Puerto Rico, Dominica, USVI Need 1 Petition, 1 Prayer

Dear Friend,

In the past days, I've spoken to our partners in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The suffering on the islands is unfathomable. Thanks to the actions you are taking, along with our partners on the islands, we have a small window to win debt relief for devastated Caribbean islands and new financial protections for vulnerable communities from Illinois to Zambia.

We have momentum and we need you to take two critical actions as we move Congress, the White House and the International Monetary Fund.

1) Please print this petition‎ and ask your religious community members, friends and family to sign. This petition can be printed and signed at your religious services or gatherings over the next three weeks. We need you to get as many signatures over the next three weeks as you can and then send your petitions to us, so we can deliver them to the White House, Congress and the IMF.‎

2) Can your religious community sign-up and ‎offer one prayer or petition for people suffering from hurricanes? We will be letting policy makers know that our religious communities across the United States are praying and acting for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Dominica and struggling islands across the Caribbean. When you sign your religious community up to say one prayer, you can pray any weekend or participate in national Jubilee Weekend on October 20-22. When you sign-up we will send you sample prayers and worship resources you can use.

As President Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, our religious partners in Puerto Rico issued a powerful statement‎. A statement we can amplify, if we pray and act in the coming weeks.

San Juan's Catholic Archbishop, Roberto González Nieves, St. Thomas and US Virgin Islands' Catholic Bishop Herbert A. Bevard and Puerto Rico Evangelical Bible Society Head Reverend Heriberto Martínez wrote:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‎" -- Jeremiah 29:11

‎"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.‎" -- Matthew 6:12

In recent weeks, hurricanes and powerful storms ravaged our homes across the Caribbean to the shores of the United States. We pray, mourn and hope with all of the victims from Dominica to Florida. In particular, we remember the most vulnerable were not prepared to cope with the storms and have fewer resources to recover.

In Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands we are desperately trying to help our people survive amidst the most destructive natural disaster to visit our islands in a century. Bef‎ore the hurricanes struck our islands, we were wrestling with high child poverty rates and serious financial crises. On behalf of our people, we appeal to all decision makers:

  • In addition to hurricane relief, we need resources to permanently reduce the child poverty epidemic.
  • Aid must come in the form of grants, as opposed to loans that would further indebt our islands.
  • Relief monies must be sufficient to rebuild structures to withstand more powerful and more frequent storms.
  • US citizens living in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands must be able to have the same access to federal health care and child benefit monies that US citizens receive in US states. 
  • Our islands cannot pay debt until we've rebuilt and we see positive economic recovery.
  • We need a debt payment moratorium; debts must be cancelled and reduced to sustainable payable levels.
When economies are already dealing with austerity policies and financial crisis, they are ill prepared to deal with natural disasters like Hurricanes Irma and Maria. We ask that decision makers institute greater budget transparency and standards for responsible lending and borrowing to prevent financial crisis in US states, US territories and foreign countries.

As we struggle to recover from these terrible storms, we join religious partners from around our world in calling for an economy that defends and lifts the vulnerable. Our loving God intends for us all to have enough and to live in harmony with one another and our planet.

With our partners we need you to take two actions.

1) Print the petition and ask your friends, family and religious community to sign at meetings and religious services.

2) Sign-up your religious community to make one prayer at a religious service in the next three weeks for our Caribbean partners.

With your help, we can win a new future for the victims affected by the hurricanes.


Eric LeCompte
Executive Director