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Cooking Up Hope - The Bayou Church

Oct 07, 2016 03:28PM ● By News Desk

We love the culture in Acadiana—the food, the music, and the joie de vivre. That’s one of the reasons we host our annual Chili/Gumbo Cook-Off every November. This free, family-friendly event is open to anyone in the community who wants to compete or sample. Typically, the cooking teams are from small groups within The Bayou Church who see the event as an opportunity to serve the community. However, there are several businesses and nonprofits that jump in on the fun competition for a chance to win the coveted, hand-painted awards and bragging rights for the following year. 

But many wonder why there is no admission cost to attend this event. The Chili/Gumbo Cook-Off doesn’t raise money, but it does raise awareness for Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Through OCC, children in remote villages and orphanages around the world receive a shoebox filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. For many of the recipients, this is the first gift ever received, and it can be the first glimpse into the truth that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them. And we have the chance to make that happen!

During our Chili/Gumbo Cook-Off, families have the opportunity to learn about Operation Christmas Child and take a shoebox home to fill for either a boy or girl in a specific age category. By participating in OCC, anyone can make a difference in a child’s life and share the message of hope this Christmas. Senior Pastor Mike Walker says, “At The Bayou Church, we place a high value on touching people with the type of love that our Savior, Jesus, displayed when He walked the earth. It’s an honor to serve people in this fashion.”

We hope you’ll cook up hope with us this holiday season by joining us at our Chili/Gumbo Cook-Off on Sunday, November 13 and by packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Find out more details about both events at

Photos courtesy of: Samaritan's Purse - Operation Christmas Child