Puerto Rico Recovery Mission Trip

Return trip to Puerto Rico – Mission Accomplished!

Mission Trip Summary

When: February 24-March 2, 2019

Where: Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Who: In all—19 people from the following organizations: Saint James, St. John’s-Lancaster, St. Thomas-Lancaster, Zion Lutheran-Manheim and the Community of Francis and Clare.

Work: The Mission Trip Team worked on three homes. Two homes were in Arecibo and one home near San Pedro, about 20 minutes south of Arecibo. All three homes needed varying levels of roof repairs as a result of damage sustained from Hurricane Maria in 2017. There was also some interior painting, removal of debris and cleaning tasks involved. Two of the homes had partial electrical service while the home near San Pedro had no electrical service which required the use of a generator to run power tools. Many of the supplies used were provided by Episcopal Relief and Development and Diocese of Puerto Rico.

The fourth project was the rebuilding of the gazebo next to San Pablo Church, partially destroyed by Hurricane Maria. All funds used to repair the gazebo were provided by funds raised to support the Mission Trip. The gazebo is used for parish events and Sunday school classes and was a huge boost to the morale of the parish to see it being repaired.

Each day started at the Retreat Center with a time of meditation and breakfast with Morning Prayer and discussion following. The day continued with the work assignments until noon, when lunch was served at San Pablo’s. After lunch, the missioners returned to work until dinner where everyone returned to San Pablo’s. After dinner, the missioners had Evening Prayer and reflection on the day that just passed, then back to the Retreat Center for showers and rest. On Wednesday morning, the people at San Pablo’s hosted a moving Eucharist service for the missioners. During the last full day of the Mission Trip, missioners were given a cultural tour of parts of Puerto Rico and Br. David Rutledge participated in a panel discussion for the Board Members of Episcopal Relief and Development.

The Mission Trip was funded entirely by the generous donations and support from the Lancaster community including two fundraising events. Missioners were responsible for paying their own transportation costs to and from Puerto Rico and some meals. All other expenses including transportation while on Puerto Rico, food (most meals provided by the parishioners of Arecibo’s San Pablo Episcopal Church), lodging (at the Arecibo Catholic Retreat Center) and supplies for the reconstruction of the gazebo were paid for by funds raised for the Mission Trip.

The Mission Trip was very moving and transformative as the missioners got to experience the culture and deepen relationships with the good people of San Pablo’s parish as well as the Diocese of Puerto Rico.

Click here to view photos of the 2019 trip.


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We are now receiving donations for our return mission trip in February of 2019

Funds collected will be used to pay for transportation while there, some building materials and other expenses during the course of the week.

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