We have less than two weeks to fully fund the $150,000 Year-End Matching Challenge and we still need help! Please go here to have your gift doubled in impact, and see below for how a phone call changed my entire year. --Gary
Can I take you back to late February of this year, when it felt like my world shifted once again?
I’ll never forget the moment. The first shots of Russia’s war against Ukraine had just been fired. Like everyone else, I was trying to get my mind around what was happening. My heart ached for the people of Ukraine, but I felt powerless to do anything about the suffering.
+ + A phone call changed everything...
I was driving with my wife, Ann, when a friend who serves in international relief called...
“Can you come to Ukraine?”
“When?” I asked.
“Tomorrow,” my friend replied. “We need to find a way to help immediately.”
I looked at Ann. It seemed impossible, especially since, due to our other commitments, we only had a few days available in our schedule. What could a short trip accomplish?
We decided to follow what has always been the call of Mercy Chefs, which is to “Just Go Feed People.”
So we quickly made flight arrangements that would take us to Cluj, Romania, where we then embarked on an 8-hour ride across some very rugged terrain. After a few wrong turns, we finally made it to the border of Ukraine and Romania.
I assumed we would find a refugee camp to serve, set up a tent and then get started cooking meals. But the Lord had different -- and far bigger -- plans that would take Mercy Chefs to the very front lines of the war deep inside Ukraine.
You see, those who remained in the country had been cut off from supply lines and resources of any kind. Many were huddled in basements and subway stations, just hoping to survive another night of bombing. Others were refugees within their own country, having fled to Western Ukraine away from the fighting.
+ + A massive lifeline of hope...
With our partners at Bethel Global Response, Mercy Chefs began building a supply chain of food and resources from a warehouse on the Romanian border. We ordered and stored the food in our warehouse and then arranged trucks and vans to drive into Ukraine where church partners distributed the food.
To date, this life-saving resource network has provided over FOUR MILLION meals and supplies to those inside Ukraine! And we continue to deliver tens of thousands of pounds of food EACH WEEK!
We just completed our NINTH MONTH of continuous service to the people of Ukraine -- something I never could have imagined when I first boarded that plane back in February.
Which brings me to why I'm contacting you...
+ + Doors are opening worldwide
In recent years, Mercy Chefs has helped bring relief to more and more countries around the world. Our international work began over a decade ago after devastating earthquakes in Haiti killed over 100,000 people. We served hundreds of thousands of meals in Haiti and helped establish permanent kitchens which are still in operation today.
Since then, we’ve learned so much as we’ve reached out in Nepal, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and other countries -- building kitchens, serving meals, delivering water and meal packs to feed an entire family.
This fall, I was with our team in Honduras where Mercy Chefs provided hot meals, groceries and efficient stoves to those impacted by a recent tropical storm. We’ve been serving the people of Honduras ever since two massive hurricanes rocked that nation two years ago.
This past year has marked the largest expansion of our international efforts -- all while we continue to build our domestic disaster and crisis response.
Earlier this year, friends like you helped us establish our “Storehouse” logistics center in Alabama, which is within about a day's drive of where most hurricanes and tornadoes hit the continental U.S. Our new Storehouse has helped our team respond more quickly and more effectively than ever before to disasters here in the U.S.
For example, Mercy Chefs was on the ground serving meals just TWELVE HOURS after Hurricane Ian came ashore in Fort Meyers, Florida. Our Ian response was our largest hurricane deployment ever during which we served over 200,000 hot meals and a staggering 23,000 meals in one day.
+ + Critical crossroads…
With the continued expansion of both our domestic and international efforts, we have come to a critical crossroads. I we want to sustain and grow our global efforts, simply must build more support for these outreaches as soon as possible.
Well, that day has arrived!
That's why this month we announced the official launch of MERCY CHEFS GLOBAL to facilitate our expanding international efforts.
Mercy Chefs GLOBAL is ready to launch. We have the experience. We have the knowledge. And more and more requests for help keep coming in from countries still struggling in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Now, I need you to send us to the nations! Here’s what I’m specifically asking you to consider...
+ + Here’s how you can help...
But we must match this $150,000 Challenge -- dollar for dollar – by the end of the year.
Will you help?
This is a key crossroads for Mercy Chefs. God is opening doors I never imagined to reach the nations. This month alone, we've brought relief to hurting fo
Thanks in advance for your help, and may God bless you!
Gary LeBlanc, Founder and CEO
P.S. Just this past week, our team was in Puerto Rico and Honduras providing holiday meals to those who have been impacted by disaster and hardship. I recently returned from Ukraine, where Mercy Chefs has provided FOUR MILLION POUNDS of food. The Lord is opening doors. Please help us meet this special Year-End Matching Challenge has we launch Mercy Chefs GLOBAL and expand our domestic relief efforts. Go here:
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