I’m a pastor, but cooking has always been a part of my life. Getting to be on MasterChef was a dream come true. There, Gordon Ramsey told me that I was born to serve my community through food, so I launched my professional catering business in the Yakima Valley soon after that. In February of 2020, we started our first brick and mortar restaurant. And a month later, the coronavirus hit. When we sat down as a team to discuss our next steps, we all felt like the Lord was telling us that we were meant to thrive in this season, that he was going to use us in our city to teach people how to feast in the midst of famine.
So, we stood on that word and decided to give back to our city. We reached out to a lower-income retirement community nearby and began serving one meal per day to any senior citizen who wanted it. Hearing about what we were doing, someone gave us $500. Soon afterward, we offered our church building to house homeless youth in our city. They needed a kitchen to feed the kids, though, so we decided to use that $500 donation to feed them every night. Within an hour of making that decision, someone else donated $3,000 and we got a call from our landlord. He’d heard what we were doing in the city and offered the restaurant free rent for the next three months.
We were gaining favor in our city, a restaurant employee encountered Jesus in His dreams, but our personal finances were very tight. We’d lost all of our catering gigs and, on top of that, we had an outstanding hospital bill for over $20,000. My wife had had surgery, but because of a clerical error, our health insurance thought it was a pre-existing condition. The hospital was about to send our bill to collections and our insurance company refused to pay. In the midst of this, though, we felt like the Lord wanted us to sow our last $500 into supporting the coronavirus efforts. We weren’t sure how it was going to work out, but we had been raised with a value for radical generosity and a trust in God’s provision. We gave away that money and, the very next day, we got word that our hospital bill was totally paid for. We were free and clear.