LU Send Now Trip is in Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief

  • LU Send Now team joins with Samaritan’s Purse to bring relief effort to Puerto Rico following recent hurricanes.
  • The team hopes to show Puerto Ricans that they are loved and cared for by strangers.

Despite several delays, LU Send Now sent a team to Ponce, Puerto Rico, Nov. 9 to work with Samaritan’s Purse and help relieve some of the damage caused by the bout of hurricanes this fall.

A team trip was supposed to go to Puerto Rico a couple of weeks ago. According to LU Shepherd and trip leader Kyle Seeger, Samaritan’s Purse was not logistically prepared to receive an LU Send Now group until now.

Seeger said they did not really know in advance what they would do. He described some of the physical devastation he expected to find since less than 45 percent of Puerto Rico has power. Seeger said the group might do anything from passing out tarps and water to removing debris and clearing out rubble.



For senior John Holley, serving Puerto Rico is personal. A classmate from Puerto Rico gave his class regular updates about the situation in the U.S. territory, inspiring Holley to sign up for the trip.

Holley, who has been involved with LU Send Now since it began, has experience with disaster relief trips.

“There is always a lot to be done and moved,” Holley said.

According to senior Cameron Kennedy, that kind of manual labor fits with what he has done on mission trips in the past.

“I know the capacities (for relief effort) I had from these previous experiences and I wanted to be involved in something like that in other parts of the world,” Kennedy said.

This is Kennedy’s first LU Send Now trip. In addition to his other service, Kennedy is using his skills as a digital media major with a concentration in video by serving as the trip’s videographer.

Senior Paige Landers has also been involved in LU Send Now since its inception. LU Send Now staff asked her to go on this trip because she had been to Puerto Rico before.

“I had a heart for it when the hurricanes hit, so I wanted to serve in some capacity afterward,” Landers said.

Landers also said the delay made scheduling schoolwork more complicated, since she had to redo the arrangements she had already made with her professor.

“With LU Send Now, you have to be prepared for the unknown and be prepared to not know where you are going to go or what you are going to do because natural disasters are not planned, and we have to be prepared to help when they happen,” Landers said.

Holley said that, in his mind, the delay did not affect the relief effort too much.

“We’re talking about a project that is going to take years to rebuild and complete,” Holley said.

He said, in that sense, LU Send Now can provide just as much aid to Puerto Rico now as they could several weeks ago.

Kennedy said the timing does not change the message of the trip.

“For the people of Puerto Rico, it’s showing that they are loved; it’s showing that there are people who aren’t next door neighbors that care enough about them to bring aid,” Kennedy said.

Seeger put an even finer point on the message of the trip.

“Can we show this community of Puerto Ricans Christ’s hands and feet while we are there?” Seeger asked.

The group will return Friday, Nov. 17.

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