Following the September 1-2, 2019 Category 5 hurricane that devasted Abaco and Grand Bahama, CBF Disaster Response, CBF Florida and affected CBF Bahamas churches have coordinated recovery efforts on both islands.
Despite limited lodging and food arrangements for volunteer teams, in November and December 2019, CBF Disaster Response sent two small early response teams to assist with initial rebuilding efforts and coordinate arrangements for hosting future teams.
In February 2020, the CBF Bahamas North Abaco recovery team hosted a large group of volunteers from Forest Hills Baptist (Raleigh, NC) and Calvary Baptist (Lexington, Kentucky), resulting in the repair of a home and New Hope Baptist Church. By March, three homes and two churches had been assisted on North Abaco through CBF support and local efforts.
Coinciding with the suspension of CBF Disaster Response volunteer recruitment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bahamian government mandated a lockdown on both islands, bringing hurricane recovery to a halt. With considerable risk of contracting coronavirus through air travel, CBF Disaster Response will continue to suspend volunteer recruitment for the Bahamas until such risk has diminished.
For CBF, response to the devastation on North Abaco and Grand Bahama is both a privilege and a challenge. With direct affiliation with CBF Florida, the eight affected CBF Bahamas church communities are part of our family. Among other factors, the challenge of this response effort is compounded by the extent of destruction, limited travel options and the shortage of building materials on both islands.
All volunteer teams planning to engage in the CBF Bahamas communities on North Abaco and Grand Bahama must
To allow for adequate time to order and ship necessary building materials, teams must register at least five weeks before they intend to travel to The Bahamas to engage in recovery assistance.
After the team has selected a date of service and paid the group registration fee, the team leader will receive in email with information and links for:
- Individual member application, child protection training, and background check ($22 fee per person).
- Purchase of disaster response materials and shipping ($3500 minimum per team).
Can't serve in the Bahamas right now?
With a gift of $3500, you can sponsor a shipment of construction materials for a volunteer mission team.
Send your check to CBF, with 17004-Relief Materials in the memo line to
Po Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368
What you need to know about CBF Disaster Response efforts on North Abaco (as of December 2019)
CBF Disaster Response and CBF Florida are currently assisting four CBF Bahamas church communities on North Abaco impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Although electricity and water utilities have been restored over much of the island, post-disaster conditions are still challenging and will require volunteer teams comprised of healthy, mature and adequately skilled individuals. Lodging is available in a guesthouse located at Fox Town.
Download additional information, including recommendations for planning possible volunteer team engagement.
What you need to know about CBF Disaster Response efforts on Grand Bahama (as of December 2019)
Of four CBF Bahamas church communities located on Grand Bahama, two (McLean’s Town and Pelican Point) will require more time before recovery efforts can begin. Although rebuilding is expected to begin soon in the Freetown Community, initial efforts will be focused on Freeport and Sweetings Cay where travel to the location requires, minimally, a 50-minute drive and 10-minute boat trip. To conserve time and travel budgets, it is recommended that volunteer teams stay at the Sweetings Cay church facilities during their week of service with food (please budget $10 per meal) provided by community members. With no electricity or other public utilities expected to be available for months, the church is using solar panels to provide power. Given these challenging conditions, members of recovery teams who will serve on Sweetings Cay should be healthy, mature and skilled. In Freeport, volunteers will assist with the recovery of the Mission of Hope Ministries community.
Download more information.