With week one behind us, and having served 5,428 meals, Disaster Relief USA and the Mobile Feeding Kitchen are ready and in position to provide good hot meals to the flooding victims and scores of volunteers in South Carolina. The Kitchen is presently set up in Kingstree, SC and is working closely with the Wiliamsburg County Emergency Management Services.
I arrived in the area Wednsday, October 15, and will be onsite assessing flood damage and assisting at the Mobile Feeding Kitchen for a few days. Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to drive around the towns of Warsaw and Andrews, South Carolina and saw some of the flooded areas. The amount of water still existing after one week is staggering. Many roads are still under water making it a tremendous challenge for residents as well as volunteer services to get around. Even during my short drive, I had to find an alternate route multiple times. Along the way, I stopped and visited with a few families. Some of them mentioned that at one point, there was up to 8 feet of water on their property. In certain areas, families have to use a boat to get from their house to the road, where their car is parked.
In the midst of these challenges, God has been faithful during our deployment. Under the leadership of Warren Matthews, the kitchen takes great pride in serving hot, nutritious meals. It is definitely "southern down home cooked meals." During week one, meals were served twice a day and centered on chicken, hamburgers or ham. For week two, Matthews had a desire to mix it up and looked into obtaining pork chops, Salisbury steak and beef steaks.
God decided to get a little creative at this stage. As the Kitchen was preparing to close last night, I had the great fortune to be introduced to Tiffany Cooks, Director of Williamsburg County Emergency Management Services. Cooks then introduced me to Joe Bush, Executive Director of Disaster Relief for the National Baptist Convention in New York City. The National Baptist Convention did not have a relief trailer in the area but really wanted to help. Joe asked me what they could do to help. For those of you who know me, I am never at a loss for words and never afraid to ask . . . I explained to him that we really need some perishable items, especially various meat products, so that we can offer some variety to the menu for week two. Bush’s response was, "Get whatever you need and we will pay for it." God is so good! We were able to purchase enough supplies for multiple meals of 400 servings, including approximately $1000 worth of meat.
The ministry of disaster relief is so exciting! It is a blessing to hear the stories and testimonies, and watch how God provides is such situations. The International Pentecostal Holiness Church is blessed to have this wonderful ministry. Not only do we have prayer covering from across the church, in addition we have many contributors who support the ministry, and the volunteers who give of their time and energy are beyond amazing. Thank you so much to everyone!
Please continue to pray for the kitchen teams and volunteers. I will continue to provide you with regular updates. As always, with deployments such as this, there is always a need for financial assistance. An online link for contributions has been set up. To make a donation, please click on the following link, Disaster Relief USA. If you have any questions or desire to provide volunteers, please direct all inquiries to the DRUSA office at 405.792.7131 or via email to Sherrie Taylor.