Group to serve at BVI

Published 8:21 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A group of six from Farmville New Life Church will travel to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in early February to serve those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The BVI are a series of islands located in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico.

Akeem Howell, who serves as a worship pastor at New Life and had been raised at the BVI, said the trip will last for 10 days, and that the group would work with his home church in Tortola, the main island and then work with a church at a sister island, Virgin Gorda, helping with community projects, repairs and cleaning of homes in the area and meal distributions.

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Howell said he had been raised in Tortola, and moved to Farmville a few years ago.

Howell said the hurricanes, which took place in September, have affected members of his family and neighbors.

“I have family that’s still there, so not too long after the storm happened I knew I had to go back home at some point, just because of the devastation that I saw there,” Howell said. He noted the hurricanes had prevented him and his family from communicating.

He said he thought of ways to help.

“I am affiliated with a local church there that I grew up in, and so I think it was about the end of October that I got in contact with my pastor there, and asked what can we do?”

Howell said he felt like the mission trip was further confirmed after a friend and New Life member had told him he felt the church should go to help those affected.

“With him approaching me with that, I felt like, ‘OK, let’s do it. Let’s go,’” Howell said.

He said he has been able to see his family since the hurricanes, hosting them over the Christmas holiday.

“That was awesome to have them here with me in Farmville,” Howell said.

He said recovery has been slow, taking a few months for electricity to be restored in some areas.

For those in the Heart of Virginia who want to help, Howell said people can bring donations to New Life directly.

A GoFundMe for the trip has been made by Howell and can be accessed at www.