Eleven members from various Seventh-Day Adventist churches across the island, but mainly the City North District in St Michael, recently returned home from a three-day mission of assistance to Dominica after the passing of Tropical Storm Erika on August 27.
“Only love could make 11 Bajans spend 22 hours going and 24 hours coming back on a fishing boat,” said team leader Elder Wayne Morgan, who was representing the City North District of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Barbados on behalf of District Pastor Dale Haynes who organized the trip but was unable to go.
The team’s main mission was in the north coast town of Coulibistrie, where members cleaned homes, and assisted in burning debris and digging away two to three feet of mud to ensure villagers had a clear pathway. Not only did they assist
in the recovery, but they were able to preach sermons and to assure Dominicans that despite this perilous time God was still in control.
First Elder of The Amazing Grace Church, Wayne Morgan, told Barbados TODAY that Coulibistrie Street comprised about 400 homes, being one of the areas in Dominica heavily devastated. There, 63 vehicles were also lost, with the resultant main issue being that home and vehicle owners would not benefit any insurance cover because Tropical Storm Erika was considered an act of God.
“People lost businesses; bakeries; there were individuals who had dressmaking shops; they would have lost all of that,” Morgan said.
The Seventh-Day Adventist team took with them relief supplies, foodstuff and cleaning materials.
Elder Trevor Blenman described the trip as revealing and enlightening.
“I would have left Barbados with the understanding that Dominica was devastated; but it wasn’t Dominica; it was just specific villages where the water would have flowed down between the mountains and the valleys.
“The flowing of the water . . . mud and boulders would have caused the most damaged.” Blenman added that even though the Dominicans were badly affected, most didn’t have that defeatist attitude, and that there were signs of the country on its way back to recovery.