Bernadette Butler, who is from the Bahamas, shared a morning reflection at the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 21 October. She spoke as part of the ecumenical prayer cycle for the people of the Caribbean.
Butler, who works as the Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to the United Nations in Geneva, reflected on her experienced with Hurricane Dorian, which struck in August 2019 as the most intense tropical cyclone on record for the island nation.
“I can remember the great anxiety that my family experienced when we lost communication with several members of our family on Grand Bahama, during and immediately after the storm,” said Butler. “We feared that they had drowned, but thank God they were all eventually found alive.”
This was not the case for many other families, reflected Butler, and many Hurricane Dorian survivors are experiencing post-traumatic stress. “Experiences like this truly test our faith, and our resolve to trust God, especially when we do not understand what’s going on, and why terrible things have happened,” Butler said. “Some things are beyond our understanding.”
Nonetheless, the people of the Bahamas look forward in hope, Butler said. “We say thank you, and we look forward in hope that our country will rise above the adversity we’ve experienced, by the power of God.”
A group of people from the Caribbean joined those at the WCC in praying for people throughout the region.
They prayed: “As you looked at all that you created and declared it to be good, we ask that in the aftermath of this disaster, all who live in the Bahamian chain of islands, will see your goodness in each other.”
Deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri welcomed the delegation from the Caribbean and the Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to the United Nations in Geneva.