Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief’s airlift kitchen will be a valuable resource for Ukrainian refugee efforts taking place in Hungary, said Mark Wakefield, DR strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
The kitchen was packed up in Prattville and shipped out by truck to a holding facility in Birmingham this morning (April 1) and will be flown to Hungary with other aid resources soon.
SBOM executive director Rick Lance broke the news via Twitter: “Our Alabama Baptist airlift kitchen is on the way to help refugees who have come to Hungary. Pray for those offering a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.”
Wakefield said the kitchen will be used by volunteers serving with North Carolina Baptist Men and Hungarian Baptists.
“We are excited to be able to see it deployed,” he said. “Providing the kitchen is part of the broad-based strategy of our DR partnering with IMB to help take care of refugees.”
Six Alabama Baptists also plan to travel to Romania in late April to serve alongside churches assisting Ukrainian refugees there.
Handles 2,500 meals per day
While the kitchen is more than 25 years old, this will be its first use, Wakefield said, noting it has been offered during previous international disasters and it is the second of its kind in Alabama.
The first airlift kitchen was constructed by Cliff McMahan, then state airlift kitchen coordinator, in 1995. After Alabama Baptist teams used it to serve thousands of meals to survivors of the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran, they donated the kitchen for Armenian Baptists to use.
Between that disaster and the current model’s construction, the International Mission Board gave a similar kitchen to Alabama Baptists, but it was left in Indonesia following tsunami relief work in 2006, according to a previous news report by The Alabama Baptist.
The airlift kitchen headed to Hungary can handle roughly 2,500 meals per day.