Local church is helping bring electricity to houses in Puerto Rico

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- A local church is leading the campaign to bring electricity to Puerto Rican houses affected by Hurricane Maria. Around 70 United Methodist churches in our region are pitching in to help.

Drops of coffee -- that's how it all started.

"I wanted good coffee, so I started with a dutch coffee brewer, and then I was brewing more than I can consume by myself, so I started sharing it with our members, and our members liked it, so we started putting a little purpose to our coffee," said Seungsoo RJ Jun, Pastor of Raleigh Court United Methodist Church.

Each bottle sold was added to the church's mission fund, leading nine members from the Raleigh Court United Methodist Church to go to Puerto Rico last June and help out after Hurricane Maria hit. There, they noticed a dire need.

"We were staying at a church, and our translator shared how not only houses were torn down, that they did not have electricity," RJ said.

So this church decided to partner with other Methodist churches in our area and one in Puerto Rico. They are raising money to bring 50 solar panel kits to 50 houses on an island off of Puerto Rico.

RJ added, "When I'm there and I see the need, I couldn't just shake that thought off and say, it doesn't matter, I can't do anything."

Another Pastor from a United Methodist Church in the New River Valley has been reaching out to businesses to get them involved as well "to draw as many folks into the idea and buy into it as they can. We can do it efficiently, we can do it economically, and we can actually make a very viable difference in their lives by doing this and taking this project on," said Morris Fleischer, Pastor of Newport-Mt. Olivet Unied Methodist Church.

The churches hope to raise $50,000 over the 50-day Easter to Pentecost season.

RJ said, "I believe that when the community comes together, we can exceed our goal, and there will be great things that happen beyond your imaginations."

If you would like to donate to the cause, you can go to this link: