As I'm sure you recall, this spring Mercy Chefs' kitchen in Haiti was destroyed by a fire. The kitchen was a total loss.
It tore at my heart to hear that the children from the orphanage actually ran in the direction of the fire to offer their help because this was their kitchen! (Of course, they were protected from the fire.)
The fire was a serious blow because for nearly a decade this kitchen has played a vital role in so many ways. In 2010 after a massive earthquake killed hundreds of thousands in Haiti, Mercy Chefs took teams to the nation and began serving meals. The devastation was so overwhelming and the need so great, we simply couldn't leave. So we built a permanent kitchen and put down deep roots.
That kitchen quickly became one of the key epicenters of recovery for an entire community. A Christian mission. An orphanage. A hospital. A school. And even for the surrounding tent cities where thousands upon thousands struggled to just survive. Today, that kitchen is more important than ever, so when it was totally destroyed by fire, I knew we had to rebuild.
+ + Update on the kitchen rebuild...
Thanks to the generous support of friends like you, all summer construction teams have been working to basically build the kitchen from scratch. We are building a BETTER kitchen of block and concrete that will also have its own solar power system because power brownouts and blackouts are always a threat to disrupt the work.
In Haiti, everything takes longer than anticipated, but I'm excited to announce that we are within just a few short weeks of finishing Phase One of the kitchen rebuild. The structural work is complete and the team is focusing on the interior work needed so the building is ready for the kitchen equipment.
Which leaves me with a real challenge -- purchasing and installing high-quality kitchen equipment and re-engaging our Mercy Chefs staff so this kitchen can relaunch and have an even greater impact in this nation. This Spring, friends like you helped us raise the funds to complete Phase One. Now, I'm turning to you again to help me equip this kitchen the right way and FINISH this project!
+ + Critical need to FINISH THE KITCHEN
Specifically, the cost to purchase and install the new equipment and provide the training and support to re-launch the Haiti will be about $60,000. My challenge is that of course we had in our 2019 budget for "Haiti kitchen fire"! We are totally dependent on the faithful and generous partnership of friends like you to FINISH THIS KITCHEN!
So I'm turning once again to friends like you for help.
Trust me when I say that the mission in Haiti could never have taken on this project. There simply is no funding. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with 60% of the population living on less than $2.41 per day! The leaders here were so overwhelmed by the total destruction of the kitchen that they had to face the harsh reality that it would never be rebuilt.
But not rebuilding was never an option for me! Because I've looked into the faces of the orphans and families this kitchen has served. I've seen the transformative impact this one kitchen has had on an entire region. And I believe the impact of our kitchen will grow exponentially once we complete this facility. We'll be able to serve significantly more meals. And we're already working on vocational training that I believe will have a transformative impact on this community.
But I'm facing a tight timeline. The workers will be completely finished with Phase One in the next few weeks. Then, the building will sit empty until we can purchase and install the equipment. I want to move quickly to make this happen but we don't have the funds in our general budget for this project. Please let me know how you can help, and thank you in advance!
Gary LeBlanc, Founder
P.S. I can't overemphasize what an amazing success story this kitchen has been. Unlike much of what happens in Haiti, this kitchen has been bearing fruit for nearly a decade in changed lives and a positive impact on an entire community. More than a million meals served. Real jobs for the local community. And it doesn't require a constant influx of funds. That means your gift TODAY to help me FINISH THIS KITCHEN and create a center of ministry that will literally bear fruit for YEARS TO COME! Go here to help: