This week I sat down with Colin L., who did his DTS at YWAM Harpenden in January 2012 and returned as staff in 2013, with the intention to join training. His DTS was a remarkable experience for him, where he really discovered a passion for community, and so he came back in hopes of staffing DTS and being more involved in discipleship. As it turned out, he didn’t staff a DTS until April 2014, so in the time before hand he found himself working in the Oval Café and BB Hall, our community kitchen and cafeteria. While working in BB Hall, Colin received more and more responsibility and now has actually completely transitioned out of training and is the Kitchen Manager.
Colin did not start out with a passion for working in the kitchen, in fact, quite the opposite. At the beginning of his journey working in BB Hall, he had minimal cooking experience, and very little interest in it at all. However, through the last two years, allowing himself to be trained and equipped in an area he didn’t expect, he has come to discover a passion for not only cooking, but also creating a community environment in BB Hall. “We want to provide good, quality food that tastes good, but we [also] want to provide people with a safe place that’s fun and loving, that they can hang out [in].”
The training that Colin went through to work in BB Hall had a lot more impact on him as a person than simply learning a skill. “Here I am, one of my most trained skills is cooking, [and] it’s not something I expected to do, especially coming on staff here. I expected to maybe learn how to be a barista and then learn how to disciple people, [but] I didn’t think that I’d learn how to disciple people in the kitchen.” The skills and responsibility he learned from working in the kitchen, and being trained by the previous Kitchen Manager, taught Colin about stewarding every area of his life.
Through all of this Colin relays that his journey in the kitchen has changed his view of God as well. “If God was like a foggy window, I could kind of see it before, but I didn’t really understand it. And now I’ve wiped off some of the fog.”
Colin sees the kitchen as a place where worship happens, a place of praising God and feeding people to further glorify God. When I asked him if he viewed serving in the kitchen as a form of missions, his response was that it absolutely is. He said to me, “It might not necessarily be bringing people to [Jesus] but it’s inspiring and keeping the people that are doing that, energised and healthy.” In Colin’s opinion, encouraging and ‘inspiring’ those who are walking to the depths of the world to glorify God is just as important as actually walking there himself. “I’m using my skills that God gave me, that I worked on, to serve Him. Serving food is serving His kingdom.”
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Often when you think of missions certain imagines come to mind. I know for myself, images of building wells and orphanages under the African sun pop up immediately. Also skirts, very long, heavy skirts. As it turns out this is missions, but the interesting thing is that it’s only one form of missions. If missions truly is “to go out into all the world and preach the gospel,” then we have to actually go out into all the world; all the world: such as orphanages, but also hospitals, café’s, businesses, media, the list could go on forever. Yet, very rarely do we hear stories of people taking the love of Jesus into their everyday lives as “missions.” And that’s what this blog series is about, bringing a new perspective to this idea of missions, and what it truly means to live missionally focused lives.
Photos: Lauren Malpass