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Chefs Minister to Storm-Ravaged Mississippi Town

09-08-2014
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Two weeks after an estimated 75 deadly tornadoes ravaged the South, hundreds of families in  are struggling to put their homes and their lives back together.

The town of Louisville, Mississippi, was one of the hardest hit.

Winds of up to 185 miles per hour swept through communities there, demolishing everything in their paths and killing 14 people, including 8-year-old Tyler Tucker. His parents' bodies were found in a wooded area half a mile from their home.

Entire communities are grieving.

"It's like a war zone…everything's gone," Louisville resident Alicia Cole said. "It makes you realize what's important."

But in their darkest hour, hope is shining through the love and compassion of Mercy Chefs and the local church, showing what faith in action looks like.

Since the tornadoes hit, Mercy Chefs have fed thousands of meals to residents of Louisville. They just recently brought in resources to staff another feeding site at East Louisville Baptist Church.

"This gives us a great opportunity to just join with these other servants who have come from so far away," East Louisville Baptist Church Pastor Mason Joy said.

"These people are just amazing," Mercy Chefs founder and President Gary Leblanc said. "They are concerned even in their great loss -- it's about their neighbors, and their neighbors' loss."

"They're not sitting around singing 'poor, poor me,'" he continued. "They really are trying to help and to be proactive and move forward."

Mercy Chefs plan to stay as long as there is a need to feed those devastated by the disaster.

"It's just amazing to see the strength of rural America," Leblanc said.

That's the unbreakable spirit of a community, committed to each other in the hardest of times.

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