I'm thrilled to report that we are now moving ahead with what I believe is a God-inspired plan to help both Abaco and Grand Bahama islands on their long road to recovery...

We're going to help get the churches established first!

What has struck me during my time on both these islands has been the dogged determination of the pastors and church leaders we have met. Many of these dear folks have lost everything -- loved ones, houses, and all or most of their earthly belongings. Yet despite their loss, they feel such a strong calling to their communities that they are digging in, refusing to leave, and determined to rebuild their communities.

+ + Prime Minister calls plan "brilliant"

A few days ago, Mercy Chefs was part of an exclusive group of partners that met with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. During that meeting, we all proposed that the rebuilding plan should start by reestablishing the churches and pastors' homes so there would be a base to rebuild from. Prime Minister Minnis told us he had heard of many plans on how to rebuild, but this was the first time anyone suggested beginning with the pastors and churches. He told us it was a "brilliant" solution to start with the House of God and the messengers of the Gospel!

So we begin.

Yesterday, we dispatched the utility truck we acquired to Abaco as a first step in rebuilding. There are literally no vehicles available on Abaco -- almost all were destroyed. This truck will immediately begin transporting supplies and work teams who have as their first priority getting the churches and the pastors' homes rebuilt. But this is just the very beginning...

+ + The key next step on Abaco

Now, the hard work begins. As a first priority, Mercy Chefs must immediately establish a base of operations on Abaco. This base will have a kitchen that can serve as a hub of all the reconstruction activities and provide hot meals to the teams that come. We also must quickly construct a bunkhouse to house the rebuilding crews. 

We estimate the cost of establishing the base of operations with the kitchen and the bunkhouse to be $50,000. We simply don't have these funds in our budget, but this is a relatively small amount considering that with these funds we can help re-establish THE CHURCH on Abaco as the very epicenter of the rebuilding process!

{{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}, I believe the Lord has given us a unique and perhaps historic opportunity to help rebuild communities that were totally devastated by a natural disaster through the local church! But to do so, I'm going to need the help of every Mercy Chefs partner to make this happen.

This is our FIRST PRIORITY -- establishing a ministry base of operations from which we can feed people on Abaco and house reconstruction teams. Will you partner with Mercy Chefs as we launch one of the most strategically important outreaches in our history? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help Mercy Chefs reach those hardest hit by this devastating hurricane while we continue other efforts:

The task of rebuilding these churches as a base or rebuilding these communities is enormous. But I believe we have a unique opportunity to see what happens when the church is at the center of a post-disaster rebuild. These communities are devastated. Most have lost everything. But these pastors and church leaders are as determined as any group I have seen to rebuild their churches and rebuild their communities!

Please pray. Pray for these pastors and church leaders. And pray for our Mercy Chefs teams as we partner with the churches at the very epicenter of the rebuilding process that is just now beginning on these hardest hit islands.

Thank you so much for your partnership, and God bless you.

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

P.S. The Prime Minister strongly supported our plan to rebuild the churches first. I believe this is a God-inspired idea, and a unique opportunity for these churches to lead the way in healing their communities. Now I need friends like you to come alongside and help make it happen. We need an influx of support right away so we can get this base of operations launched on Abaco. Please help! Go here to make your tax-deductible gift, and thanks in advance!