Extending westward from under the turbulent clouds of Hurricane Matthew is Cuba, a short distance from the southern tip of Florida, visible at the top of this image.
As Cubans dig out after Hurricane Matthew’s destructive fury, TWR will be on the airwaves with the emotional and spiritual support sorely needed by disaster survivors.
The most powerful storm to strike Caribbean countries in a decade or more barreled across the eastern portion of Cuba on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, before heading north to sweep along the U.S. East Coast. Although no lives were reported lost in Cuba as a result of the hurricane, damage was severe in areas such as the historic city of Baracoa, much of which was reduced to rubble.
“While much of the news reporting about Hurricane Matthew’s destruction is focused on Haiti, where the death toll and damage have been significant, Cuba has also been hit very hard,” said Steve Shantz, TWR’s ministry vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We received word from TWR’s ‘man in Cuba,’ Alberto Gonzalez, who says, ‘The eastern part of the island is devastated. It has been awful.’”
As the Cuban government, Church groups and other relief agencies rush to help with immediate physical needs, TWR is mobilizing its broadcasting assets support people suffering the emotional and spiritual strains inevitable in these crises. Previously, the international relief organization Doctors Without Borders has emphasized the need for “psychosocial care” among survivors of major natural disasters.
That’s what TWR’s series of trauma-counseling programs provides. Developed by TWR’s Member Care Media in partnership with Christian psychologist Brent Lindquist, the series of sixty-second spots and 15-minute programs address issues such as “Dealing With Loss of Life,” “Making Children Feel Safe After a Disaster” and “Where Is God in the Midst of Disaster?”
The segments have been translated into Spanish and will be broadcast from TWR’s 100,000-watt AM transmitter facility on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, roughly 750 miles away. Fortunately, the eastern end of the large island of Cuba is well-served by the AM signal from Bonaire. The TWR facility is in the process of a major power upgrade that will provide strong, clear gospel programming to all of Cuba.
To play an important role in this effort, visit the Latin America Disaster Relief page.