Man travels from New Orleans to cook for tornado victims

By WEEK Producer

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Hurricane Katrina opened everyone's eyes to the power of a natural disaster.

However, a victim of that storm said the damage in Washington is much worse than what Katrina did to New Orleans in 2005.

"We were watching the Bears game and saw the bad weather,” said Paul Thompson. “Then we saw all the devastation and my wife said we gotta go up there and serve."

Paul Thompson traveled all the way from his home in New Orleans. On Thursday he was cooking up chili for tornado victims in Washington.

"Ya know cooking is not a big deal. It's people in the back of us that have had their homes completely wiped out that's what your heart goes out to,” he said.

Paul knows what these people are going through, he also lived through a disaster.

"We went through Katrina and we had people come to New Orleans from almost every state except maybe Connecticut…sorry Connecticut,” Paul said.

Police officers took Paul on a tour of Washington to see the devastation.

"I've never seen anything like it. It's much worse than Katrina, absolutely. Katrina was a wide swath but this was a really narrow but brutal swath,” he said.

Paul served more than 400 people on Tuesday night through his ministry, El Shaddai Catering, and with the donation of meat he received from Alwan and sons he expects to serve at least 1,000 more.

"They don't have a home they don't have nothin' they're pretty depressed at least they can get a hot meal,” he said.

But when you've lost everything, a warm meal can mean the world.

"I had a lady come up to me yesterday and give me a big hug and say 'you are really giving us hope',” Paul said. “Cooking doesn't really give me hope...just a big belly."

Paul said as long as people keep bringing him food to cook, he will be there.