LaGRANGE — Guests at the Emmaus Shelter and the Ark Refuge Ministry experienced full stomachs and warm memories Saturday at the shelter’s day center at 321 Greenville St. courtesy of Diverse Power and employee Maurice Houston.
After a Diverse Power colleague spent hours smoking Boston butts, Houston cooked the rest of the meal, which included pork tenderloin, pulled pork barbecue, green beans, baked beans, corn, corn bread, a variety of desserts and coffee.
All the food was paid for by Diverse Power.
Houston said his family, friends and coworkers pitched in and bought plates, utensils and cups. They then helped serve people at the shelter on Saturday.
“Words can’t describe it,” Houston said. “I’m on cloud nine. I wish I could pay them all a million dollars. Nobody asked, ‘Can I eat too?’ There were so many people here to help that I didn’t have enough for everyone to do, but I wanted everyone to get their blessing from this experience.”
Houston said his love for cooking came from his grandmother, who used to cook for everyone in their neighborhood each Sunday.
In November, Houston catered a wedding and had food left over. He said he and his wife brought the extra helpings to the Emmaus Shelter where people raved about the meals.
“That just opened the door for me,” Houston said. “It was like my grandmother was speaking to me from heaven and said, ‘This is your calling, cooking for others.’ It is something that I always wanted to do and taking care of the less fortunate.”
Added Jessica David, executive director of the Emmaus Shelter: “As we recognize that we are gold being purified by the fire of our current circumstances, we are delighted by those who are committed to helping the homeless served through Emmaus. Those organizations are not forsaking their commitments to us and continue to appear with prepared food, clothing and incredibly needed cleaning supplies. God bless our new friends at Diverse Power.”
But according to Houston, he is the one who received the true blessing.
He said he again planned to serve food at the shelter by barbecuing chickens, hamburgers and hot dogs outside on a gas grill.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.