The images I am seeing from Abaco and Grand Bahama Island are ripping my heart apart. Seeing the utter devastation on those islands brings back every painful memory I’ve had over the past 13 years of responding to natural disasters. And this may be the worst of all. I am hearing reports from our contacts of great, tragic and unthinkable loss of life. Officials there are just at the beginning stages of assessing the real cost in loss of life and property/infrastructure damage.
+ + "Get here fast!"
When I asked our main contact on the ground in the Bahamas what we could do, he implored me to "GET HERE FAST." So, TOMORROW I am getting a plane -- with the water purification units -- and heading to the Bahamas. Our team will be on the ground by tomorrow afternoon, after which our contacts will get us to "ground zero" on Abaco island where we've been asked to focus our efforts.
There is a growing sense of urgency in the Bahamas. Reports indicate that water supplies are beginning to run out and as many as 62,000 people are already in critical need of food and water. People are just trying to hold on until help arrives.
YOU AND I CAN BE PART OF THAT "HELP" THAT ARRIVES IN THE BAHAMAS -- STARTING TOMORROW! But the level of our response will in large part depend on the faithful generosity and support of friends like you over the next 48 hours. That's why I'm asking for your help with a deep sense of urgency. Will you partner with me as our team heads to the Bahamas tomorrow to launch our efforts to bring relief to this devastated area while we continue other efforts? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift:
If you already donated, thank you and please consider giving again! The need is that urgent. If you haven't donated yet, PLEASE DO SO TODAY!
+ + “Total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic.”
One observer of the destruction on Abaco Island said, “It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic." That's what happens when the second strongest Atlantic hurricane in history hovers over an island for hours upon hours. Reports indicate nearly half of all homes and buildings are damaged or destroyed. Based on what we're seeing, I fear it is far worse. Even block structures have been blown away. As of yesterday, the airport was still under six feet of water. The Prime Minister said it is "the greatest national crisis in our country’s history." And now we are hearing reports of looting and violence that signal true desperation as people lose access to the basics of clean water, food and shelter.
That's why we are rushing to the Bahamas. Again, I'll be on the ground tomorrow with water purification units. Thousands of people are now in desperate need of drinking water. We can help be an answer to this most immediate crisis in the Bahamas. Please go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help with this crisis.
And please pray! These islands are decimated. Desperation is setting in. We must get relief in quickly. Pray for the people whose lives have been turned upside down by this storm. And pray that all the right doors will open to maximize the impact of Mercy Chefs' efforts.
Finally, our team continues to monitor closely Dorian's path as it heads up the East Coast. We are providing meals in Florida and have team members on the ground in the Carolinas where a major storm event and even a landfall are very much a possibility. Our kitchens, chefs, staff and volunteers will be ready to respond.
Thank you and God bless,
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Again, I will be on the ground in the Bahamas TOMORROW. Time is of the essence. We urgently need resources now as we bring water purification to "ground zero" of the hurricane's strike and prepare for an expanded outreach. We have been asked to provide meals as soon as possible. But we need a location. Then I'll need to rush kitchen equipment to the Bahamas. I'm getting everything lined up, but we will need friends like you to step in in a BIG WAY to make all this possible. Thanks in advance, and go here to make your tax-deductible gift:
P.P.S. If the Lord has blessed you and you can make gift of $500, $1,000, or more, we will put your gift to work providing relief to Dorian victims. Of course, every gift helps. If you prefer to donate by check, go here for mailing instructions.
Images source: Bahamas resident Vernal Cooper