The team of Chefs and volunteers that turned Central Union Mission Men's Shelter into a restaurant on May 23, 2016

The team of Chefs and volunteers that turned Central Union Mission Men's Shelter into a restaurant on May 23, 2016

On Monday we turned Central Union Mission Men’s Shelter into a restaurant. Five Chefs, four courses, and Jesus was all in the mix! It’s always a blessing to serve; it’s extremely rewarding and each time I learn something new and experience God differently. Serving is truly a form of worship and when we allow ourselves to be free and just relish in that space, we get an opportunity to see how HE moves in the hearts of those serving, the appreciation of those being served, and the glory HE gets from our service.

Here's what I experienced on Monday:

The hearts of those serving -

  • Early in the day Chef Rock Harper asked that I confirm the number of men to be served. I had originally quoted “just over a hundred” so naturally he wanted to know a more concrete number so that the Chefs could better prepare. Well somehow I totally missed the mark and we would in fact be serving 170 men. I felt like I completely dropped the ball and sent Chef Rock an email; his response? “It's cool though. We aren't Jesus but we have more than 5 loaves and a few fish, we'll make it work!”  What a heart! And I wasn’t surprised by his response; it was a ‘my heart is in the right place and this will work out’ response that comes naturally when you remove YOU and focus on serving God’s people; there’s an assurance that ‘all things will work together’ (Romans 8:28).

The gratitude expressed by those being served –

  • The men of the Mission were so grateful. The smiles on their faces as each course was served made my heart melt. After each course, a Chef came out to describe the dish, explain the ingredients, and how it was prepared. As the Chef explained the dish, the men cheered and thanked them from their seats. It’s the little things that go a long way; the subtle ways that say 'you matter' and 'I care' are monumental when serving.

The Glory God gets from our service –

  • After serving, one of my best friends called to say how much he enjoyed being there. He went on to say “Sis, I’m not the godliest but I know what God has done for me. I know I need Him.”
  • One of my favorite moments was an exchange with one of the men I was blessed to serve Monday night. If I had to guess I’d say he was about sixty-five:
    • Him: “Aye, what church y’all belong to?”
    • Me: “We don’t all belong to the same church, we’re just here serving.”
    • Him: “Oh, what fraternity is it then?”
    • Me: “No fraternity and I’m not with a sorority either.” [I giggled]
    • Him: “Well, what’s the name of y’all’s group?”
    • Me: [laughing]”We don’t have a name, just friends serving together.”
    • Him: “Well who sent you then?”
    • Me: “Jesus”
    • Him: [smiling] “That’s alright with me.”

(Mark 10:45) “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV)