One of the best
soup kitchens - My Brother's Table - gets no gov. aid!
watching Glenn Beck's show about the best town in America, I thought
I would shed some light on one of the best soup kitchens in America.
Maybe it might be worth a donation from you, after you read about
it, since they are entirely supported by private donations.
know, how the guy was describing laying hands on the racks and
praying for more food? It works, I have done things like that
Brother's Table in Lynn, Massachusetts.
I originally was introduced to this soup kitchen was by an old lady,
Mrs. Rohr, she kept encouraging me to serve on our church's day. For
people that read this website you might recognize the last name, I
use her husband's book from time to time for a quote.
soup kitchen receives no government funding and the local churches
take one day a month to serve the hungry there. I originally did not
want to go there because I was too worried about my vehicles being
vandalized and such. There is a reason it is called the city of sin
and it is located in one of the worse areas of the city. Still, I
found it hard to resist a lady from the church that I loved, so I
I ended up going month after month, I even ended up taking my kids
including the one in a baby carriage. But, I was bothered by
something. These people had donated food, but, it really wasn't
anything I would enjoy eating. Soup kitchens tend not to get the
choicest things. I mean, sometimes I felt really bad serving up some
things that I myself would not eat, such as stale bread.
I got it in my mind I would cook the homeless a great meal,
something they never had, pepperoni pizza. The problem was I could
not cook at all and even burned water pots boiling water for soup
had been watching PBS, I -> used to be <- a big PBS supporter,
so I went and bought a Jeff Smith cook book because I enjoyed his
show. Then I received permission from my pastor to put my plan into
play. Experiment on the willing victims at my church until I could
scale it up to cook enough pizzas for 150+ people at My Brother's
Table (MBT). Plus, I learned on the way about the little touches
such as nice corn flour to bread the bottom and what yeast to use as
a nice proof and the best temperature.
reason this worked so well is the church had nice stoves and real
ovens. So, over the course of a few months I worked my way up in
both quality and quantity until people said it tasted excellent,
meant it, and I could do a 25 pound serving of dough at once.
remember my first day making pizza at MBT, it took me 12 hours even
with the big commercial mixer at MBT. Luckily I did it on a day when
my church was serving and the older ladies came in to help me with
the toppings. I think I used over 100 pounds of flour, but, I made
well over 150 individual 8" pizzas. I never could have done it
without the ladies of the church and it was a success. We had
pepperoni pizza topped with three colors of peppers, onions, and
mushrooms for those that wanted it. Plus, I did requests for plain
pizza for the people that did not want pepperoni or extras.
I got it in my mind to do pancakes, that is when I learned there is
a big difference between baking soda and baking powder :-D So,
then I learned to cook a lot of pancakes really fast. Pancakes are
just one of those things better served fresh off the grill and just
get too soggy when sitting under cover on a plate. The manager,
John, and Stacy, took mercy on me and taught me how to crack dozens
of eggs really fast.
really came in handy for doing omelets and westerns for 150+ people.
learned not only how to cook for other people, but, also for myself.
Plus, I learned how to properly wash dishes, how to cook dozens of
pounds of spaghetti at once, yes, even how to properly wash a floor
with a mop.
know the best thing about MBT?
you prayed as a group before serving. Then, MBT had a philosophy of
not only serving people, but, sitting down and talking with their
guests. Originally, this was kind of awkward, to find small talk,
and sometimes just to sit and be quiet to be the best company. It
took a while to understand exactly why this was encouraged. But,
once you do, you start not to see people as things, but, objects of
Christ to love.
have seen people in nice suits come in a for a meal and you realize,
what some people need more then food is companionship. Their need is
just to talk to people or to sit among them.
ended up buying many of the supplies I needed to make my meals.
the year 2000 rolled around. Everyone was for partying before the
end of the world and all that. Massive celebrations planned
everywhere. Then I was thinking, what do the hungry and homeless
have to celebrate at the end of 1999? If Christ really returned at
the end of 1999 (I know the false messiah comes first) would he be
pleased to find me out drinking and partying while his poor people
went hungry in the same city?
I told my wife we were going to be staying home to have a subdued
celebration with family and I was going to cook at MBT instead.
... I planned something they never had. Ice Cream sundaes. I went
and convinced (begged) Hood? ice cream to give and let me buy 100s
pounds of good ice cream and whipping cream. I ended up spending
$700 or so. So, we set this up as a social, where they could go down
the line, pick the flavors of ice cream they wanted, and then their
toppings. Nothing beats home made whipped cream with real vanilla
and peaked with sugar. Then we had decorations such as balloons.
I made pizza. This was not my church's day, but, another church's
day. So, when the pastor walked in, I was really surprised. It was
the original pastor of my current church, before I started reading
the Bible and going to church. It had been years since I had seen
he asked me why I was there and I told him about my cooking
adventures, and about the meal and ice cream social planned for News
Year's Eve and why. He kept giving me sort of strange looks. Then, I
told him how I had become a church member and was even thinking
about becoming a pastor and how much I loved reading the Bible. For
what ever reason, he just gave off weird vibes.
the people at his church were great. They took care of everything
and just left me to the cooking and it was a huge success and the
guests were very happy. It was one of the happiest days in my life.
I got home, my mother in law (who gave me my first Bible) was there
and I told her about my day and how I met our old pastor. I told her
of my conversations and how he kept weirding me out by his reactions
and it felt uncomfortable. Then she asked me, "Do you know
why"? He told me in our church, that you were beyond
saving and would never be a member.
Thank You Lord Jesus!
certainly gave me a few things to think about on that New Year's
Eve, what were the odds of that thing happening and for us both to
be there under those circumstances.
must have been quite the kicker for the pastor too.