NJ pastor helps find congregation’s loved ones in Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:
CARTERET -

A New Jersey pastor who went to Puerto Rico in search of his relatives after Hurricane Maria ended up also seeking out loved of his congregants who had been desperate to find out if they were safe.

Pastor Orlando Sanchez, of the Pentecostal Church of God in Carteret, says that people started to ask him if he could help find their family members who were scattered around the island in the wake of the storm. 

Sanchez says that he went around the island and took videos of the loved ones so that he could bring them back to the families in New Jersey. Among them was Mirtha Carde, who saw a video of her mother-in-law who she had not heard from since the hurricane.

“I started crying, my husband started crying,” she says.

Sanchez says that he was able to find several of his congregation’s relatives.

“We found about 10 people that the family didn’t know anything about [since the storm],” he says.

Most of the congregants at the Pentecostal Church of God are Puerto Rican. There has been an ongoing collection drive for hurricane relief. They've collected pallets of water and secured shipping to get it to the island.

About 90 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3 million residents are still without power. FEMA says that crews are working to rewire the system.

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