PM: Dorian is a “near unbearable wound deep in the heart and soul of our country”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In a somber service at Bahamas Faith Ministers tonight to recognize and mourn those who lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Dorian community leaders, politicians, and members of the clergy sought to imbue a sense of hope for the future.
Thousands have been displaced; hundreds remain missing; and the widespread destruction of communities in Grand Bahama and Abaco remains fresh following the catastrophic and historic natural disaster on September 1-3.
Senior Pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries Dave Burrows said even in the midst of catastrophe there is a glimmer of hope. While thanking the responders and rescuers who saved lives during the powerful storm, Burrows assured that God will guide The Bahamas through this challenged time in its history.
“Storms will come and go,” he said. “Storms are a part of nature and we have seen them before — none like this but it is very likely we will see storms again but Jesus in the Bible himself warned us when he shared the parable of the home built on the rock and the home built on the sand. He said winds would come and waters would rise, but he admonished us to be rock people and not sand people. So, let us be rock people both physically and spiritually.
Burrows said this is a moment in history of The Bahamas where each resident must ask “what am I doing” to become a part of the “solution, healing and upliftment” of others.
Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis said the country has suffered a great loss and the continued assistance from The Bahamas’ neighbors and friends is imperative.
He said the scenes over the last two weeks have been horrific and cannot be unseen, and while the road ahead is hard “together, we will rebuild our Bahamas”.
To the families who have lost loved ones, Davis said the people of The Bahamas are with them.
“The devastation of the storm was a shock and heart-wrenching, but the Bahamian response is synonymous with who we are and that is heartwarming,” said Davis to applause.
He continued, “The road ahead will be very hard, but together we will rebuild our Bahamas. The hardships that we have seen over the last two weeks have been horrific and cannot be unseen. We have seen lives and property lay waste. Those who have lost loves ones, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. While prayer is essential, I send this call to action. We are God’s hands and feet. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and so many lives have been turned upside down. Some of us may be feeling very alone and unloved. To you, I say hang in there. Together we will pick up the pieces and start again. This is a trying time and hard to see through the darkness, debris and devastation.” Davis added that together the nation can move “forward, upward, onward together”.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who noted that the service was to unite in grief, love and service, said, “We gather to together to mourn our dead; to pray for the families who lost loved ones; to ask for grace and healing for the injured and for those suffering trauma of body, mind and spirit and we gather to lend out comfort and our love to those on Abaco and Grand Bahama recovering from the decimation and the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian.
Minnis quoted Isaiah 41:10, which speaks of not being fearful, but trusting in God and allowing God to strengthen, help and uphold his people.
He continued, “We plead and cry out to the Lord and light form the depths of our sorrow. Oh Lord, hear our voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of our pleading.”
“The horror and tragedy of one of the most powerful and destructive storms ever recorded in our region is a near unbearable wound deep in the heart and soul of our country, but these words cannot begin to describe the suffering, the pain and the grief of Abaconians and Grand Bahamians and indeed Bahamians throughout our commonwealth and those abroad. This is likely to be the greatest single loss of life in ever in our history. The fresh well of terrors will never go dry nor empty for a very long time or even a lifetime for some. As others have said before, grief is the price of love.”
He said both physically and spiritual resources will be needed to rebuild lives and communities.
The prime minister thanked the first responders who he said with courage and compassion, demonstrated countless acts of love and devotion.
“Let us pray for the spirit of unity and solidarity,” Minnis said. “Let us pray for wisdom and guidance. Let us also pray for peace during these difficult days.
He added, ““We are on the road to recovery and reconstruction and rebuild with God’s help together as one Bahamas, move confidently forward, upward, onward, into the future. May the God of a new beginning grant us light and hope. May God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas…”
Praying for the victims of the deadly storm, Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder asked for the families which grieve to be comforted as they struggle to deal with the loss of loved ones.
“Loved ones who have died on account of hurricane Dorian; some died by drowning; some were crushed by falling debris; some were carried away by the force of wind and water. however, they may have died we commend them to you and ask you to receive them into your arms and mercy. Grant them a place of happiness, light and peace in your presence. Give comfort and consolation to all families left in grief, including the family that is our nation.”
Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd prayed for comfort and peace for those emotionally distressed and in need of healing after enduring the storm, losing loved ones, friends and/or possessions.
“We ask you heavenly Father to increase the spirit of goodwill and benevolence which also creates the healing environment which brings healing those who are pained and above all heavenly Father, bless our nation from north to south; from east to west; from high to low; bless our nation — that our nation itself may become a symbol of wellbeing and healing for all who need that calming touch tonight. This is our prayer because we know that you love us.”