"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
Grace Harvest Church has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother, Althea Franco, brought me to Christian Faith Center (now Grace Harvest Church) when I was only two-weeks old. My mom always made sure we were at church getting fed every Sunday. No matter what age or what was going on in our lives, she made a conscious decision to make God a priority so seeds can be planted in our lives.
I remember being in Sister Pearl and Phyllis’ children’s church, and both my brothers and cousins used to get everyone to sing ‘Father Abraham’ but changed the lyrics to ‘Marques Abraham had many sons and many sons had Marques Abraham’. I hated it! The whole song was a disaster.
Growing up in my family was really cool… well, except for being teased with the Father Abraham song! I have a really big family and we are very much into sports – football, basketball and baseball, and are known to be very competitive. We played sports wherever and whenever we could, even in the back of my grandparent’s restaurant.
After school, we would often go to my grandparent’s restaurant, and play baseball in the back alley. I would always find myself sneaking into the back of the restaurant to watch my grandfather cook. Every day, I would inch closer and closer until I found myself right next to him and he handed me a potato peeler! I was happy, until I saw and realized how many potatoes I had to peel. Being a 6 or 7 years old, peeling a fifty pound bag of potatoes was not my idea of fun.
At the age of 12 years old, my passion for cooking begun to take shape. I was cooking dinner with my grandmother every night. It then got to the point where I was cooking holiday dinners for my family. That led to me start my own catering business, then later deciding to go to culinary school. I worked my way up the ladder to finally becoming an Executive Chef in Beverly Hills. Although, I was fulfilling my dreams from a culinary standpoint, there was a familiar tug on my life that continued to grow stronger and stronger each day - the love of God that would not relent until I was solely His.
Early in October 2014, Pastor Darrin asked if I would teach his Sunday school class the weeks he was to preach. I agreed to do so. However, come January 2015, I was teaching every week. During the summer, Pastor Darrin approached me with an opportunity to lead the Edge Youth Ministry. In my heart, I knew it was something I was to do and take on, but I didn’t instantly accept. I prayed first, then accepted, and now have been leading the youth since August.
God’s will for my life to teach, preach, and win souls for the kingdom has become one that I’ve embraced as my own. I find it funny because I’ve always loved to feed people, now I feed them life!
Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving(25) At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. (26) Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! (27) “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (28) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (NLT)