The photos and video footage has been terrifying from the Bahamas the last couple of days where seven people have died and Hurricane Dorian has inflicted unprecedented devastation. It’s been a nightmare for End Time Ministries International Senior Pastor Godfrey Stubbs here in Madison who grew up in the Bahamas and still has family and friends there who have been devastated by the hurricane and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding and restoring their residences after the damage.
“People were running for shelter and there was no shelter to be found. People were trying to hold onto trees or any object that was not moving,” says Bishop Stubbs, who was born and raised in Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas. “For me to see this, I just couldn’t handle it. I was just so broken and shaken and I said to myself, “I know I have to help my people.’”
Hundreds have been displaced as Hurricane Dorian – a powerful category 5 storm – tore through Abaco Islands, a group of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, east of southern Florida. Many of Stubbs’ immediate family members and friends have been devastated.
“I am a native of the Bahamas and I just can’t stay here in my ivory tower and not respond to the social ills of my people in my country. My wife said to me, ‘We have to do something,'” Stubbs tells Madison365.
Bishops Stubbs’ wife is Wisconsin State Assemblywoman Shelia Stubbs. Both of them are reaching out to the community to help them send emergency efforts and donations amounts through the Gofundme page they have set up for victims of the devastation in the Bahamas.
“I truly thank my wife who has helped me so much through all of this,” Godfrey Stubbs says. “With her strength and support, I believe that we will overcome even this.”
Still, he has had some sleepless nights tossing and turning the last few nights. Stubbs has a huge family that is situated on a few of the islands of the Bahamas. “We have 700 islands, and 31 of the islands are inhabited with people. Our family is on various northern islands which got hit by this hurricane. That’s including Abaco, which got wiped off the map. Abaco has been devastated – I mean, literally, flat like a pancake.”
The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water. The shelters in Abaco and Grand Bahama have been compromised due to the magnitude of the storm, Stubbs says, “Over 13,000 homes and most churches in the affected areas are destroyed,” he says.
“Family members have told me that U.S. helicopters cannot even really land at the airport there,” he continues. “The airport is underground. There are no roads.
“My brother, whom I had not heard from in two days, just called me, so I am very happy. That made me feel really good to know he is OK and trying to find the remainder of our family members,” Stubbs adds.
Many prayers have been answered and Stubbs has received several phone calls from family members announcing that they are safe. However, Stubbs still has a one-year-old niece, living in the Grand Bahamas, that has still not been found.
“That’s my sister’s daughter. She has not been located. My sister, a certified nurse, called me yesterday and was attending to patients,” he says. “She said she hasn’t heard from her daughter and her boyfriend’s sister, who was tending to her daughter.
“My sister also mentioned that the hospital is serving as a form of a shelter,” he adds.
Much of the damage is coming from the epic flooding taking place. “Even as floodwaters recede and people return back to their homes, we know they will be facing the daunting task of rebuilding and restoring their residences,” Stubbs says.
“My wife set up the Gofundme. We’ve had some great responses so far but we’d like to see so much more to help these people,” he continues. “We have a partnership with Reverend Dr. Philip McPhee, president of New Way Baptist Association in the Bahamas, and are working with him.
“We are close with the [Bahamas] Prime Minister [Hubert Minnis] and the government in the Bahamas,” he adds. “I’ve talked with him and I told him that we’d like to assist the people of the Bahamas. He has really brought me up to speed on what has taken place and what is going on.”
The people are in dire need of food, supplies and medication. Some folks have already begun to donate to Stubbs’ fundraiser. Stubbs says he is grateful.
“I just cannot stay here and not do anything. I am a native of the Bahamas and to see the devastation of the country, I have to do something,” Stubbs says. “To see my brothers and sisters and my fellow countrymen in need of assistance, I need to do something. I’m challenging those around me to assist me in this endeavor.
“I’m asking the public, various agencies and the churches … whoever is reading this … if you can assist me in this endeavor, please do,” he adds.