The BWM has sent Aaron Van Der Linden, a member of Ebenezer Moravian Church in Watertown, Wisconsin, to help coordinate the work as an on site supervisor for 8 weeks beginning in January. Aaron was on site in the fall of 2017, and has been tremendous asset assessing the work needing to be done, and finding places for volunteers of all skill levels to join in the work.
The BWM continues its disaster response work through the Moravian Disaster Response (MDR) program. Currently, the BWM has scheduled work crews to assist with the homes of members of the Good Shepherd Moravian Church (actually a Unity of the Brethren church made up of members with Moravian roots) in Port Arthur, Texas. Work crews began visiting in November 2017, and many weeks are filled through the middle of February 2018. Teams are staying at the church, and going out to work on homes that were severely damaged in the flooding following Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017. Many homes were completely destroyed, and others have lost the entire interior, and are being rebuilt from the studs. Any volunteers are welcome to join in these efforts as we continue to schedule teams to visit in the weeks and months ahead.
In the Eastern West Indies, the BWM has sent funds to assist with the rebuilding, and will be sending another round of donations in early 2018. We give thanks to our very generous donors, and we are working with leadership of the EWI province to best align donations with the needs present across the Virgin Islands, most notably on St. John and St. Thomas. Just this week, we have received the go ahead to begin planning for work crews to visit in the early part of summer 2018. We ask for your ongoing prayers as many of the islands’ residents have not yet received power back to their homes, and assessment is being done as to whom, of those who left for the U.S. mainland in the days leading up to and following the storm will actually be returning.
The BWM will continue to update congregations as more formal plans are put in place for assisting the work of rebuilding homes and churches in the EWI Province.