Dear Friend and Partner,
If you are like me, the images of devastation coming from The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian leave you speechless. As the death toll climbs, the stories of loss are simply heartbreaking. Unfortunately, experience tells us these are just the first of many. Terrible destruction of this magnitude is nearly impossible to understand.
"Whole neighborhoods were swept away by a mighty surge higher than anything in memory,” reported one veteran storm chaser as the flood waters climbed. “Many deaths reported from drowning, flying debris, & collapsing houses … medical clinic overwhelmed. An absolute catastrophe.”
Your heart breaks for those trapped on these islands with nowhere to go. It all seems so overwhelming, even helpless. Often when we are far away from the situation it is difficult to know how we can help. If you are planning to make a charitable gift to help to those in urgent need in the Bahamas, Abaco and the surrounding islands, I ask you to prayerfully consider a donation to OM.
The highly-experienced OM Caribbean team has volunteers and staff already in these areas, and more importantly, networks of local churches and local leaders, who will know best how to bring the right kind of help in complex disaster situations like this. Praise God, they are safe on another island for now, but are closely monitoring the situation and will be traveling over shortly to assess the situation and begin serving. As the Lord would have it, our ship, the Logos Hope -- with her crew of nearly 400 -- is also nearby in South America and already had plans in place to head next to the Caribbean.
More than 60,000 people on the hardest-hit islands need food, and even more are without clean drinking water. More than 13,000 houses, (about 45% of the homes) on Grand Bahama and Abaco, are believed to be severely damaged or destroyed. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis summed it up like this, "we are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country's history."
It is impossible to know at this point exactly what help will be needed, but as we have in the past -- through the support of caring partners like YOU -- we are committed to help wherever possible in these communities, now and in the months to come. You should also know that when you provide help through OM, you are helping local communities of believers to rise up and bring the love of Jesus to all those surrounding them. Your gift empowers them to truly be salt and light at this very difficult time. A mighty gift, indeed.
Thank you for whatever support you may feel led to provide. Please join me in praying for the hundreds of thousands affected by the storm, and for the workers from OM and other agencies braving dangerous conditions to bring help and hope in the weeks and months to come.
Director of Development