April 25, 2024


There’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus loved food. Many of his lessons involved food, some of his greatest miracles provided food, and even his disciples were technically part of the food procurement process (they were fishermen!). At YFC, we understand that food can be a powerful way to reach students and bonding over meals is a common way we build relationships with students. Like Jesus, I love ministering with food…and that’s how Ethan’s story with Youth For Christ began.

I met Ethan in 2022. At first, he was quiet and didn’t have much interest in me or the YFC programming. As I visited his classroom on a weekly basis, I noticed that he was into the culinary arts classwork and his attitude changed completely when I started talking about seafood. Over the next few weeks Ethan and I tried some new and different foods that afforded me the opportunity to build a Christ sharing relationship with him and his classmates.

Months went by and the quiet young man started becoming more and more excited about hospitality. Not only did he enjoy the food that we’d bring, he also began sharing in the experience of cooking for his family, friends, and classmates. Trips to the international food market afforded us time to not only talk about recipes, but life in general. Meal planning gave us the opportunity to build life skills and also talk about how Jesus served those people around him. Sharing meals became an avenue where we would have interesting discussions about different cultures and how God has a plan for each and every person.

While Ethan is still working through what it means to accept Christ as Lord, he’s far from the quiet young man I met in 2022 that had zero interest in anything I had to say. This year he’ll get to walk down the aisle with a graduation cap on. He’s planning on working hard and might even join the US Navy. As he transitions into a new stage in life full of uncertainties, he’ll take with him the truth of the gospel, knowing that Jesus loves him…and it all started with a conversation and a few meals.