Working in the kitchen: A reflection by Taylor Thomas
Taylor has been a part of our kitchen crew for the last two years and is currently still doing some of that job while also taking part in our Solidify program (a second chance for staff to go through a DTS lecture phase). Here she reflects on the journey that staffing in the kitchen has been and what God has taught her through it:
Working with the kitchen here at Seamill has been a literal life-changing experience for me since joining staff almost 2 years ago. When I first arrived, I had no intention of taking on the role of Kitchen Manager. Once I had volunteered for the position, though, I was in a whirlwind of new emotions, experiences, and quick improvising for the first few months.
I will readily admit in the beginning I had a lot of trouble and found the majority of my time spent stressing out my fellow kitchen team as well. But God, it seems, even through the tough times made sure to let us know that we were exactly where He wanted us. Every time I entered the kitchen, which over and over again had been referred to as “The Heart of the Base”, even in chaos when we would suddenly find ourselves with no black beans for the Black Bean Soup, or overwhelmed with 10 kilos instead of 10 bags of spinach, a peace would come over me. The only way I can think to describe it is like a sudden dive into a still pond and a look around under the water. I saw everything and everyone moving quickly around me but only understanding a calmness and unexplainable peace! God really would show me the heart He had established in the base there in that kitchen. It took a while before I felt I fully understood how to work with the place rather than against it. To be honest there were numerous times where I would ask God if I was really meant to even be there. However, I could always go back to that sense of peace and assurance that He gave me, and find the strength to carry on. On reflection, I have realised that what He was teaching me was about learning to lean on Him rather than myself. Being rather than doing.
We continued to work hard to get a good system going, and there were frequent last minute trips to the stores for ingredients, but eventually we settled into a healthy pattern. And all the while we started to encounter more of God’s presence in a way that I never had thought I would before. The more we prayed or spoke life over our chopping and cooking, the more we would find that our attitudes and even the taste of the food would improve. You could even feel the excitement for a particular meal from the Seamill folk, all ready and talking up a storm for their dinner. There’s something to be said about Christian fellowship and good food going hand-in-hand!
Some of my favourite times in the kitchen, besides making sure that everything was up to UK Health and Safety Code (because how can you not love that job?) would be the when the DTS trainees would join me during meal prep and I could talk about their day and start up conversations about what they were learning from their speakers and what God was teaching them, or find new worship songs to dance to as we seasoned a pot of Moroccan Chicken. Hygienically of course; no fooling around in here. The Kitchen becomes a very versatile ministry in the sense that you can either go very deep with who you are working alongside, or on another day, you can just have fun, and it’s all for the glory of God as He sits in the middle of it all and enjoys your work as worship!
To see how you could be a part of our kitchen crew, check out this job description!