There are many things that we hope for our clients, but I think one of our biggest hopes is that they will dream big dreams. Maybe they will dream for the first time, or maybe they will start dreaming once again.
About 6 months ago, I sat down to eat lunch with Oscar. He has been in and out of our programs for a few years. During COVID, he came to our shelter where he was able to jump start his sobriety. Now he is one of our “clients in transition” meaning that he is taking great steps forward in recovery, and working on transitioning back into full reintegration into society. He is committed to spiritual growth through our Bible studies, he is being coached and mentored by our case coordinators in the Lighthouse Resource Center, he is attending job training workshops, emotional therapy, and also continuing in treatment to heal from his addiction.
Through all of this, he is also dreaming.
Years ago he worked as a cook in California….he told me that during our lunchtime conversation. Through a series of events he found himself undocumented in a country he had known for many years. He had to leave his family, his home, and his job and come back to El Salvador. Eventually despair and addiction pushed him to the streets where our paths crossed with his. Things went back and forth until COVID and the shelter. Now he is cooking once again.
Oscar is off the streets, clean, sober, healthy, and healing. He cooks everyday to make meals for our clients who come for lunch. He is also learning about the food business. He is learning about buying ingredients, perfecting recipes, taking orders, and advertising. As part of this learning process, he is working closely with Jon in a new initiative to bring real American BBQ to El Salvador…BBQ with a cause.
ON FIRE BBQ is our newest project for our clients to learn new skills, and to earn some money working each week. Oscar is part of this pilot project. Since he has experience cooking in the U.S. he knows all about BBQ and he is perfect for the role!
Our dream for the Lighthouse Resource Center is to facilitate dreams for our clients. Identifying and celebrating Oscar’s skill for cooking is helping him to broaden those skills, and also opening the door for him to make an income while still accessing resources that help him grow spiritually and continue in his recovery. He is growing and dreaming…and you know what else? He’s making delicious BBQ!
If you live in El Salvador, make sure you check out ON FIRE BBQ! Every Friday we are serving smoked ribs, pork, and chicken! Visit us on social media for updates, to view our menu, or to place your order!