Wednesday, April 17 we were at church and heard what sounded like thunder that just wouldn't stop. We stepped outside, and soon saw the sheriff tearing out of the parking lot in a hurry. Something was up. We quickly found out that a fertilizer plant in West, Texas had an explosion. West is nearly 50 miles away, and yet we heard the explosion.
While we didn't have all the details right away, we soon learned that 14 people (11 of which were firefighters) lost their lives; over 200 people were injured in this small town of 2800. A 5 block radius of homes and businesses (including a school, nursing home, and apartment complex) were leveled. Over 60 families were left without a home. What a tragedy!
One of the things I love about Texas, though, is that they take care of their own. Almost immediately there was an outpouring of volunteers from all over the state (and beyond) coming to assist in any they could, and donations also immediately flooded the city.
My husband has been involved with Mercy Chefs for around 3 years now-an organization that lives and breathes feeding in disaster relief settings. This would be my first opportunity to join both my husband and Mercy Chefs feeding both the victims and the disaster relief workers. Within 24 hours, the Mercy Chefs kitchen trailer was set up, and was ready to start feeding.
Here is just a sampling of some of the pictures I took in West...so many volunteers from multiple churches, food deliveries, the church Mercy Chefs set up at, and a few scenes from around town (I didn't take pictures of the disaster). As usual, the pictures are in reverse order-but you can still get an idea of what all went on. Mercy Chefs was in West for a week and a half, and served thousands of meals. My prayer is that this little city will rebound quickly so life can continue on and the healing can begin.