"Which one would you give back?"

That's the question I felt the Lord ask me as I pondered all that Mercy Chefs is engaged in right now.

As you know, our team is less than one week from being on the ground in Panama City and just two weeks until we serve our first meals there. But there's so much more under way right now -- a bigger picture of what the Lord is doing to place this ministry at the very epicenter of urgent needs.

++ Four new kitchens to meet extraordinary needs

As I write, Mercy Chefs is actually in various stages of rolling out FOUR kitchens -- each vitally important and each meeting a critical need that has the potential to transform thousands of lives. In addition to our "Beacon Of Hope" outpost in Panama City, we are moving ahead rapidly with rebuilding the Haiti kitchen that was destroyed by fire as well as two very important community- and ministry-based kitchens.

Each kitchen is a major outreach in and of itself -- representing unprecedented opportunities to meet extraordinary, real-life needs of hurting people. Our Haiti kitchen is at the epicenter of a thriving mission that is transforming lives and an entire community. It must be rebuilt, and quickly! I've been sharing with you about the urgent need on the Florida Panhandle, especially with the more than 5,000 children who are still homeless as a result of Hurricane Michael.

We are also launching two additional kitchens in the next 45 days. We have partnered with Lonesome Dove Ranch in Texas for the past four years and are now taking part in finishing their kitchen that will provide meals for summer camps designed to help foster children who have been permanently removed from their families and have faced immense trauma. As a result, the camps are expanding significantly this year and will run all summer long in 2020. And our community kitchen at our home base in Virginia is a fulfillment of a key component of Mercy Chefs' vision. It will help provide both a means and a blueprint for bringing relief to the crisis of childhood hunger that sends millions of kids to bed every night without enough to eat.

+ + Sleepless nights

In all, these four kitchens together have the capacity to serve 25,000-30,000 meals every week throughout the summer -- meaning these unique opportunities to help meet critical needs are equivalent to Mercy Chefs being fully deployed after a major disaster all summer long!

Quite frankly, I've had some sleepless nights as I've asked the Lord how all this is going to come together. But every time I pray, I hear the Lord saying the same thing...

"Which one would you give back? Which opportunity to reach hurting folks would you forfeit?"

Each time I "hear" that question inside my own head, my response is the same.

I simply cannot turn away from what has happened in Haiti. The mission there simply does not have the funding in reserve to get the kitchen rebuilt. We must make that happen so that thousands can continue to be served and an entire community can experience an amazing transformation. In Panama City, I've seen the desperate faces of the children. I've heard the stories of struggle. And I know we have an open door before us (the city is effectively giving us an entire Middle School!) to make a life-changing difference right now! The same urgency is there regarding our two other new kitchens.

I can't shrink back. I won't shrink back. The need is before us, and we have the ability to make an impact. Plus, no one else is going. The media has all-but forgotten about Hurricane Michael. But we haven't forgotten. And you haven't forgotten.

So how can you help?

+ + Summer of unprecedented service

Mercy Chefs has never faced a situation like this. Word is getting out and more and more communities are turning to us for help. As I noted, as we build out these four kitchens, we will have the amazing opportunity to help meet critical needs that are equivalent to Mercy Chefs being fully deployed after a major disaster all summer long!

Our only limitation is funding. For example, we need about $22,000 immediately just to do the work in the Panama City that is needed to retrofit the classrooms into bunkhouse rooms. At the same time, I must get our Haiti kitchen rebuilt while we complete our two other kitchens.

{{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}, will you partner with me to make this summer of unprecedented service happen? It's going to take an extraordinary commitment to make this happen, and I can't do it without your help. Go here to partner with Mercy Chefs to bring relief to countless thousands through these four new kitchens and other critical opportunities right now:

If every friend of Mercy Chefs could make a special gift of $100, we could get these kitchens finished and launch boldly into the most amazing summer of service in our history while we continue vital preparations for the storm season that is just beginning. Of course, some may not be able to give, but others can donate $200, $500, $1,000, or more.

Of course, every donation will help. 

Most importantly, please partner with me in your prayers. We have never been presented with so many open doors of ministry. Communities are pleading with us to help -- and even giving us a local public school as a base of operations!

Thank you so much for your partnership with Mercy Chefs, and I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless,

Gary LeBlanc, Founder
Mercy Chefs

P.S. Tomorrow, I'll be in Texas as we announce another major, new Mercy Chefs effort that will strengthen our base in the heart of the tornado region. Again, these four new kitchens give us the opportunity to help meet critical needs that are equivalent to Mercy Chefs being fully deployed after a major disaster all summer long. I don't want to shrink back. I CAN'T shrink back!  Go here to donate online and for the mailing address if you prefer to donate by check. Thanks in advance and God bless!