By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:10 Updated



Ten Caribbean islands, affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, including Anguilla, will be receiving assistance from two well-known Seventh-day Adventist organisations.

Pastor Wilmoth James, Director of the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), and Dr. James F. Daniel, Vice President of the Inter-American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, spoke about the assistance at a special service at the Mount Fortune Church in Anguilla on Sunday evening, December 17.

According to Pastor Wilmoth James, who is also the Executive Secretary of the North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, based in St. Croix, Anguilla and the nine other islands in the Conference will be receiving an aid package of 1.3 million US dollars in materials to restore homes damaged by the hurricanes.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is very much interested in helping to meet the needs of its fifteen thousand plus members in the North Caribbean Conference,” he told The Anguillian. “The devastation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria have deeply wounded the financial situation and working capacity of its members. We have seen the effects not only in the attendance of our Church, but also in its finance. We are fully aware of the deep-rooted feelings of these members, and the Church has asked its membership to convey their needs to the leadership. When that data was collected, with materials to put back their homes to comfort living conditions, we valued those materials at 1.3 million US dollars.”

He continued: “Our goal, as the administrators of the Conference, is to pursue whatever source we can to help the people of these islands with this material. We have already embarked upon the Nehemiah Skills Programme comprised of skilled tradesmen – electricians, plumbers, carpenters and draftsmen – from around the Caribbean who are ready to come to Anguilla to assist in helping persons to put their homes back together. All that is needed is for the Anguilla constituency of Adventism to make a request to the Nehemiah Skills Programme. Once materials are collected by us, we will send them to Anguilla as indicated. We will then arrange for the Nehemiah men to come in because we know that the labour cost is high. This is the plan that ADRA…has as the second phase in its rebuilding process.

“You are quite aware that we were in Anguilla at least two months ago when we initiated the first response of food, shelter, and other basic needs. We distributed supplies to more than 860 homes. We are now in the second phase which is to help with the restoration of homes. We are asking the community to work with us as we seek to fulfil the needs of the people of Anguilla.”

The ADRA Director stressed that the assistance is not only for Seventh-day Adventists but other persons in the community as well. “That is the responsibility of the local Church,” he explained. “For example, if the Mount Fortune Church knows about a needed member of the community who needs assistance, it should share with that person.”

Pastor James stated that action had been taken to set up an ADRA Board (comprising Adventists and non-Adventists) in Anguilla to work with the Government’s Department of Disaster Management as a first response agency to a national disaster. “We also took action to allow the Church to organise a financial plan to have finance and materials in readiness for use if and when a disaster strikes. The plan includes opening an account of fifty thousand dollars which can be used immediately at the time of a disaster. We are making sure that the next disaster will find us more prepared to handle the needs of humanity on this island.”

The other Church official, Dr. James F. Daniel, Vice President of the Inter-American Division and Director of the Department of Planned Giving & Trust Services, also spoke about assisting Anguilla and the other hurricane affected islands. “Among my responsibilities is the Chairperson of the Crisis Management Committee of the Division, and that is one of the reasons I am in Anguilla in that capacity,” he said. “I need to take back a report to our Division’s administration in respect to what has happened to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its members and the people of Anguilla, so that we can provide relief assistance as best as we can. We are not only providing physical relief. We are also providing spiritual encouragement to people and that is also one of the reasons I am here in Anguilla.” (He gave that encouragement in the sermon he delivered during the special service.)

Dr. Daniel was asked whether the physical relief was in addition to the promised assistance from ADRA.

“That is correct”, he affirmed. “We, at the Inter-American Division, are also working with an organisation called ‘Maranatha Volunteers International’. They build schools, churches, and homes in various parts of the world including the Caribbean. We are working with them, as far as possible, to bring relief to the territories of the Caribbean which were affected by the hurricanes.

“We will be sending supplies through the North Caribbean Conference. There is a 40-foot container on its way with relief supplies and some of those supplies will reach Anguilla. One of our objectives is to assist persons with the rebuilding of their homes. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is very inclusive in terms of our community endeavours and so, whether they are Adventists or non-Adventists, we are looking at the human need.”

Meanwhile, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s buildings, like many others in Anguilla, were severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. “The Adjusters from our insurance company, Risk Management, which is an international insurance company, have already come to Anguilla,” Pastor Wilmoth James disclosed. “They have assessed the damage, came to the office and have settled those claims with us. The next step now is the funding so that our churches can begin their repairs.”

Commenting on the visit by the two Church officials, the Anguilla District Resident Minister, Pastor Trent Berg, said in part: “It is a wonderful pleasure to have our leaders not only say we going to assist you, but to come and see for themselves what is going on. You can see from the response of our people that they were really happy that their concerns were being conveyed by the presence of our guests. We cannot thank our visitors enough.”

By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:10 Updated


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