The venerable earl Hepburn
Leading our Clergy, Church Members, and People through the ravages of Hurricane Dorian is not a job which, I believe, anyone would want to willingly embrace. Nevertheless, this was the position I found myself in, during my first year as the Archdeacon of the Northern Bahamas in our Diocese.
While the task of restoration is still great, assisting our people on the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, during this difficult time, has been rewarding and challenging for me personally. I have grown spiritually. I have learned how to empathize more with others. I have learned many valuable lessons in leadership. Most importantly, I have also learned how to be a better servant to God’s people. Therefore, my experiences of hurricane Dorian came with its challenges and rewards.
As a Church in this part of God’s vineyard, I believe this catastrophic event affords us another opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by responding to peoples needs. This is what our Lord did (John 6:1-13) and he calls us to do the same. And it is against this calling that we have and will continue to respond to assist persons in their time of need. Therefore, I wish to solicit your support in our efforts to rebuild people’s lives, homes, and our communities.
This can be done through our “Adoption Initiative” efforts, and our Diocesan (Bishop Laish Z. Boyd) has already laid out this plan in his message. I encourage you to review the same and, wherever possible, donate or contribute to a particular phase of our program. While we have already done much, there is still lots more to do and we cannot do it without your help.
On a final note, I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to a number of persons and organizations who have offered us, including me personally, tremendous help throughout this process. These are as follows:
Food for the Poor
Christ Episcopal Church, Coconut Grove, Florida
Third Wave Volunteers
Captain Nick and Friends
My Wife and Daughter
My Church of the Ascension Family
The Clergy of our Archdeaconry
And a host of other individuals and organization too numerous to mention.
May our Good and gracious God continue to bless you, as we work together, ‘Bringing Hope, Restoring Lives, and Building Relationships’ with those who were affected.