Puerto Rico Recovery Mission Trip

Returning to Puerto Rico in 2019

Tentative plans are underway for a return trip to Puerto Rico February 24 – March 2, 2019. Email David Rutledge to learn more.

Click here to view photos of the 2018 trip.

2018 Mission Trip Summary

On August 12-18, 2018, twelve missioners from various churches and organizations in Lancaster and beyond, went to Puerto Rico on a common purpose; to assist with clean up and repairs following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Missioners included members of Saint James in Lancaster, Saint John’s in Lancaster, Zion Lutheran in Manheim, Lancaster County Council of Churches, Order of Saint Francis (St Louis, Missouri & New Orleans) and Society of Saint Francis in San Francisco. Two Brothers from OSF arrived 2 days early to help make arrangements with the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico and the people and clergy at Misión San Pablo Apostol in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, where the group was to be based. The rest of the group arrived in San Juan on Sunday, August 12 to prepare for the drive to Arecibo approximately 55 miles west of San Juan.

The good people at San Pablo’s provided lunch and dinner for the group each day, and on Wednesday, the Feast Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we had a special Eucharist and time of sharing. Each day began with Morning Prayer and ended with Evening Prayer led by the Brothers of SSF. The job site, about a 10 minute drive, was the home of an elderly couple recommended by the clergy at San Pablo’s.

The work included removing debris from the roof and sealing it, cleaning the property of debris, assisting in the installation of electric service, purchasing and installing a new gas stove, cleaning and painting several rooms in the house, repairing the sink, toilet and shower in the bathroom and installing a cinder block barrier on the second floor porch.

The missioners had two persons who interpreted Spanish to English at the church and the job site. By the end of the week, everyone was exhausted from the hard, physical work, but also excited to have had a chance to share in the lives of two elderly people by getting to know them and making their living conditions a little better.

The group also developed new relationships with the diocesan staff and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico. Many thanks for the prayers offered for the Mission Trip and for the financial support given. Each member of the Mission Trip team was responsible for paying their airfare. The funds raised by the Fiesta dinner in May and other donations were used for transportation during the week, lodging and supplies and materials.

July 10th update:

Missionary Team Base Camp:
The team will be based at Misión San Pablo Apostol, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico—about an hour’s drive, 55 miles west of San Juan. They will be staying in the parish hall working with the good people of St. Pauls who will provide meals for them as they work. Visit the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico website to learn more.

Recovery Projects
Work projects will be designated by the Diocese of Puerto Rico and St. Paul’s, the hosting parish. They will be based on the skill set of the missionary team and will include helping to rebuild homes in Arecibo that were devastated from Hurricane Maria.

How Funds will be Used
The funds that were raised at our Fiesta del día de Pentecostés in May will help offset the cost of transportation (while in Puerto Rico), meals, some building materials, tools and other expenses as they arise during the course of the week. In addition, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City has given donations to the Diocese of Puerto Rico for the purchase of building supplies and tools for the work being done. This should be a real boost in the team’s efforts.


Br. Donald Dubay, OSF and Br. Sam Kincade, OSF will go a few days early to help get things ready for the team’s arrival including the teams’ accommodations and the supplies needed at the work-sites. He will also be with the team throughout the duration of the trip to trouble shoot any issues and concerns.

The Missionary Team

This year’s team is comprised of twelve people from churches and organizations throughout Lancaster County.

  • Saint James
  • St. John’s, Lancaster
  • Zion Lutheran, Manheim
  • Lancaster County Council of Churches
  • Order of St. Francis
  • Society of St. Francis

Saint James Give 20

Monday, November 26
By the Monday after Thanksgiving, you’ll be sick of turkey leftovers and ready for someone else to cook dinner, right? So dine at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant throughout the day on November 26, and Iron Hill will donate 20% of your food bill (excluding alcoholic beverages, gratuity and taxes) to Saint James Episcopal Church. All proceeds will help fund the next mission trip to Puerto Rico in February 2019. Saint James Brown Ale is currently being brewed at Iron Hill and will be on tap!

You must have a coupon to participate in Give 20. Click here to download the coupon. Coupons will also be distributed at services this weekend and next.

Reservations are strongly encouraged, so make your plans now!

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

Funds collected will be used to pay for our transportation while in Puerto Rico, meals, some building materials, tools and other expenses during the course of the week.

Make a donation

Did you know?

In 2017, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection and was then hit with the largest natural disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Maria
(est. $100 billion in damages).
Islands of Puerto Rico

Archived mission trips

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