A little over two years ago I moved home from South Carolina, after working at a very prestigious resort as a line chef; wondering what is next in my life. I knew I couldn’t stay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I knew that there was more that God had for me and I had not yet realized the possibilities or the education I would acquire. Six months prior to moving back to PA I had became a Christian, and I knew that the culinary field was in need of hearing the Gospel, but I was severely under equipped and my heart began changing as to the direction of my life. I desired now to become devoted follower of Christ, a husband, and a father and these were more important to me than “success”. Success in the culinary field was dictated by how well you cooked what places you worked at, and how much money you made. No one cared that you may be a father, a mother, a husband, or a wife, but how well you cooked. We worked long, strenuous hours with no hope for a family that mirrored God’s love towards us. The culinary world resembles the life of a rock star in many ways: everyone drank, did drugs, and slept with each other; it was one big orgy and I was caught right in the middle. I knew that if I wanted to affect this hopeless world I would need training.
I began looking for training at various bible colleges in the tri-state areas (Ohio, Pennsylvania/Jersey, and New York) and with no luck I found none that fit my budget, nor felt like I was being led of God to any of these schools. I had been made aware of a podcast from Simi Valley, California by a man named Francis Chan. I had heard that he had a bible college that was affordable and was impacting the community around it by having students live in local apartments and houses rather than dorms. At 24, that idea appealed to me, I didn’t want to live in a dorm with fresh out of high school students. I was also intrigued that each professor at EBC had some form of ministry experience. This is what also drew me to culinary school; it wasn’t just theoretical, but they had lived out what they taught and expected us to do the same. Most of the professors at EBC are not interested in so much us getting A’s, but that we would be changed by what it is we are learning. A professor once said in class, “Even if you know the material, get 100% on each test and jump through the academic hoops, I will still flunk you if you have not allowed this material to affect you life and ministry.” That was a foreign concept to me, but reminded me of the purpose statement of EBC which is: “training people to live and die well.” The deepest desire of EBC is for our eternal well being. That we would one day stand before Jesus and hear those blessed words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” They desire us to be deeply devoted to the Lord Jesus and intensely in love with God and his Gospel. I am so grateful that God brought me to EBC, He has removed the heart of stone in me, and I wouldn’t trade the life lessons, the education, the tears, the sleepless nights had here at EBC for anything. EBC has been vital in my development as a human being and had shown me the type of husband and father that I want to be someday.
As of this point in my life, I am somewhat unsure as to what God is calling me to, but I do know that the Gospel must be preached. If the Lord permits I would love to demonstrate his love in the context of marriage in a neighborhood most wouldn’t want to live in. To maybe implant myself and my family in the “hood” of South Los Angeles amongst gangs, crime, and hopelessness; thus bringing the Gospel which is the hope of glory to all that believe.
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