November 22, 2011 - No Comments!

BLOG FLASHBACK! Rockford First

Here is a flashback to some fun times we had with Jen DeWeerdt from Rockford First ...back in January 2010.


Guest Blogger: Jen DeWeerdt

A team of ten incredible ladies and I recently returned from a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand where we worked with the amazing ZOE Children’s Home.  What an awesome, life-changing trip for all of us.  This was my second time working with ZOE and although this trip was completely different than the first, the impact of the culture, children, and staff of ZOE again touched my heart in ways hard to explain.  One of the questions I have been asked since returning is, “What was your favorite part of the trip?”  That is an IMPOSSIBLE question to answer, because every aspect was unique and impacting in its own way.  Having said that, one event that stands out as one of my greatest memories from our time there is, quite honestly, surprising to me that it has ended up being so memorable!


The team and I were asked to cook a spaghetti dinner for the entire ZOE family, which totals about 150 people including ministry school students, staff and the children.  I have NEVER cooked for that many people nor had anyone on our this was an adventure!  On the menu were salad, garlic bread, and spaghetti with meat sauce.  Eight of us cooked, cut, chopped, minced, and stirred for approximately four hours in order to feed our family that night!  We experienced a level of teamwork that brought our group closer together and gave us a memory that will last a lifetime.


I learned a few lessons from our cooking adventure that I think are noteworthy:


You can do more than you think you can do!

I have a family of four (soon to be five in October!) and I sometimes struggle to “find” the time to make them a healthy meal every day.  Well, at ZOE, a team of ladies cooks for NINE hours a day to feed everyone breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Wow, NINE hours!  After learning that, I adopted a new line for myself, “Pull it together, Jen!  You can cook for four!”



Serving together creates a great sense of team!

Something happens when you have to put your heads together to accomplish a task that you know will affect 150 person’s meal time that night!!!  We all had the end result in mind and that brought us together! Seeing the sweet faces of everyone who walked through the line to take their dinner and knowing you and your team made this happen was simply an amazing, fulfilling feeling!


Learn to have fun while serving!

Some of our FUNNEST memories as a team were a result of us living the adventure of cooking together!  I need to apologize to all future ZOE teams, that you may find yourself having to do this same task!  We were the first team to try this and I told ZOE founder Carol Hart that EVERY team needs to do this together.  We had MANY laughs because of our spaghetti dinner adventure!



At the risk of sounding sensational, I would have to say this was one of my favorite and life-changing memories of my trip. It was truly humbling to serve a meal and provide nourishment to a group of people who are either laying their lives down for the sake of the children at ZOE or for the orphaned and rescued children themselves who are grateful for three meals a day at the beautiful “House of Destiny” that is now their home.


I will never forget serving bowls of salad, slices of garlic bread, and plates of spaghetti (with slightly burnt meat sauce) in the name of Jesus to our beautiful ZOE family!


Jen DeWeerdt

Rockford, Illinois



Published by: staff in Children's Home Update, Short Term Teams

Leave a Reply