FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — A local church is asking for help as it tries to raise money to go on a mission trip to Puerto Rico.
It's been 19 months since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico leaving behind disaster in its wake. Rebuilding is still ongoing but those with family and friends on the island say progress is slow with money taking a long time to reach the island.
Members of Cavanaugh Free Will Baptist Church in Fort Smith like Matt Ortega are on a mission to change that.
A pastor and his family of a church in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico were uprooted from their home and have been living in the church ever since.
"One of the things we want to do is go down and be able to provide electrical work, plumbing work, we're going to build a new sanctuary stage for them, as well as, an office and also we're going to help some of his church members rebuild some of their homes," Ortega said.
Cavanaugh Church is asking for help with donations. Envelopes with dollar amounts and prayers can be picked up inside the entrance.
39 members of the church are planning to go on the trip and they will need to buy supplies on the island.
"I don't think we can do as far as the infrastructure like roads and things like that, but at least one little thing will be his church has a roof, has electricity, people can come over and those little things like that is our main objective, little steps," Diana Ortega of Fort Smith said.
Ortega says the spirit of the Puerto Rican people remains strong.
"Being able to go down and continue to elevate them and lift them up and get into the communities to service that allows us to not have to go around the bureaucratic aspects of getting help where it's needed," Ortega said.
Click here if you would like to donate.