Image: Campbelltown church of Christ’s new kitchen space under construction.
By Ryan Graham
In late 2021, the local council advised our church that the kitchen that we were using for our community lunch program was not up to food health and safety standards. As a residential kitchen, we had to upgrade it to a commercial kitchen standard.
The magnitude of this challenge felt beyond us at the time. Not only were we trying to recover from COVID and regain momentum in our church and ministry activities, but the projected cost of the kitchen also seemed insurmountable in light of the financial pressures we were experiencing.
However, God continued to show his faithfulness from the very beginning.
Even though our local council was advising that we had to make this change, they were also highly supportive because they wanted our program to continue!
They held back on issuing the notice until we were ready to proceed with the renovation project. They also assisted us with navigating the food health and safety requirements, providing advice that saved us costly expenses. It was such a blessing to have the support of our local council as we navigated these challenges.
So we set out in faith, believing God would provide what we needed. We were successful in receiving a community grant through the NSW Government, as well as receiving a churches of Christ Mission and Ministry grant.
We then held fundraising through our church and a GoFundMe campaign. In doing so, we raised the majority of the funds that we needed to complete the project.
There was, however, a shortfall that we didn’t achieve, yet God continued to show his faithfulness.
As the project was completed, God brought a fine dining caterer to us through the real estate, who was looking to hire a commercial kitchen space. This resulted in a new tenant renting the kitchen three days a week!
This has now covered the shortfall that we had been unable to fundraise and now serves as a new source of income to fund our ministry activities. Our project is complete, all expenses have been paid, and our community lunch has grown and flourished. We’re now serving 60-80 people for a free community lunch every week with the support and blessing of our local council. Not only are we now serving more people each week than ever, but our church’s sense of accomplishment has been so strong!
This project reminded our church that God provides when we step out in faith.
It has also reignited passion in our church for creating safe places for our community. Week after week, we get opportunities to hear stories of people in desperate need because our team is taking the time to sit with attendees and share a meal.
We also have regular opportunities to pray with people in these moments. It’s such a beautiful opportunity for our church to model what the kingdom of God looks like to our community!
We have been so encouraged by God’s faithfulness during this time, giving us the courage to continue stepping out in faith in new ways now.
Read more stories from churches of Christ in NSW & ACT HERE