I just saw MORE EVIDENCE that Hurricane Michael -- the second worst hurricane ever to hit the mainland U.S. -- has been all-but forgotten. A new poll conducted of Florida residents "would do nothing" to help their fellow Floridians with relief, and 75% say they will not donate funds to help.
+ + Sobering reality...
This despite the fact that the need here is immense. There is still a reported 72 MILLION TONS of debris, creating a massive health, fire and safety hazard. And the kids are suffering the most.Read more
I want to share one of many "God moments" with you that happened recently in Panama City, a city still recovering from Hurricane Michael.
Our first night at Mercy Chefs' Beacon of Hope center in Panama City, a little boy of 8 or 9 years old, Jakar, came for a meal by himself. We told him that he needed a parent to come fill out his paperwork. He looked at me with a blank stare and said, "I can't bring anyone." Something about this young boy shook me to my core. He didn't have anyone. He was hungry. He had been left on his own, for whatever reason, and needed my help. We served him a hot, chef crafted, nutritious meal.Read more
As you know, Mercy Chefs has been on-site at the Lonesome Dove Ranch providing hot meals to abused and neglected foster children along with the staff and volunteers here. Each week-long camp concludes with a very emotional gathering in which the children are provided a small white stone and given the opportunity to symbolically write on it something they want to leave in God's hands.Read more
We're in our second week of feeding underprivileged at-risk foster kids at Lonesome Dove Ranch in Texas. Mercy Chefs has been part of this annual outreach for four years, and this year we helped complete the permanent kitchen that will enable this ministry to reach even more hurting kids.
+ + "These kids wrecked me"
But the kids aren't the only ones touched by our efforts to feed body and soul. This is also a life-changing experience for the workers on site. Here's what one of our volunteers shared about her experience:Read more
As I've been sharing with you, this Spring and Summer Mercy Chefs is helping launch four standalone kitchen projects that together will provide thousands of meals this summer and beyond. While these projects have been under way, we also were recently deployed in Ohio in response to the "swarm" of tornadoes that struck the Dayton area. It's been a busy several weeks!
I'm thrilled to report that our work in Texas with the Lonesome Dove Ranch is already making a difference this summer. Lonesome Dove is the home to an amazing ministry that is providing summer camps to disadvantaged foster children in Texas, many who have faced unspeakable difficulties in their young lives.
+ + Amazing encounters for hurting kids...Read more
All this week, our Mercy Chefs team has had the privilege of helping to meet the needs of those helping in the aftermath of the tornadoes that hit the Dayton region. As we noted, some of the neighborhoods were unrecognizable as the destruction from tornadoes as strong as EF-4 ripped through communities.
This is precisely why Mercy Chefs exists -- to help meet a critical need during times of disaster and provide hot meals that feed "body and soul."Read more
Our team in the Dayton, Ohio area is hard at work again today providing hot meals to the volunteer teams that have come here to help residents with the cleanup. As we go out into the communities, we come face-to-face with the need. Yesterday, one of our volunteer chefs saw a woman sitting on what remained of her front porch. She was weeping -- clearly still disoriented by what had happened to her home and her neighborhood which was probably now almost unrecognizable to her.
"Could we get you something hot to eat?" our chef asked.
She nodded. Perhaps that's all she could muster.Read more
Today, Mercy Chefs is continuing to provide hot meals for the many volunteers who have come to the Dayton area to help with the recovery after a "swarm" of tornadoes hit this region. Lunch today was just amazing as we have been delivering meals
out into the neighborhoods where volunteers are busy helping those who are still trying to get their bearings straight in the aftermath of the storm.
I wish you could have seen what I saw today in the grateful faces of those we are helping -- especially when we bring a chef-prepared, hot meal to them and not just emergency "rations"! For example, here is what was on the Mercy Chefs menu today:
Root beer injected pork with a pineapple herb glaze, sweet potato and white potato mash, fresh green beans with onions and bacon, fresh roll, and watermelon.Read more
Our hearts are heavy as we grieve for the families impacted by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach, just a few miles from our Mercy Chefs home office. Mercy Chefs will do whatever we can to be part of the healing in our local community as we continue to answer the calls for help from across the country.
Today here in Beavercreek,
our team recently finished serving our first meal -- lunch to volunteers who are helping with the extensive cleanup effort. No matter how many times I see the devastation left behind by these massive storms, it is always sobering. Houses leveled. Trees uprooted and mangled. Buildings destroyed. Whole neighborhoods devastated.
As I write, Ann and I and our Mercy Chefs team recently arrived in Dayton, Ohio -- one of the epicenters of the "swarm" of hundreds of tornadoes that have ravaged Ohio and the Midwest in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, a massive EF-4 tornado with wind speeds of up to 170mph ripped through Dayton and nearby Beavercreek, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. In Beavercreek alone, an estimated 1,000 homes and buildings have sustained damage, with hundreds having enough damage to possibly be uninhabitable or even a total loss.Read more