Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, stalled over the Bahamas Sunday Sept 1 and Monday Sept 2 killing people and causing massive destruction particularly on the Abaco Islands. A Nazarene assessment team reached Freeport and Grand Bahama as soon as possible, bringing aid packages with food and hygiene items. There are five Nazarene churches on Grand Bahama Island. Faith Church of the Nazarene in the West End, sustained serious damage and is “gutted.” Many homes were filled with four to five feet of water, so even buildings that managed to stand through the wind and rain now have serious flood damage.
The damage is very extensive....the worst that many of our disaster response workers had ever seen. Hardest hit are the poorer populations living on the low land closest to the sea. Brandon Sipes, the NCM International Disaster Response coordinator said this, “We spent most of the day on the island of Abaco. Marsh Harbour was very badly damaged One area called The Mudd was completely wiped out. Populated by undocumented Haitians, it represents much of what we see in the disaster field - those who are the most vulnerable bear most of the weight of these disasters.”
NCM International has partnered with Convey of Hope to bring in crisis care kits. Florida churches who were relatively unscathed by the storm are also supplying relief items. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is also providing generators, portable cooking equipment, water filters, tarps, chain saws and other tools, and is working with partner organizations to provide a 50 foot truckload of water. Teams from churches in the MesoAmerica region are also on the islands assisting with relief efforts.
Ongoing and immediate needs for those in the Bahamas are food, shelter, water, and psychological care and support. Thousands of people have been evacuated to Nassau, which sustained less damage. Transport on the islands is still extremely difficult.
Food, Blankets, water, shelter — You are making a difference!