As we move into February the topic of love is the first thing we often think about. But we also think about how we can express love through food. In terms of Valentine’s Day, food is one of those ways of expressing affection for that special loved one. It can be expressed uniquely to individual’s love languages. Furthermore, food is one of those things that create opportunities to bring people together and show love through our ability to satisfy tummies.
For example, sharing food with someone at work you don’t know very well, hosting a dinner party, or baking goods with your kids – food is always an excellent way to share love and kindness with others.
The agape love of God
At the Dream Center, one of our main motivations comes from the Agape love of God, the charitable and selfless love that gives out of goodwill and doesn’t expect anything in return. The love of Jesus is given sacrificially and unconditionally. The love we are compelled to show to others.
Jesus fed the five thousand, and spiritually fed all who were willing to hear. At the Dream Center, we follow suit with many food-related ministries that demonstrate unconditional love to all who come willingly to receive.
Between our onsite Food Bank, dedicated to Justin and Kourtney Turner, Mobile Food Banks, Food Pantry, and Adopt-A-Block outreach, we distribute over 500,000 pounds of food to various communities annually.
Additionally, the Dream Center offers hot meals through our onsite community diner that is open to the public for lunch every day from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The diner serves approximately 900 hot meals a day to residents and community members in need.
Words from our kitchen director
Meet Donny Irmen, Kitchen Director, and recovery program graduate. Donny shares his philosophy about how one can show love through food.
“Food is a necessity, so when we give food, we are giving a necessary love. At the Dream Center, we provide more than a sober place for people. We provide real-life experiences and opportunities for people to grow spiritually. Including being disciplined and successful at working on a task they might not like and cooperating with someone they previously didn’t get along with. Mostly everyone who works in the kitchen, are people currently in one of our recovery programs. It’s great because they are examples of healing and transformation for community members who come here in need of food. They are showing that change and recovery is possible and can overcome other dysfunction in their lives.” – Donny Irmen
While these ministries give food that will nourish the body, the main goal is to nourish their souls by giving them hope and encouragement. Helping them gain restoration in their lives.
Sadly, in the world we live in today it seems like people are searching to fill a void, of love and acceptance, which looks and feels different for everyone. During the pandemic, people became more and more isolated and separated from each other. We see many people coming through our doors due to the lasting effects of the lockdowns. This includes, exacerbated addictions, social division, financial hardships, and some people just simply losing heart. These individuals lacked love more than ever.
Community-building programs at the Dream Center help people break those isolating habits. The hand of God is there, in faith people need to reach up and grab it getting lifted up to new heights.
Jesus nourishes the soul
But there is good news! Jesus loves us. Saying it is one thing. But, wholeheartedly believing it, is what will fill your heart and take you to the next level and nourish your soul. Yes! God loves you and he will never leave you or forsake you.
Do you feel like something is missing in your life, or does your heart hunger for something more? Don’t worry, but stay encouraged. Jesus said, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). That hunger is what’s going to compel and energize you to seek something new!
As our Co-founder and CEO, Pastor Matthew says, “If you want a blessing, be a blessing.” If you want love then be loving. In Luke 24:35, Jesus was recognized by the disciples when he broke the bread. So as we venture out into February, let’s get people to see Jesus in us by the way we break bread and share food with love.
If you are touched by one of our programs, please consider making a contribution of $35, $50, or $100. Your gifts will help continue serving over 45,000 individuals monthly as they recover, heal, and finally live out their God-given dream.