Puerto Ricans have been forced live in conditions similar to that of the 1920s and 1930s. They are traveling on bicycles or walking on foot. They are using candles at night, cooking in open air kitchens, taking cold showers, using transistor radios and depending on messengers that carry news on foot.
Hurricane Maria has decimated the entire country destroying infrastructure, communications, power grids, bridges, roads and all utility services. Clean drinking water is scarce, food is running out, the nation’s agriculture has been wiped out, the economy has been completely destroyed, crime and looting is on the rise and gas is almost totally depleted.
3 million citizens are trapped on the island with no way of escaping. The airport is at a standstill with its runway being dedicated for humanitarian planes bringing in life-saving supplies. Puerto Ricans are struggling everyday to survive without all of the usual comforts they have enjoyed for decades.
A 7 p.m. curfew that forces everyone to stay at home has also forced Puerto Ricans to change their regular, daily routines. Puerto Ricans, who until a week ago, have enjoyed a considerable high standard of living when compared to the rest of Latin America. Now they are so far behind living in worse condition than even third-world nations.
The island, with the exception of a few hospitals, remains in the dark without any electricity. Only a few lucky, wealthier residents have diesel-powered generators; but diesel fuel is scarce and disappearing. When night falls there is no television, no internet, no entertainment and all lighting comes from candles, which are currently a hot commodity to have.
Those lucky enough to have a transistor radio and batteries are the only ones who can keep up with any news from the outside world. However, that is whenever the one or two radio stations still in operation are not having communication problems.
The only hope that has kept Puerto Rico from descending into total anarchy and chaos is the fact that they know that help is on the way. The United States is shipping food and supplies and will eventually begin the painstaking task of rebuilding the entire nation.
In the meantime, the islanders have no choice but to wait and hope for better times as they adjust to living like their ancestors. The authorities have warned that it can take up to 6 months before things begin to return to normal.
Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico are going to have to learn in adversity what they failed to learn in times of prosperity; and that is that their true help, comfort, salvation and strength to move on comes from the Lord.
“Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.” Psalm 22:11
“But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.” Psalm 22:19.
“For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” Psalm 22:24
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Psalm 22:27.
We live in an age where aid is most urgently needed today. The times are upon us where literally there is no helper in this world who can save. Every sufferer can confidently call upon God for help, for He is ever near to all who sincerely turn to Him in times of need.