It’s been a difficult hurricane season this year, with several storms ripping through southern states in the United States and several Caribbean islands. Shortly after Hurricane Irma passed through the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria followed, hitting many of the same spots. Maria’s impact on the island of Dominica was devastating. Several people were killed, and much of the island was left in ruins.
In the wake of the storm, Nazarenes in Dominica have been responding. These photos offer a glimpse into their efforts:
In Bataca, a small town in the northeast part of the island, the Church of the Nazarene turned their bottom floor into a compassionate ministry center several months ago. During Hurricane Maria, 50 people found shelter there. The center was stocked with food and supplies.
During the storm, they huddled together as they listened to the hurricane tear off the roof of the upper floor and completely destroy the sanctuary upstairs. The homes of most of those gathered were also destroyed. Many lives were saved because the church was able to open its doors.
On the western part of the island, a Nazarene church in Bioche, had prepared some resources for relief after experiencing a Hurricane Erika a couple of years ago. This location’s compassionate ministry center was stocked with water filters and Crisis Care Kits. In the days after the storm, church members were able to distribute many of their supplies throughout their community.
Some of the most compelling stories from recent disasters have been the compassionate acts of neighboring countries.
In response to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Nazarenes in Barbados acted quickly to bring aid to their brothers and sisters in Dominica.
Though there are still great needs across the entire island, the efforts of local Nazarene churches have been seen and felt throughout many communities in Dominica.
To learn more or support church-based disaster response efforts, visit ncm.org/maria.