Puerto Rico Recovery Mission Trip

August 12 – 18, 2018

Click here to view photos of the trip.

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

Thank you for
your donation!

The funds we have 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

Click the titles below to read more.