Baptist World Aid has sent an initial grant of $5,000 to help with hurricane relief in Jamaica, hard hit by Hurricane Ivan.

About 10 Baptist churches suffered extensive damage and hundreds of Baptists had lost or damaged property, the Baptist World Alliance said Friday.

The Jamaica Baptist Union responded quickly, providing shelter and food for victims. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Karl Johnson, general secretary of the Jamaican convention said. “It seems clear that we are going to need resources to assist several of our members and communities to get back some semblance of normality, and we would welcome whatever assistance could be provided.”

Some of the greatest immediate are for drinking water, tarpaulins, mattresses and such things to make life more livable until people can go back to their homes, he said.

The Baptist World Alliance sent a letter supporting Jamaican Baptists.

“The loss of life, the tragic destruction of homes and institutions make life even more difficult for the poor and needy,” wrote BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz. “On behalf of the BWA please accept this letter as a sign of our sympathy and condolences for all of those who lost life. Please know that Baptists around the world shall continue to help and aid as they can. We are united with you in prayer as you minister in Jesus’ name to those in need.”

Jamaica was not the only island in the Caribbean to feel the brunt of hurricane fury. Grenada received widespread damage from Hurricane Frances, as did parts of the Bahamas, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.

Peter Pinder, general secretary of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, who still does not have electricity at his home or his church, is trying to get in touch with leaders in those islands to update their situations.

Click here for information on how to give to Hurricane Relief through Baptist World Aid.

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