GenSend Team

GenSend Teams Help Rebuild Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

By Send Relief Staff

When Pastor Roy, a church planter in Puerto Rico, requested that a GenSend team help an elderly couple rebuild their home, he had no idea what kind of supernatural healing was about to take place.

Tita and Denny lost their home during Hurricane Maria. Even though the hurricane hit five years ago, many families, like Tita and Denny’s, have not had the time or resources to start rebuilding.

Upon arriving at the site, the GenSend team discovered that they first needed to finish tearing down the scaffolding before starting on reconstruction. Surprised during their first week, many of the GenSend team seldom had any interactions with Tita and Denny, even though they stayed right across the road with family members.

GenSend Team

Finally, during week two, Tita shared her struggles with severe anxiety and depression and how she rarely can muster the energy to leave her room.

Toward the end of that week, Tita ventured onto her porch and waved or greeted team members on their breaks. Slowly, she developed a relationship with the GenSend team, bringing them snacks that soon grew into packed team lunches with Pastor Roy in tow.

“She wanted to serve us in any way she could to show her gratitude,” GenSend volunteer Christian Betancourt shared. “She showed her gratitude through tea and coffee, and you could see the love she had for us by the end of the trip.”

On the last day of the build, SBDR’s Director of Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico, Pastor Victor, asked Tita if she wanted to follow Jesus. Both Tita and Denny are now brothers and sisters in Christ!

The GenSend team didn’t stop building relationships there, though!

Every day on-site, they also spoke to Tita and Denny’s neighbor, Carlos. At first, Carlos felt suspicious of the large volunteer group. Once he heard how the GenSend team helps people as they recover from Hurricane Maria, he immediately became a friendly supporter.

“When we would go on prayer walks, we would visit his house and he would light up as soon as he saw us walking toward his porch. He walked us through his pineapple and mango tree garden and eventually, we brought him lunch every other day. We enjoyed one another’s company, and he loved when we would play worship music as we worked and prayed for him. I think it just goes to show how important it is to prioritize relationships and to get to know people above everything else,” Betancourt said.

After their departure, Pastor Roy contacted Carlos. He continues to reach out about what help he may need moving forward. If you would like to serve on a GenSend team to volunteer on disaster relief projects like this, click here for more information or to sign up today!

Published July 21, 2022

Send Relief Staff