“The Lord has me here for such a time as this.” Those words echoed in my mind as the 155 mph winds of Hurricane Maria hammered the island of Puerto Rico. As is widely known, thousands of military families were displaced, 3.5 million people on the island were left without power and potable water, and the damages left behind a100-billion-dollar price tag. So, what is a chaplain supposed to do in such a time of tragedy like this? What does he do when he has to wave goodbye to his family, his support, as they evacuate to the states on a C-130? And what does he do when he himself emotionally scarred by the storm realizes the daunting task ahead? It’s simple, he takes refuge in the Lord.
Embracing God’s providence in placing me here for such a time as this has truly been my sustaining hope in propelling me during these days of suffering. My passionate desire through it all has been to be a reminder of God’s goodness to those around me as I walk and suffer with these people. God in his grace has allowed me not only to provide pastoral care to 100s of military members deployed here to rebuild, but he has also allowed me the opportunity to deliver thousands of pounds of food and water to local orphanages, churches, and communities – giving me inroads to people’s lives I would not otherwise had! I praise God for this.
While much has been accomplished the work is not done. Only sixty-five percent of the island has power, but we are recovering. Please continue keep us in your prayer – especially that the hope and grace of Light will shine ever brighter on this little island.
“‘When you pass through the waters…they will not overwhelm you.’ ‘I have called you by your name; you are Mine.’”
LT Francisco L. Muñiz Valle
Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen