Altar Ego – Week 1
May 4, 2014
Altar Ego – Week 2
May 11, 2014
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Give Up! Give Out! Slinging Pizzas to Bring Smiles

It’s not every day that you see a small group take over a restaurant and start slinging free pizzas around to hungry customers.

And it’s even rarer that people will give up their time and money to do something like this with no ulterior motive—except to bring an unexpected smile to people’s faces.

Here at Our Savior, we were challenged in Lent this year to “give up and give out” as a church and school at all of our multiple ministries in multiple locations around the area.

One small group was moved to creatively think about how they could impact our community for good. As one member, Brian Bakken recounted, “We were thinking through ideas about how we could help the most people and live love in an unexpected way that people would truly appreciate.”

They initially brainstormed about providing gas or grocery store gift cards for people, but as Bakken shared, “We realized that we wanted to feed a family. Food is the ultimate feel-good.”

The group connected with family-owned Fazio’s Pizzas & Subs in Gulfport, explaining their idea for blessing strangers through providing a delicious meal. The owners excitedly embraced the idea, rushing to give a large discount to the group so they could maximize their impact.

Fazio’s owners also thoughtfully preselected several families that would be especially blessed by the free pizzas, picking out several single mothers and others in financially challenging situations and connecting with them to ensure that they were able to take a hot meal home to their families.

In early April, the small group teamed up with the staff at Fazio’s and in the words of Bakken, “We spent the evening living love!” Anyone who came into the restaurant that night to order their food was given their meal free, since Our Savior covered the cost of the food.

Bakken’s small three-year-old daughter, Leila, tagged along for the event, bringing smiles to customer’s faces. As her father said, “She had fun meeting a bunch of new people, and saying, ‘Here’s your pizza, it’s free!’”

So how did people react to their unexpected gesture of love?

“We had lots of surprised reactions from customers—everything from ‘Oh my goodness, you are truly a blessing from God!’ to ‘No way, this is too late for April Fool’s Day!’” laughed Bakken. “We were able to serve around fifty people in total that night.”

Customers were deeply touched by the willingness this small group had to go out and bless them with a hot meal—and the small group was, too. As Bakken recounted, “It was cool to see people that were just shocked. It’s been a while since someone has been that nice to them—it was cool to see their appreciation. It was a way to remember that the human spirit is good.”

The group was especially grateful to the owners and staff at Fazio’s, who even kicked in and provided them with a free meal that evening. “I was amazed at when you ask someone to help you with something like this, how much they give and support it,” says Bakken. “They were as excited—even more excited—than we were.”

Taking over a pizza joint for one evening ended up being a huge blessing to many—and one ingenious way that Our Savior continues to live love.It’s not every day that you see a small group take over a restaurant and start slinging free pizzas around to hungry customers.

And it’s even rarer that people will give up their time and money to do something like this with no ulterior motive—except to bring an unexpected smile to people’s faces.

Here at Our Savior, we were challenged in Lent this year to “give up and give out” as a church and school at all of our multiple ministries in multiple locations around the area.

One small group was moved to creatively think about how they could impact our community for good. As one member, Brian Bakken recounted, “We were thinking through ideas about how we could help the most people and live love in an unexpected way that people would truly appreciate.”

They initially brainstormed about providing gas or grocery store gift cards for people, but as Bakken shared, “We realized that we wanted to feed a family. Food is the ultimate feel-good.”

The group connected with family-owned Fazio’s Pizzas & Subs in Gulfport, explaining their idea for blessing strangers through providing a delicious meal. The owners excitedly embraced the idea, rushing to give a large discount to the group so they could maximize their impact.

Fazio’s owners also thoughtfully preselected several families that would be especially blessed by the free pizzas, picking out several single mothers and others in financially challenging situations and connecting with them to ensure that they were able to take a hot meal home to their families.

In early April, the small group teamed up with the staff at Fazio’s and in the words of Bakken, “We spent the evening living love!” Anyone who came into the restaurant that night to order their food was given their meal free, since Our Savior covered the cost of the food.

Bakken’s small three-year-old daughter, Leila, tagged along for the event, bringing smiles to customer’s faces. As her father said, “She had fun meeting a bunch of new people, and saying, ‘Here’s your pizza, it’s free!’”

So how did people react to their unexpected gesture of love?

“We had lots of surprised reactions from customers—everything from ‘Oh my goodness, you are truly a blessing from God!’ to ‘No way, this is too late for April Fool’s Day!’” laughed Bakken. “We were able to serve around fifty people in total that night.”

Customers were deeply touched by the willingness this small group had to go out and bless them with a hot meal—and the small group was, too. As Bakken recounted, “It was cool to see people that were just shocked. It’s been a while since someone has been that nice to them—it was cool to see their appreciation. It was a way to remember that the human spirit is good.”

The group was especially grateful to the owners and staff at Fazio’s, who even kicked in and provided them with a free meal that evening. “I was amazed at when you ask someone to help you with something like this, how much they give and support it,” says Bakken. “They were as excited—even more excited—than we were.”

Taking over a pizza joint for one evening ended up being a huge blessing to many—and one ingenious way that Our Savior continues to live love.

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