City Church desires to partner with the Bahamas as they recover from the effects of Hurricane Dorian. When we establish disaster relief partnerships, our strategy is to begin by pursuing leads that emerge from preexisting relationships. In this case we are working closely with Gerard Duncan, the pastor of Prayers by Faith Ministries (a church family just a few blocks from City Church). Pastor Gerard is a good friend of City Church, and we recently prayed for him and his church during a Sunday morning service. He is from the Bahamas and many of his family members live there, so he has unique insight into the circumstances in the Bahamas. We are interacting with Pastor Gerard as he mobilizes relief efforts.
So far we anticipate two "stages" of City Church relief efforts for the Bahamas:
Stage 1 Response
Right now the best way to partner with the Bahamas is to collect specific materials and be generous financially. The key to collecting materials is to make sure we're collecting items we know are needed in the Bahamas (and will clear customs) rather than making assumptions. This requires intentional communication and vetting, and Pastor Gerard has been very helpful here.
The Bahamian government has specifically requested the following items:
This is a helpful list to have in mind if you are thinking about donating items to a relief organization. Government requested items are also "approved" - while other "unapproved" items might not even be allowed into the Bahamas by the government.
If you wish to send financial donations, here are some options we believe are particularly trustworthy and effective.
1. Pastor Gerard is raising funds to purchase and send materials to the Bahamas. For the sake of accountability, he is routing all funds through Creekside Community Church. If you wish to send money to help with Pastor Gerard's efforts, simply write a check to City Church and put "Bahamas" on the memo line or donate online via City Church's giving portal and select the "hurricane relief" campaign. All of this money will be collected and routed to Creekside in one bulk installment.
2. Other opportunities to send money (that seem trustworthy to us) include:
- Salvation Army - https://give.helpsalvationarmy.org/give/166081/#!/donation/checkout
- Bahamas Red Cross - https://bahamasredcross.org/
- World Central Kitchen - https://wck.org/
Stage 2 Response
In due course (think weeks, not days) there may be opportunities for people from City Church to go to the Bahamas for relief work. Much work is required to make sure we send the right people to the right places, and we will be looking to Pastor Gerard (and others) for guidance and vetting. Prayerfully consider whether or not you might be willing/able to go. We'll be in touch about these opportunities!