 feet deep. Freeport is also experiencing the worst of the storm. Robert spoke to his sister who said all their relatives including Robert’s mother are okay.
The recovery is going to be very challenging. Tania mentioned that Abaco is the 3rd largest economic center on the island.
I have seen two heartrending videos on YouTube of people surrounded by water desperately praying as they recorded the carnage. Robert asked me to say thank you for all your continuing prayers. Tania said that prayers are what has been making a difference for everyone.
Additional update from Robert McKinney:
Family and friends, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and shout a collective Hallelujah as Dorian makes his way out of our waters. I am happy to report that as far as we are aware, all my family members and all our brethren in Freeport, as well as in Moores Island, are well. Now begins the task of picking up the pieces and rebuilding. I encourage us all to assist in whatever way we can. Stay strong in the Lord, and may our faith always rest in His mighty power.
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
If your congregation has a heart to help members impacted by major disasters like the one in The Bahamas, consider donating to the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund helps provide members in disaster areas with emergency needs such as food, water, medicine, clothing, temporary housing, home and/or church hall repairs, temporary local pastoral salary expenses and other emergency needs. Monies received into the Fund that are not immediately needed will remain in the Fund to be allocated in future disasters. In previous years, money from this Fund has been used to help members recover from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, storms and flooding in Bangladesh, an earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon Islands, typhoons in the Philippines and an earthquake in Haiti.
Individuals who wish to donate may do so at www.gci.org/disasterrelief
If your congregation would like to donate out of local church funds, you may do so at www.gci.org/go/chdonate
If your congregation prefers to send a check, make it out to Grace Communion International, indicating on the memo line that the donation is for the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. Send the donation to:
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
Grace Communion International
3120 Whitehall Park Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28273