Pensacola area leaders have determined that it is time to transition to more long-term recovery efforts. As a result, we have wound down our work here after serving more than 33,000 meals for Hurricane Sally victims in Pensacola and surrounding communities.
These are such challenging times. On one hand, power has been restored to the Pensacola area. Yet as we depart, we still see trees on houses. Many are facing a long road of recovery. I think of a woman I met who lives with her elderly mother. Their home had a few inches of standing water in it during the height of the storm, which soaked the carpets and the walls. Mold will be an ongoing issue, assuming the home can be saved. Plus, her car was flooded up to the door handles. It is ruined, making transportation difficult.
+ + I've been marked by the people here
This deployment has impacted me deeply. During our time in Pensacola, I've been marked by seeing thousands of people walking to our location and waiting in long lines for a hot meal. We saw many moms with young kids waiting patiently. They were always so grateful for the meals. Many wept.
Most of the people we served were facing difficult struggles long before the coronavirus crisis began. Then the hurricane hit and it was as if any last gasps of hope were taken away.
Then you made it possible for Mercy Chefs to be here... to be a light in this community... to just feed people and see what happens when care and concern are extended in the form of a hot, chef-prepared meal.
I believe the seeds of something profound have been planted here. During our time in Pensacola, we have partnered with Brownsville Church, which was the epicenter of a mighty revival that started 25 years ago. That revival touched the nations of the world. Church leaders we worked with have a deep passion to see God move in amazing ways right in their community. Perhaps the thousands of meals you helped provide will serve as a catalyst for the healing and restoration of this entire region.
To those who partnered with us during this deployment, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your faithfulness is such a blessing.
May God bless you richly for blessing others!
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. As always, we could use your help. Between our disaster relief efforts and our coronavirus response, Mercy Chefs has served more than 3.5 MILLION meals this summer alone! If you haven't donated recently, would you consider helping to sponsor, 10, 25, 50, or even 100 meals today? Go here and thanks in advance: