It is with great sadness that I share this news with you...

As we were in our final days on the Florida Panhandle, I received word that Mercy Chefs' kitchen in Haiti had suffered a devastating fire. It is a total loss

Thankfully, there was no loss of life. But the kitchen -- which has served 850,000 meals to mission workers and staff and is responsible for another 1.6 million for the Haitian community -- will need to be rebuilt basically from the ground up. All the kitchen equipment was destroyed, along with the wiring, plumbing, and gas lines. 

+ + The lifeblood of a missions community...gone

I was gripped with sadness because so many depend on this kitchen, which has proven to be one of the most successful long-term outreach efforts in Mercy Chefs' history. And now it is gone. The kitchen is the hub around which a thriving mission base has been reaching out into the Haitian community for years. For starters, five people are employed in the kitchen, which not only provides meals to foreign mission teams coming to Haiti but also to two orphanages, a 650-student school, and a hospital. 

Nearly a decade ago, I worked closely with our partners on the ground to design and build this Mercy Chefs-funded kitchen. Mercy Chefs team members have returned to Haiti dozens of times (I've made nearly a dozen trips myself) to assist and see the amazing ministry taking place from this kitchen (here's my wife, Ann, and daughter, Megan, with the kitchen team during a recent trip).

This kitchen is the lifeblood of an entire community and a critical component of a mission that is reaching out in amazing ways to the Haitian people. This is one of the brightest success stories in mission and relief in the entire nation of Haiti!

As soon as I heard the news of the fire, I knew we simply had to offer to help rebuild the kitchen as quickly as possible.

As I write, I am in close contact with our partners on the ground on the next steps. In the next few days, I'll be flying to Haiti to further assess the situation and consult on the redesign and construction of the new kitchen. Please understand that building a first-class commercial kitchen in Haiti is a challenge in and of itself! There are no "big box" home improvement stores nearby -- even well-paved roads are scarce! And with summer mission teams soon to arrive, the kitchen really needs to be rebuilt BY JUNE 1ST IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. That means we must get started right away.

{{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}, I'm committing Mercy Chefs to this project. My initial projection is that it will cost at least $40,000 to rebuild the kitchen. We simply do not have those funds in our budget! I'm turning to our faithful friends who have made every single Mercy Chefs outreach possible...

Would you prayerfully consider making a gift today to help Mercy Chefs rebuild our Haiti kitchen? Please go here to make your tax-deducible gift and help us rebuild this kitchen while we continue other vital efforts:

I cannot emphasize enough what an amazing success story this kitchen has been. As you know, Haiti is a very difficult country. There is chaos and confusion everywhere. And far too many relief efforts have resulted in little or no fruit.

This kitchen and mission are different. When I connected with our partners on the ground nearly a decade ago, I was determined to do something that lasts -- to invest in Haiti in a way that would bear fruit for years to come. This outreach has succeeded even beyond my dreams. 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 rebuild the kitchen will literally bear fruit for YEARS TO COME!

Will you help? I'm committing Mercy Chefs to this project. But we simply don't have the $40,000 in our budget. And we need to get this built by June 1! Go here to make your gift.

Finally, thanks for your prayers as we work together to help rebuild this amazing kitchen and outreach in Haiti!

Gary LeBlanc, Founder
Mercy Chefs

P.S. Here are some more pictures of the devastation. The fire was a total loss for the kitchen. I'm committing Mercy Chefs to help rebuild -- and we must get started right away. Please help! Go here to make your tax-deductible gift:

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