At the end of the sending out grace we say, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” Well it is my privilege and pleasure to do just that in various SU kitchens around Scotland. Prayers definitely upheld the kitchen at Scoughall this summer.

volunteer cook

I had a very happy reunion in the kitchen with my co-cooks for our fourth camp week together. Our mission was to feed 44 hungry mouths for the week culminating in Banquet Night on the Friday. The team and 23 children spent a really happy time in (mostly) wonderful weather exploring the word of God through teaching, drama and praise, on-site activities and off-site outings, and especially by the personal examples shown by the patient, loving kindness of the leaders who give up their annual leave - and in one case taking unpaid leave - to love and serve the children. It was our privilege as cooks to be invited to share in the children’s personal prayer board where they could post their prayer requests and we then prayed personally for special concerns and situations, as heart-breaking as some of them were.

Mostly though, I just love feeding people and caring for them through the community of food. We had the joy of really good eaters and very little waste; a good number of “tryers” - trying new things and discovering they like them; and being able to reassure the cautious eaters that if they didn’t like what was on offer they wouldn’t go hungry and we would find them something to eat. We had the joy of seeing one wee boy’s face light up at the sight of chilli and rice, who had been a cautious eater (lots of Nutella and white bread) until that night. He had had a number of foster placements and in one happy placement his foster mum used to cook him chilli and rice. He ate three platefuls that night - brilliant!

We shared a wee tear when the Team Leader brought the story of one boy, who lives permanently in a residential school, who had said to him “See those ladies in the kitchen? They don’t just care about the food. They care about me too.” Huge thanks to God for that wee reminder of why we were there.

We leave exhausted. My hands are wrecked and my feet killing me. It takes at least a week or two to recover from. And I would sign up again in a heartbeat!


Written by Heather, a volunteer cook at SU Holidays