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Mt. Bethel Christian Academy

Serving In Puerto Rico
April 1, 2018
Community: Loiza
Staff: Alissa Danielson, Jose David Figueroa Rivera

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!

by Alissa Danielson | April 1, 2018 9:18 PM

Welcome to Puerto Rico! Or, welcome back to over half of us! A couple of us have been coming to serve in Puerto Rico for 3-4 years, while others are visiting for the first or second time. We cannot wait for what God has planned for us as we partner with Iglesia Bautista de Mediania Alta in Loiza this week. 

Our plane landed right on time this afternoon. We met our PPM leaders at the airport, and loaded our luggage onto the bus. We drove 30 minutes to Loiza. We unpacked and settled into our home for the week - the old church building across the street from where we are serving this week. 

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!

Puerto Ricans are very welcoming!

by Alissa Danielson | April 1, 2018 9:24 PM

Before our delicious dinner of porkchops, rice and beans, and pasta salad, we met Pastor Sustache. Look at this lovely banner he had made for us! We were introduced to Pastor, the community of Loiza, the women who will be cooking for us, a few translators, and some youth from the church. We were reunited with our friend Mauca as well!! (Mauca served with us as PPM staff on previous trips, and she attends the church we are serving at.) 

Puerto Ricans are very welcoming!

Rooftop Devo Views

by Alissa Danielson | April 2, 2018 7:37 AM

We are excited to start our week of ministry today! It is important to first center ourselves in God's word, so we devoted some time this morning to read His Word and pray. Check out our view of El Yunque (the national rainforest)!

Please pray for us today as we: serve the church by painting the old building and a view houses, and your Loiza this afternoon to see some of the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

Rooftop Devo Views

Monday Morning Ministry

by Alissa Danielson | April 2, 2018 1:12 PM

This morning we split into 3 groups to tackle three projects: scraping and painting the iron fences of the old church building, and painting two houses nearby. Painting is an important project for a few reasons. First of all, paint protects homes from the elements of weather here in the Caribbean. Also, Iglesia Bautista de Mediania Alta had been serving the community tirelessly since last hurricane season. We get to bless them as they bless others by painting, which has been low priority compared to other more immediate needs. 

Enjoy this picture of Ethan and Gordon suited up for scraping paint!

Monday Morning Ministry

Meeting the Mayor

by Alissa Danielson | April 2, 2018 4:57 PM

Today we had the great honor of meeting the mayor of Loiza. Dr. Julia Nazario shared with us a lot about her community of 29,000 people. Loiza is a very festive place, with heavy cultural influence from African and Spanish decendence.

This municipality was heavily impacted by both Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The 7 months after the storms has made the mayor extremely sad and frustrated. There are anywhere from 800-1000 people still living without roofs, and over 300 homes were completely destroyed by the storms. This is very alarming as the next storm season begins in only 2 months. 

Please pray for the mayor and those who work at city hall, that they would make wise decisions to support their citizens at this time. And pray for the people of Loiza, many who still live in conditions that are unimaginable. 

Meeting the Mayor

Youth Bible Study

by Alissa Danielson | April 2, 2018 10:19 PM

Monday night we participated in a Bible study based on Genesis 5 about genealogies and generational sins. 

Youth Bible Study

Centro Providencia

by Alissa Danielson | April 3, 2018 10:29 AM

This morning we were able to spend time with the elderly at Centro Providencia. Our friend Mauca works here, which is how we were connected.

Last night, Julia led us in a devotion about getting out of our comfort zones. We definitely overcame our comfort zones of speaking in Spanish as we spent most of the morning chatting with the elderly despite the language barrier while we played bingo and dominoes. 

Centro Providencia

Continuing our Projects

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 8:45 PM

Tuesday afternoon we returned to our painting projects. We appreciated the moments where we got to know the people of the homes we were painting.

Continuing our Projects

Frappe Team Meeting

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 8:50 PM

We were craving something sweet to conclude our Tuesday, so we took our nightly debrief meeting to the frappe food truck! Some of us enjoyed fruity flavors, while others enjoyed sweet flavors like Oreo.
Frappe Team Meeting

Beach Clean Up

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 8:54 PM

We cleaned up the beautiful beaches kf Loiza this morning. A lot of trash has been dumped along the shore in the wake of the hurricanes. We made our clean up a little more fun by making it into a competition. We competed for: heaviest object, largest object, most interesting item, most dangerous item, and most amount of garbage bags filled. Some of our treasures included: fridge doors, a large tractor tire (and many car tires),  and a kitchen sink! 

Beach Clean Up

Cuevas de Maria la Cruz

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:13 PM

Upon invitation from the mayor of Loiza herself, we visited a historic site of caverns. They rolled out all the stops for us and treated us as royalty for the whole afternoon. Puerto Ricans are seriously some of the most hospitable people we have ever met. 
Cuevas de Maria la Cruz


by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:17 PM

At the caves, a guy named Marcos taught us the different styles of bomba you find throughout the island. Then, he taught us how to dance to it! 


by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:18 PM

At the caves, Dr. Juan shared a presentation about bees and showed us the ones who live at the caves. 



by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:21 PM

At the caves, Tayna tied traditional turbans around our heads. 


Cave Tour

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:26 PM

And then we got to tour the caves at Maria la Cruz! 
Cave Tour

Church Service

by Alissa Danielson | April 4, 2018 9:38 PM

Tonight we worshipped with our beautiful brothers and sisters at Iglesia Bautista Mediania Alta. Kara, Jordan, and Madison sang Oceans in front of the church. Alex shared about how God has worked in his life. And the service concluded with church members praying over us individual. 
Church Service

Completed our Projects

by Alissa Danielson | April 5, 2018 9:13 PM

We finished our painting projects!! We worked very hard, and are thankful to have been the hands and feet of Jesus this week. 

Maria's Story

by Alissa Danielson | April 5, 2018 9:19 PM

Maria Garcia is a church member who has been serving with us for the whole week. Today, we were able to listen as she shared about God's faithfulness in her life, and how she has trusted God to forgive those who have hurt her in the past. 

We love you Maria! 

Maria's Story

Prayer and Share Walk

by Alissa Danielson | April 5, 2018 9:24 PM

What an amazing way to wrap up our projects by walking and praying and sharing about Jesus in the community of the two houses we painted. 
Prayer and Share Walk

Old San Juan

by Alissa Danielson | April 6, 2018 12:24 PM

Today is rec day! We spent the morning exploring Old San Juan, a historic district of Puerto Rico. We toured the Spanish forts, and then shopped the abundant souviner shops. 
Old San Juan

Reunited with Coral

by Alissa Danielson | April 6, 2018 12:28 PM

On our way from Old San Juan to the beach we stopped at Iglesia Metodista Emanuel and Centro Met. How fun to be reunited with our friend Coral! 

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Theodosia Surillo-Montgomery

August 25, 2020 1:50 PM

Enjoyed looking and reading the activities the group participated in. I live in the states and have family in Puerto Rico and would like to know how I and a few members possibly can participate at the site only. We will fly to Puerto Rico and meet up with you there. We would be staying with family members in a near town and go to the mission site daily from where we are with family if it is possible. If not is it possible for you to connect us with a church that is in need and we could serve them on a regular basis.

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