I am passionate about giving my time and support to Outside the Bowl because I truly believe in their mission.
My passion to support OTB was amplified last year when witnessing their mission first hand during my visit to an OTB Super Kitchen in Tijuana, Mexico.
I will never forget my experience – here are some of the biggest takeaways from my trip:
THE FOOD – Based on the number of meals prepared each day and the amazingly affordable cost of the meals, I figured that the meals prepared at the kitchen would consist of basic rice and beans. Ask my husband… I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. With all joking aside, I couldn’t believe how amazing the food was! Not only was it tasty, it was full of fresh veggies and was healthy too. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was easily one of the best meals of my week. And yes, it was the exact same meal that was being prepared for the kids and families in need. Accompanied by fresh hand-made tortillas made on a tortilla machine right in the OTB kitchen, the meal was packed with zucchini, fresh cilantro, bacon (yum!), the most amazing handmade red sauce, and more. I am drooling right now while reminiscing because it was truly that good. The care and culinary talent in which the meals were prepared was amazing… and that leads me to my next point.
THE KITCHEN STAFF – It became clear very quickly that the kitchen staff at the OTB Super Kitchen were more than just your typical kitchen workers. Despite being up early in the morning prepping and several hours into the daily cooking, the kitchen staff were filled with joy and faith that was contagious. They graciously prayed for us as well as the kids and families who would be receiving the wonderful, hot meals that day. I was so grateful to know that such amazing people were behind the food that would help sustain so many and help with spreading the Good News to the local community in need.
THE KIDS AND FAMILIES – After we had an opportunity to try the food and meet the wonderful kitchen staff, our team visited a few of the partner ministries that were serving the very same food that we had just tried. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to experience the appreciation and joy that the kids and families who were enjoying the OTB meals expressed. The families were telling us stories about how much the food had impacted their lives. I’ll never forget the father who told me about how the generosity of OTB and the partner ministry had impacted his family’s lives. He was grateful about how his baby son, Richard, was growing up to be a healthy boy – and shared how the food from the OTB kitchen was in large part responsible. It was so amazing to witness this first-hand. I saw more smiles and appreciation that day than I had in a long time.
Even though I left Tijuana that day excited about the amazing impact that OTB and the partner ministries were having in the community, the huge need and overwhelming poverty in Tijuana was still apparent. Since then I have been even more inspired to continue supporting OTB and spreading the word about them in order to keep growing the global impact that they have on day-to-day lives of those in need – both in body and soul.
With this in mind I encourage anyone (even the “non-runners” out there) on the fence about supporting OTB by participating in the MissionsRace to sign up TODAY! Encourage your friends, family members, or even your growth group to join you, too. The reward, the accomplishment and the eternal impact will be HUGE!
Written by Kara Courtney