“God’s Kitchen…every homeless person has a story”
‘God’s Kitchen’ is a gathering place that feels like family to about 30-40 people. 15 regular volunteers offer a free warm breakfast, spiritual care, clothing & toiletries, referrals to rehab or community resources, prayer, bible study and hugs for the homeless, the poor, disabled, elderly and lonely. Our desire is to see the body of Christ leave the four walls of the church and become Jesus’ hands and feet to a broken world. May Christ remain the center of everything we say and do.
Its founders were Norma Hill and Ruth Hillario, two grandmothers who in 2007 began taking coffee and sandwiches into downtown Penticton on a child’s wagon and shared the love of Jesus on the streets. The city of Penticton then offered them a lot on which to set up a tent and they served through all the seasons.
In 2010, Pastor Colin Cross at St. Andrews Presbyterian church brought them in out of the cold winters and God’s Kitchen existed there for several years – until the summer of 2015, when the two grandmothers needed to retire, so the Summerland Alliance Church offered leadership, support and volunteers.
In the summer of 2016 Grace Mennonite Church offered us a larger venue at no cost. We were very blessed to partner with Pastor Blake, Pastor Peter (Second Chance Ministries) and the people there. The generosity of the church was incredible, and we expanded God’s Kitchen ministry to include a bible study which is well attended. Several people have come to faith and we were able to baptize several people. Thank you Lord!
Now in May 2019, after the closure of Grace MB in April 2018, we were invited to partner with Cheers Church. We look forward with much anticipation of what God will do through our breakfasts on Tuesday mornings at 9 am and our bible study Thursdays at 1 pm.
Today our family of volunteers come from various community churches and former guests actively working on their recovery from addiction as well as several pastors and a doctor. Everyone is welcome and inclusive, and we come with a ready attitude to be servants and bring cheer and a warm welcome to each guest. We attempt to restore dignity and humanity by creating a restaurant style experience–with the exception of a bill at the end. Most importantly, we desire to introduce Jesus to each one as the Holy Spirit leads us.
If you would like to volunteer, there are several options:
Pray for our guests and our team, including the prayer wall area
Become a friendly listener and share your faith as appropriate
Set up tables restaurant style and prepare food & sandwiches “to go”
Serve breakfast, coffee & dessert
Help in our free boutique which offers clothing, toiletries, shoes & housewares
Help clean, vacuum, do dishes
Decorate the space seasonally and run worship music
Donate food, toiletries or gifts in kind (please check before donating)
Procure food, clothing, toiletries, tents etc.
If you wish to serve, email Sylvia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be directed to Summerland Alliance Church / designate to “God’s Kitchen Penticton’