by Gail Granada, Dining Room Manager
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21
If you told me five years ago that I would be working at Murrieta Hot Springs Christian Conference Center, and not just working but actually managing their largest department, I would have told you you were out of your mind. I don’t know anything about food services except how to use the drive-thru at In-N-Out. I spent the second half of my teenage years studying and working to put myself through college. By the time I was twenty, I had a teaching degree with an emphasis in Multivariable Calculus. The Lord gave me a heart for His children; I knew that I was going to reach them through teaching. I was going to change the world and win souls for Christ by teaching math in other countries. It was during this plan when the Lord said, “Aw, that’s cute, Gail. Now let me show you how My plans are bigger and better than your biggest dreams.”
After teaching a couple years in San Diego, through the Lord’s leading, I ended up back in my hometown of Murrieta, California. Basically my entire family either worked, attended school, and/or served at church here on the conference center campus.
For over a year, I struggled to find full-time work again — I juggled three part-time jobs while serving in the youth and creative ministries at Cross Culture Ministries. I had a really hard time balancing my work life with my ministry life. To be completely honest, I was envious of my friends and family who were so fortunate to be able to serve at a place where they worked and lived with one another. I was getting so upset that I had this heart to work with the youth and creative department at my church but was limited due to my demanding work schedule. Fortunately, the pastor of our church, Rod Thompson, is also the director of MHSCCC. I am blessed to serve under a man after Christ’s own heart. In this year where I struggled with not having what I thought I deserved, Pastor Rod helped me learn that my true sufficiency was in Jesus. Instead of constantly striving for the ministry and work opportunities that I thought would bring me happiness, I focused all my energy on being faithful in the ministries He had placed me in now. And in my faithfulness, Pastor Rod recognized my diligence.
He made known to me a couple job openings here and there, but nothing really worked out. I was praying, hoping, wishing for an administrative job; there were not really teaching opportunities on campus, but I knew that I was gifted administratively. I thought it would be such an amazing opportunity to serve under any of the supervisors or department heads here.
One day, Pastor Rod called me into his office. I was terrified. He had never called me into his office before and I immediately replayed in my head every sin and fall from grace I had the past year. Yeah, I have sinned, but I could not recall of any one event in particular that would necessitate a call to the principal’s office. Palms sweaty, knees weak, and arms heavy, I nervously asked him the purpose of this meeting. He informed me that the Dining Room Manager position was open and that he would like for me to consider accepting it. I was absolutely floored! When I prayed for an ant hill, Jesus had plans for mountains.
In the dining room, I have this unique opportunity where I get to work and do ministry in tandem. I can pour into the staff and students while demonstrating the love of Christ through our service. I get to cast vision and build up the body. I have the opportunity to exercise my spiritual gifts in administration, hospitality, and teaching to glorify our Heavenly Father. Best of all, I get to do all of this alongside my friends and family. I may not be teaching math to children in foreign countries, but the Lord has allowed me to come alongside the 30,000+ guests from all over the world. We serve worship leaders, pastors, pastors’ wives, missionaries, moms, dads, grandparents, new believers, unsaved souls, and more. With a simple meal service, my staff and I are able to prepare these individuals’ hearts before they go into their workshops and classes so that they can take what they learn and impact the world for Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
To learn more about Gail, watch her staff introduction video below!