Deacon Ramon’s Experience in Puerto Rico
The news was extravagant about hurricane Maria and the devastation of Puerto Rico, however my feelings changed when I saw the devastation, and much more when I felt it in my own flesh. Then, I was able to understand my calling to leave it all behind to serve those in need, and allow God to work through me, to be His feet, hands, mouth, ears, eyes and to share His compassion with those that needed it the most.
I was able to visit only a few remote neighborhoods in 5 towns out of a total of 74 that the island has. If you want to see the real suffering of the island, you must go into remote areas, where a vehicle hardly can make it, where there is no drinking water, where electricity is a luxury, and where ways of communication do not exist. Cellular phones function only in some places and when you least expect it your call is disconnected. People do not play with their cellular, or internet, nor is there any chatting and you hardly have access to Facebook, people play table games and improvise. There is not the luxury of taking a car to go shopping, instead they walk or wait for someone with compassion to bring them something to eat or drink.
In 40 days I was able to see thousands of houses without roofs and people living in them. Houses totally destroyed, including 3 houses taken by the ocean, mud slides, houses that had sunk, houses that had been filled by mud up to 8 and 10 feet high, people without food or drink, and their only possession was the clothing that they were wearing. Many times I had to stop myself from crying in order to give hope to people who had lost everything. I found people of all ages and religions, and I prayed with them. I saw God’s compassion in people who gave me strength with their words. The youngest case I found was an 11 day old baby with his mother covering him from the water leaking from the roof. The oldest case was a 104 year old woman, strong and walking on the mountain while thanking God for giving her another chance in life.
I could write a book, but space is limited in this bulletin, therefore I limit myself to say that we can all make a difference and thanks for your prayers, your financial support and for putting your trust in me to bring hope and prayers. With your money, we were able to distribute hundreds of towels, pillows, bed clothing, special food for the sick, sanitary tissue, paper towels, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, cases of water and more.