Mobile Kitchen Constructed for Katrina Volunteer Camp
September 5 , 2006 - Orphan Grain Train continues to support Gulf Coast relief efforts with equipment, food, and supplies.
In the past year, Orphan Grain Train has sent more than 120 semitrailer loads of food, water, tools, equipment, storage units and other requested items to volunteer camps across the Gulf Coast.
A new mobile kitchen, built inside a donated refrigerated trailer, will be sent to Camp Restore in New Orleans later this week.
Rev. Ray S. Wilke, President of Orphan Grain Train, reviews the past year’s relief effort and the role of the new kitchen trailer that was dedicated Tuesday afternoon, September 5, 2006:
It has been a year now since the hard-blowing circular winds of hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita pressed hard on the south coast of our country. Some folks, as they had in the past, boarded their windows and hunkered down to ride out the storm. But Katrina was not the type of storm that could be ridden. She twisted and bucked and hurled insults, debris and would-be-riders through windows and walls and high into water-whipped trees.
Even the dead were not exempt, their coffins lodged in trees at a flood stage of 25 feet. Aged levees were not adequate to the task of stemming the tide. The fresh water of Lake Pontchartrain was mixed with the brackish waters of the Gulf and the muddy water of the Mississippi to build a cocktail that even the reptiles found as bitter as gall. Alligators and turtles swam with cattle searching for some high safe haven. This was America’s own brand of tsunami, smashing in upon thousands of acres barely above sea level.
People came from all over America to offer some manner of redemption for such a cross as this. They came with vans and campers, with money tools and work gloves previously soiled by other acts of kindness. These were the folks who knew and understood the 2nd great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.’ They toiled, they sweated some, and I dare say cursed the muck that they shoveled from the homes even as they prayed to the Lord to show mercy to the homeless and battered victims of Katrina. Thanks to the help of so many Godly donors, not the least of which was LCMS World Relief and Human Care, Orphan Grain Train was able to send over 3 million dollars worth of relief in cash and in-kind.
The effort still continues. On Wednesday, September 6, The Orphan Grain Train/LCMS World Relief kitchen trailer will leave for the east parish of New Orleans. The portable kitchen trailer is stainless steel port to starboard, stem to stern. Dedicated workers have invested hundreds of hours to insure that this brand new food preparation system can cook up to as many as 3,000 hearty meals per day. Hungry volunteers will pass by her serving windows as their plates are heaped with generous helpings of Bayou rice, North Dakota pinto beans and Nebraska beef. The front lines volunteer camps continue to serve as a marvelous coastal orchestration of food, fiber, and folks serving just because that’s what these people do when their neighbors are hurting.
The Southern coast will never be the same; the landscape and the lives will be altered forever. The Lord alone can bring good out of evil. He will do that here also.
Orphan Grain Train’s name and character are explained by the words of Christ recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 14, verse 18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”