Story by Carol Hunt
A Kitchen to Cook In
Carl Sojourner is a man that loves to cook. His passion for southern classic cuisine was born in the Biloxi, Mississippi kitchen of his mother. He would sit and watch her prepare rich macaroni and cheese, yam soufflé, deliciously spicy Cajun rice and other comfort foods in her spotless kitchen. “I loved her food and realized that if anything ever happened to her, I would lose her food too,” says Carl. He knew then that he would have to learn to cook just like her so that he would never lose those wonderful memories. On Easter Sunday 2011, he shared the food of his childhood with more than 200 guests at the MUST Ministries Loaves and Fishes kitchen in Marietta.
As a former guest of the Elizabeth Inn, Carl knows first-hand what it feels like to be homeless. A bad choice landed him in prison for a time, during which he lost his beloved mother. After his release, he found success as a cook in a restaurant in Roswell. Unfortunately, as the recent economy took its toll, he lost his job and eventually his apartment. Fortunately, Carl found MUST Ministries to give him the hope and support he needed to get back on his feet. “I enjoy the swinging door at MUST,” says Carl. “They give anyone a chance. As long as you put forth the effort, MUST will support you the whole way.”
A steady job allowed him to move into a housing program* and he is well on his way to having a kitchen of his own. He dreams of owning his own restaurant in the near future. He even has the name – Biloxi Street Café – where he will serve dishes inspired by his mother’s flair for flavor, along with his own special recipes.
MUST was there when Carl needed someplace to go. And for that he will be forever grateful. “Being involved in MUST is just being a part of what you believe,” attests Carl. “These are the walks and missions that Jesus Christ was called to do – so when you are called to serve in His name, how can you turn that down?”
*To find out more about the Elizabeth Inn emergency shelter, the housing program and the other wonderful programs offered by MUST Ministries, visit www.MUSTMinistries.org, or call (770) 427-9862. Your time, talents or resources are always welcome.