Last year I went to order t-shirts for the volunteers who participate in the Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico initiative. The employee who attended me asked me about the work we were doing. When I told her about the project, she indicated that her brother, Luis, needed help. He had lost his roof due to Hurricane Maria and did not have help because his sons had left Puerto Rico.
When we went to evaluate the home, we were surprised. It looked like a place in ruins, it had been two and a half years since the hurricane hit. In February 2020 a group from The Southern Tier of New York installed a new roof. There was still a lot to do inside the house; but the most important thing was already done. The team keep contact with him and send gift cards to buy other supplies to fix the house inside.
I thought the story ended there, until I received the following letter from Luis's sister.
July 2, 2020
I hope you are very well. On this occasion I am writing to you from Luis my brother:
I am very grateful for the help that the brigade that came to my house to fix my roof collapsed by Maria has given me. It was not just the roof, which thanks to God protects me from the rain and helps my little things not be damaged, if not what that help means to me.
I was already completely unmotivated by my misfortune and saw no light at the end of the road. My children left for the US as soon as the hurricane passed, and I was left alone in the wake of so much destruction.
Now everything has been different. My family did not know the extent of my loss, and now they are all united to help me. I feel renewed and full of desire to form a new home from my little house.
My special thanks to you and Veronica, and the volunteers, who selflessly came all the way here to help.
I will tell you that with the gift card they sent me, I bought all the cables and hardware to tie my roof. I also bought paint and with the help of my sisters, bought panels and fixed the kitchen ceiling! It was spectacular.
I will invite all of you to my house when the repairs are more advanced. God bless you all for what you do.
PS: LOOK LIKE MY KITCHEN IS! MY SISTERS GIVEN IT TO ME LOOK AT THE CEILING!!!
The magnitude of the disaster at Luis's house had disabled him. The disaster seemed to be bigger than he could handle, and depression washed over him. It only took the courage of brothers and sisters who showed him God's love with their actions. That love gave him the strength to continue and his sisters came together to help him when they learned about the precarious situation in which he found himself. Luis now not only has a rebuilt roof, but his life and his relationship with his family have been strengthened.
There is still a lot of work to do. We invite you to be part of this effort. If you want to contribute to other lives being restored like Luis’, you can find more information at https://abhms.org/mission/themes/puerto-rico-relief/.