Let Us Open the Church’s Kitchen!

2018. december 05., szerda

One of the Country’s most modern kitchens and day-care for people living with disabilities is moving in January 2019 to a new building that was built from a contribution from the Reformed Church in Hungary, without foreign or government support, out of their own resources in Baja. Six hundred meals are made, daily, in the kitchen, and given to those who are sick, homeless and/or disabled. The day-care for people with disabilities provides for forty young people who cannot attend school anymore. All of this is a service which is not self-serving, but is for the glory of God was emphasized at the opening ceremony.

“The building is not only a gem in appearance, but it will become such through the devotion and spirituality of the employees,” said Dean Béla Bán, the pastor of the institution, at the thanksgiving ceremony on the 10th of November. He added that he wishes that the new building, and the work they’re doing there, serves those who are, “the most in need of help.” And about the building and the service done there, he said, “It points upwards and says Glory to God.”

Only two car manufacturing companies have such a modern kitchen like this

The new building of the Cédrus Reformed Social Institution in Baja serves two purposes: on one hand, it houses the institution’s kitchen, and on the other hand it is where the day-care for people with disabilities is moving to. The Reformed Church in Hungary accomplished the project from its own resources, without government or other support.

“The kitchen uses the latest technologies,” pointed out Presiding Bishop István Bogárdi Szabó, he said, “Audi, Mercedes and Cédrus have a kitchen like this.” The Bishop referred to the modern exhaust ventilation system, which is able to completely degrade the fat steam produced in the kitchen, so that only clean air leaves the kitchen.

Referring to the investment, the Bishop said, “It is mainly contributed to the efforts of the Synod’s Diaconal Office because they were able to save almost half a billion forints, and the money wasn’t spent on a plaque or a memorial, but rather, they built this exemplary, promising building.

Kitchens need to be built

“Now that you have tasted that the Lord is sweet,” Bishop István Bogárdi Szabó spoke about this verse in his sermon that we can translate Verse 3 of the 2nd chapter of The First Epistle of Peter like this too: “now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” According to him, the dramatic thing about it is that it seems to be a contradiction – because Jesus drank the bitter cup for us, but this is in fact the goodness of God, “he tasted death so that we could taste life.”

According to the Bishop, the kitchen is an important place: it is a place where things are decided in a family. Quoting sociologists, he said the One Party State’s big crime was that there were no kitchens built in panel buildings, and because of this they have killed family life, “It’s time to build kitchens where we can sit around and taste. We should open the kitchen of the Church as well, because it is time to taste how good the Lord is.”

Bishop István Bogárdi Szabó emphasized that role of the kitchen in the new building is not only to cook 600 meals a day. It not only means of employment, a workplace and livelihood for the employees, nor is it about large-scale food preparation, “Those who get their meals here feel the original goodness.” He added that there is a huge difference between a food made carelessly and a meal made with love and devotion.

A beautiful building is not enough; We have to become a spiritual house

From time to time they were able to experience the development and growth in Baja; András Besztercey, head of the Diaconal Office, “Primarily we haven’t grown in numbers but in service and quality.” And who initiated it? “Those blessed eyes, which saw the need, those blessed ears, which heard when something was asked, and those blessed hands which then have worked for the benefit of those living in need.” The head of the Office emphasized that the new building will serve the people living with disabilities and those who supply Cédrus with food. As a felicitation, he said that those entering here should receive a good word, encouragement, help, guidance, healing and delicious food.

We have a beautiful building – began Erzsébet Bánné Kiss, head of the Cédrus Reformed Social Institution, in her speech. She added that the real question is whether we can be built into a spiritual house. About the work she started ten years ago, she said, “We are not doing it for ourselves, but as a service for the Glory of God.” A decade ago when they took over the social welfare system from the local government of Baja, they had 110 employees and 500 participants. Today, Cédrus operates with 170 employees, 1200 participants, and 17 different services – from helping the homeless to treating psychiatric patients to people living with disabilities; they provide help for the vulnerable. Regarding the new kitchen, Erzsébet Bánné Kiss emphasized that at the Institution, they will not be giving out canned foods, but “food that is made with care.”

With an open heart

Cédrus’ new building is a home too – home for all those who enter here is what Andrea Csubákné Besesek, Vice Mayor of Baja, emphasized. Referring to the kitchen she emphasized: meals made here will get to a lot of places: “to the homeless, to those who can’t cook, those who are sick, living with disabilities”. The Vice Mayor also said: we are proud that “Cédrus now a decade after their agreement with the Reformed Church of Hungary fulfils its task, since then they have opened several institutions and they help people in need with professional humility and an open heart.”

On the occasion of thanksgiving, Róbert Zsigó, Minister of State for Food Chain Supervision, gave a speech, and the members of the community of the day-care for people living with disabilities performed a song as well. One of them, Zoli, on the inquiry of reformatus.hu, said that it is important for him that he can be here every day because, before this he had no friends, but here everyone has become his friends. One of his best friends is another Zoli, he said that he really likes the new building which he finds beautiful.


Written by Márk Hegedűs

Translated by Krisztina Schmidt

Photo from Csilla Kapás

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