Food for the Soul

By Barbara Wallace

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“The Salvation Army motivated us to live again.”

Until a couple of years ago, life was good for Kauai residents John and Char – or at least it seemed so. They had a house, a car, two happy children, and a loving family relationship; but it was slowly crumbling around them.

A trained chef, John became sick and couldn’t work for several years. Char was under pressure as the sole provider, which left little time to care for her mate and their children.

The family eventually lost their house, car, and security. They sent their children to live safely with grandparents while John and Char struggled to live penniless. Char needed clarity in her life and found it at The Salvation Army in Lihue. “I wanted to be in church and close to the Lord at first,” she said.

Eventually, she and John started to cook at The Salvation Army soup kitchen, serving hundreds of people a week. “Being homeless is hard not only physically, but mentally – mentally hard,” said John. “What’s really good about it is we know how they feel and we can relate. When we cook stuff, it comes from the heart and I know what they want automatic and they happy.”

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The Salvation Army hired Char a few months later as the part-time soup kitchen chef. John has fully recovered andnow has a full-time job as a chef at a restaurant and volunteers once a week. “We still help those that come to The Salvation Army because we’ve been there. Now here we are – we got a car, we have jobs. It changed our lives.If it wasn’t for this place, I don’t know where we’d be. They always accept you. They don’t turn you down,” said John. “The Salvation Army motivated us to live again.”

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