Southern Virginia is one of the dioceses that has contributed to hurricane recovery and general outreach in the Bahamas. On September 30, Bishop Laish Z. Boyd, Sr. sent this message to the bishops and dioceses of The Episcopal Church:
Sincere and warm greetings from my Diocese. We are comprised of 46 parishes on 25 islands: 21 islands in The Bahamas and 4 islands in The Turks and Caicos Islands, with 96 individual congregations in all.
As you know two of our islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco, were devastated by Hurricane Dorian recently. These two islands are the second and third largest economies, respectively, in the country. This category 5 system was a monster storm. We have never experienced or imagined anything like it: catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure, two economies, landscape and crops. More than fifty persons are confirmed dead so far and the number is expected to rise significantly.
The most heart-breaking aspect of this is the humanitarian crisis: between the two islands, 70,000 persons disrupted, many dislocated, many homeless, some have lost loved ones, many people are still unaccounted for, not to mention thousands evacuated. The Bahamas nor the Diocese has the capacity to recover from alone.
Thank you for the compassionate reception which our dilemma received at the recent House of Bishops meeting. We appreciate your prayers and your generosity in supporting short term relief and long term rebuilding efforts. We are particularly grateful to Episcopal Relief and Development for agreeing to journey with us along this difficult road.
We need assistance of any and all kinds from you, and your Dioceses as we seek to continue to recover from the worst natural disaster in this country's history. We will have many long-term rebuilding and development needs. At this time money would be extremely helpful.
The Rt. Rev. Laish Z. Boyd
Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands