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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    My third day in Puerto Rico for Humanitarian Relief

    January 22, 2018 / By Thaddeus Pinckney

    “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”
    John Wesley

    In a community called “Los Amigos” (which means “The Friends”) where people are very united,  it’s The United Methodist Church of Puerto Rico and UMCOR that has been the first church or agency to offer food and supplies to residents since Hurricane Maria. “With prayer and the work that they’re doing it feels like they’re doing the Kingdom of God here on earth.” said one resident.

    While people of all ages gathered together bright and early to bring van loads and truck loads full of supplies to distribute physical items, such as bags of food, bottled water, packaged meats,  packages of cookies, and much more, to residents in mountainous regions, they also distributed essential spiritual items, such as peace, joy, and the Holy Spirit.

    It’s no secret that the island of Puerto Rico now desperately needs supplies to rebuild its infrastructure, along with food and water to feed those that are hungry and thirsty. But in feeding the hungry, UMCOR and the UMC of Puerto Rico keep finding a thirst and hunger from the citizens of Puerto Rico for much more (for that water that does not leave them thirsty). As a resident described that when all the physical elements around you have been taken away, you begin to realize that your hope should be in that which cannot be taken away.

    Pastor Yolanda Correa-Pintor said, “I think many people have lost their hope, and that’s devastating because if we lose hope, then I think we lose everything. Besides the food that we’re giving, I think we give them the Spirit of Hope and The Holy Spirit, which they can receive.”  Minutes after making this statement, she was surprised herself when hearing the omission from a resident she was interviewing. When Pastor Yolanda asked the resident to tell of her immediate physical needs, the resident replied that she now realizes that she really needs God and Salvation above all else.  

    How about yourself, would your reply be similar if you were asked about your immediate pressing needs were?  Would you be able to say that you need God first (even above all physical needs like food, shelter, or even water)?   Some say that many great things also came from Hurricane Maria, including leading many people into a deeper relationship with God.  The devastation in Puerto Rico reminds us that when we have fewer distractions in life it becomes much easier to follow the First and Greatest Commandment (and the second like unto it.) – To Love Your God with all of your heart and soul and mind. Doth it really take man to lose “everything”, for man to discover what “everything” truly is?

    UMCOR and the UMC of Puerto Rico are devoted to tending to the physical and spiritual needs of the citizens of Puerto Rico. They invite us to also become a part of establishing the Kingdom of God here on earth. As Pastor Yolanda concludes, “There is still much work to do!”

    Editor’s Note:  You can help support relief efforts in Puerto Rico, by making out a check to Upper New York Conference with FUND # 483 - "2017 Hurricane Maria Disaster Relief" on the memo line.

    With more than 125,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 800 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."