The catastrophic flood devastating Louisiana is now the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of homes damaged; some reports have it as high as 200,000 homes destroyed. In spite of the severe damage and loss of life – the tragedy has not received the attention nationally that it deserves. It did get Chef Gary LeBlanc’s attention, as he arrived on the scene with two mobile kitchens, chefs, and a host of volunteers – within hours of the disaster.
While most people run from disaster, Chef Gary runs straight into the heart of the disaster. “We got here just as quickly as we could get through the barricades and the roadblocks and the high water and started serving food immediately upon arrival,’ said Mercy Chefs founder Gary LeBlanc.”
LeBlanc founded Mercy Chefs back in 2006, just after Hurricane Katrina. He has been on the scene in communities all over the country ever since. I don’t even have the words to tell you just how special I think the man is. But as you know, being short on words is not my typical style. Rest assure, I’ll find the words in this special production with Chef Gary. Listen to the program, and then go to the website and get involved. He will tell you on the program how you can help them help all of us. You’ll be encouraged and inspired…
GARY LEBLANC, Founder and President – he founded Mercy Chefs in 2006 and says he could have never imagined all that God would do through us.
OUR MISSION: JUST GO FEED PEOPLE, Mercy Chefs is a faith-based, non-profit disaster relief organization. We exist to serve professionally prepared meals for victims, volunteers and first responders in national emergencies and natural disasters and are committed to using our resources to meet the needs of others.
I began to walk down the line of cars waiting for a meal to talk and pray with folks. I got to the fifth car and had to stop. My spirit was weak.
The first car I came to had a family inside, who waded out through the flood waters and borrowed a vehicle just to get to us for a meal. All they were able to salvage from their home was a pile of clothing, which was still wet in the back seat. They were on their way to the laundromat in hopes of changing for the first time in days.
In the next car was a lady in her fifties. I asked how she was doing. She burst into tears and said, “I cannot even speak.” She just cried and shook as I prayed for her. All she was able to tell me was, “I went through this in Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.”
As I continued down the line, each car had someone hurting so deeply that tears rolled down their face as I prayed with them. It didn’t take long before I broke down and could go no further. We gathered a handful of pastors from the church and had them go down the line, one by one, to pray with each person as they waited for their meal.
These are the people we are feeding here in Louisiana. Tired, broken and hurting men, women and children, whose lives have been turned upside down overnight. Everyone is still in survival mode right now. They are just doing their best to hold on and make it through, one day at a time.