Sisters and Brothers of the Central Texas Conference, Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.
I know you have been joining me in prayer for the people of Florida in the wake of the devastation caused by Category 4 Hurricane Ian
. It’s landfall last week near Fort Myers, Florida, left a wide swath of destruction that will take months, if not years, to clean up and restore.
We mourn most especially for the more than 100 people who have died from injuries sustained during the storm. Unfortunately, that death toll
is expected to continue to rise.
Hurricane Ian destroyed critical infrastructure. As a result, some areas of Florida remain inaccessible by emergency personnel, hindering rescue and life-saving efforts. In some areas, bridges were washed away. In others, water still covers normally dry landscapes as though they are lakes. And, of course, many homes and businesses were destroyed or badly damaged by 150 mph winds and torrential rains.
I invite all United Methodists in Central Texas to continue to pray for healing and restoration for those impacted by this terrible storm. I also ask that you once again demonstrate the compassionate and giving spirit of CTC United Methodists by making a financial donation to the response and recovery effort and giving directly to the Florida Annual Conference
. This effort will cut through red tape and provide disaster response personnel the opportunity to provide aid as completely and as efficiently as possible.
As this disaster comes on the heels of the also deadly and destructive Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, you may also give to the UMCOR Disaster Response and Recovery fund (Advance #901670
). As always, 100 percent of all money given to UMCOR goes directly to support the affected areas with no administrative costs subtracted from your donation. At this time, there is no need for UMCOR cleaning kits
, primarily because the damage is so complete that few homes need cleaning but instead must be rebuilt. Should the Florida Conference request assistance from our Early Response Teams, CTC Coordinator of Disaster Response Susan Luttrell will contact those teams and provide updates as they are needed and available. Please watch the Conference website
and CTC Facebook page
for those updates.
Recovery in Florida will be a long and arduous process. I ask that you help in that effort by donating financially as you can and remaining in prayer for the people in need as they begin to rebuild their lives.
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.
Resident Bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church