The situation here in the Bahamas is very fluid as literally an entire country is in crisis. Everyone we've met has either a relative or friend who was caught in the crossfire of this massive hurricane -- the second largest ever to make landfall in the Atlantic.
All reports indicate that conditions on Abaco Island are even worse than what has been reported on the American news. There is much chaos as thousands are without a place to live, food, or water. As I write, the government is working to restore order on the island so that full relief efforts can get to the people there. Please pray that the unrest will end so that those in desperate need can get relief.
We have been meeting with government officials as well as local church leaders to plan what will be a major, multi-faceted deployment by Mercy Chefs. Tomorrow, at the invitation of members of Parliament, we will be flying to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island -- which received the same devastating blow from Hurricane Dorian -- to deploy two water purification units.
This will help meet the need on Grand Bahama Island, but with as many as 62,000 people without reliable drinking water, we must do more.
To be specific, I need to secure THREE MORE WATER PURIFICATION UNITS as quickly as possible, and then get those units deployed on the two hardest hit islands. This is an absolutely critical need that DOUBLES our initial deployment to meet the most urgent need of clean water. That also means it DOUBLES our immediate financial need.
Once again, I'm turning to our faithful core friends and supporters of Mercy Chefs to help make this happen.
Will you help me DOUBLE our deployment of water purification units to meet the critical need for fresh water in the hardest hit areas here in the Bahamas? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help us bring relief to hurricane victims and continue other vital efforts:
+ + The need is overwhelming
Everywhere we turn, the need is overwhelming. We are now hearing reports that as many as 20,000 people may be relocated to shelters in Nassau. As a result, local officials are already turning to Mercy Chefs to help provide meals to the thousands of hurricane victims who have lost everything and are being placed in these shelters.
The GOOD NEWS is that we have identified a kitchen here that, with some modifications, can provide a base of operations to serve thousands of meals to these displaced hurricane victims as well as those on Abaco Island. In fact, this afternoon we made arrangements to get a full chef team here and we could be serving meals as soon as this weekend! Officials also have a feeding location for us on Grand Bahama Island that I hope to see tomorrow.
But my most urgent need right now is to DOUBLE our water purification response. As I've noted, each of these units costs $13,000 and each can provide 300 gallons of drinking water per hour. That's an additional capacity of over 21,000 gallons in 24 hours.
I know many friends of this ministry have already donated generously. But the need here is great -- almost hard to comprehend. We've been on the ground for about 24 hours and I already have made commitments to more than double our initial response.
If you can help again this weekend, it would be a great blessing and would help us bring the most critical relief to the most desperate hurricane victims here. If you haven't yet donated to support our Bahama relief efforts, PLEASE DO SO TODAY! Your generosity will be put to work almost immediately at the greatest point of need. Go here to help hurricane victims this weekend.
Finally, please PRAY for the people here. Pray that the unrest will stop so that those in need of help can be reached with aid. And pray for our team as we move as quickly as we can to bring relief in the best possible way to the people here.
Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness!
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. We already have much favor with officials here. Tomorrow, we head to hard-hit Grand Bahama Island on special invitation of members of Parliament. Our initial deployment of water purification units will immediately be put in service, but I must DOUBLE our commitment and secure at least three more units as quickly as possible. That doubles our initial financial need. Please help. Thanks in advance, and go here to make your tax-deductible gift: