Grenville, Grenada…[Libna Stevens/IAD]

Thanks to the fierce winds of Hurricane Ivan, the Adventist Church in Grenada reports structural damage to half of its churches on the island, as well as two members dead, its schools destroyed and looting of the local church headquarters. According to government officials, 90 percent of all homes and businesses suffered damage and were left without power by Ivan. Additional damage reports are still coming in.

Officials from the Caribbean Union visited Grenada on Saturday, September 11, to meet with church leaders and members on the island and to survey the damage.

Church members were saddened by the loss of a mother and daughter who were crushed to death by a wall which collapsed on them. Funeral services were being held that Saturday.

According to Jansen Trotman, president of the church in the Caribbean, who visited the island, no more deaths among the church members were reported, but due to the poor communication in and out of the island, more reports of affected members are expected to rise.

“Most of the churches received substantial damages to roofs because of the high winds,” says Trotman. “The churches that received minor damages are being used as shelters.”

“Our members at the present time are at a loss,” explains Trotman. Because Grenada is an independent country, it does not have assistance. They are at the mercy of other countries. The conferences in our territory have banded together in gathering funds and building materials to make available for them.”

“It’s a devastating experience for our members but God has a way of helping us bounce back,” says the church leader.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency of the Caribbean territory has already shipped food and water to the island. It is scheduled to deliver another shipment on Thursday, says Theodore Jaira, ADRA-Caribbean director.

“ADRA Grenada is spearheading efforts to take supplies, food items and water to the most remote communities [in Grenada],” he says. He adds that they are also working with ADRA United Kingdom, ADRA International and other organizations to deliver a shipment of supplies this week. In addition, the church members in England have sent a 40-foot container of relief supplies to the victims in Grenada.

The Grenada Conference, headquartered in Grenville received roof and structural damage and its adjacent health food store was looted. Only food items were stolen and no office equipment was taken.

The two Adventist schools on the island received extensive damages to its structure and will not begin to function until early next year, says Pastor Trotman.

“We are asking our church members in the surrounding islands to help the secondary students to stay in their homes and continue their studies until classes resume next year,” he adds.

Other Caribbean islands such as Tobago and St. Vincent, which were also hit by Hurricane Ivan, will receive a visit from church officials later this week to assess the damages.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grenada has more than 10,000 members, owns 37 churches and operates two schools.

Image by Image by ANN. Pan-American Disaster Response Unit, Canadian Red Cross
Image by Image by ANN World Fact Book

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