September 20, 2017

Dear Friends,

Eastern Territory CommandersThese have been difficult days for those impacted by the reality of the natural disasters that have struck in many areas of our country - and beyond. Nearest to our hearts and minds are the officers, soldiers and friends residing and serving in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix, who have been devastated by both Irma and Maria. We write to thank you for your prayers and practical support specifically for these areas. Due to power outages and communication difficulties, we still await some specifics, but have heard from Lt. Tirado (St. Croix) and Captains Bryan (St. Thomas) with assurances that they are safe. There has been damage to some Army properties and quarters, but thusfar we have not heard of any personal injury of SA personnel, for which we are eternally grateful to God!

Thank you to those of you who have already served or will soon be serving on post-disaster teams following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Maria. You are the hands and feet of God in disastrous situations. We presently have 86 individuals (officers, employees and volunteers) who are faithfully serving in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in this capacity.

You may ask, 'What can I do?' Pray. Pray for those who have lost so much. Pray for those who are hurt and those who serve them. Pray for these and other islands that have had their economies shattered. Pray for the Army's EDS ministry as we endeavor to get more supplies into place. We also ask for prayers for those in Mexico who are struggling with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.

The Salvation Army Hurricane Relief Efforts

Continue to pray for Majors Rodriguez as they lead the officers and soldiers of the division. We acknowledge the service and ministry Mike Orfitelli is offering as he leads the Emergency Disaster Services Department.

In addition, you may want to post some of the links being sent to your command heads, encouraging the public to join with us in helping people to put their lives back together.

In times like these, we are often drawn to pause and re-examine what is truly important. As we stop to perhaps hug our loved ones a bit closer, we also want to take this opportunity to remind you that you are loved and appreciated. Your faithfulness and dedication to God's calling on your life is a blessing to so many - and is a blessing to us personally.

Take care of yourself. Stay close to the Lord.

May God bless you.

In His Service,
Bill and Lorraine

William A. Bamford
Commissioner