AWF Clergy Visit Bahamas to Offer Support
Several Gulf Coast pastors from the Alabama-West Florida Conference visited the Bahamas this week to show solidarity after experiencing a category five storm. Rev. Chris Ackerman, Dr. Nathan Attwood and Dr. Geoffrey Lentz visited the devastated area under the leadership of Amie Readdy. Readdy, who is the founder of Capacity Path and was a response leader in the days after Hurricane Michael, coordinated the trip. The team also visited with Stephanie Gottschalk, the Director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat.
While on the island the clergy exchanged best practices of disaster response, prayed for one another and engaged with leaders who continue to face the daily challenges of life after a catastrophic storm.
The Hurricane Michael leadership team has begun to identify pastors as secondary responders. Rev. Chris Ackerman, director, stated, “After Hurricane Michael, there were moments where as pastors we felt very alone and almost even forgotten.” He continued, “We remembered what it was like to simply have someone sit with us, not expecting anything from us, so that we knew that we were not alone. We wanted to share that with the pastors of the Bahamas. It is impossible to explain just how chaotic and demanding ministry is after a disaster. When you are with other pastors who have been in a disaster you don’t have to try and explain the unexplainable, you can simply look at each other and know. We came to tell them that we see them, they are not forgotten, and they are not alone.”
Because the response to Dorian, like Michael, will last years, the hope is to send pastors on multiple upcoming trips.