Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, is traveling to Puerto Rico today, Friday, Oct. 13, as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). He is representing UMCOR and meeting with Bishop Hector Ortiz, bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, to assess how The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can best support and help Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
“This is part of our connection,” said Morales, who is a member of Centerville United Methodist Church in Kathleen but is originally from Puerto Rico. “This is one way we can connect from here to there.”
While there have been many conversations between UMCOR and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, Morales’ trip will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two organizations since the hurricane devastated the island.
This initial trip is a fact-finding mission and will last only a few days, but when Morales returns UMCOR will be able to more fully understand Puerto Rico’s long-term needs and will then be able to strategically direct resources, teams, and supplies.
Aside from being a person of faith and a fellow Methodist, Morales has a vested interest in the country – several members of his family still live there and were impacted by the hurricane. They are safe, but many are still without potable water or electricity.
He says that South Georgia United Methodists can support Puerto Ricans by praying and giving through UMCOR. He will have more details on further support upon his return.
“Pray,” he said. “Pray that relief efforts continue to reach out and touch the most vulnerable. And keep praying that those efforts help save lives.”