A work trip to Puerto Rico? The idea was floated and a meeting was held in early March to learn about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. More than 3,000 people died and those left on the island endured year-long power outages and extreme interruptions to their lives in every aspect including housing, food, transportation, communications and education. At Catonsville Presbyterian a roomful was full of people interested in helping. A work trip for adults is a new prospect for Catonsville Presbyterian and the response was large enough for the trip to become a reality. A group of 21 members and friends are going this November 2019 to spend a week helping our sisters and brothers.
We recently met in July to discuss the details of our trip and ways to involve the congregation. Please plan to attend a lunch after worship on World Communion Sunday, October 6, featuring Puerto Rican food and an at-will offering. It is one way to contribute to help with the costs of $1,000/per person. Some members of the congregation have already contributed to a scholarship fund so anyone who was interested can go.
We will be leaving from BWI on Monday, November 11 and arrive in San Juan and then rent two vans for a 2 ½ hour drive to a Presbyterian camp in San Sebastian where we will be for the week. We will stay in dorm rooms (bunk beds!) and our meals are provided. One of our most asked question is “What will we be doing?” Work tasks will range from replacing roofs, repairing houses, cleaning up debris, mowing grass and cutting shrubs and trees, and some more highly skilled work in construction. We have talked a lot about the gift of presence, reminding people they have not been forgotten during their struggles. A paint brush and smile will our tools! We will have time in the evenings to share and contemplate our day and renew before the next day. We will end our stay in San Sebastian with worship on Sunday November 17 before returning to San Juan to fly home on Monday. We will be worshipping with people we have met over the week – a special way to finish up our week.
Even if you’re not going with us, please know we need you to be part of the trip. We want to feel Catonsville Presbyterian with us and holding us in prayer as we embark in an adventure to be a light in the world. Please plan to join us for the lunch on October 6 following worship. We are excited (and nervous) to step out and be a part of the solution as Jesus has commanded us to be. To learn more details contact Laurie White.