Rodel Perez shares his story of how food and faith can change lives in an extract from Simply Eat, a collection of stories about meeting Jesus around food.

In September 2016, a men’s small group from Kensington Temple church in Notting Hill organised a Curry Challenge in Bayswater. It’s an annual event which presents the opportunity for members to invite unbelieving friends to be treated to an Indian curry and listen to a short talk and hear a testimony while getting to know one another in an informal setting. 

A few weeks before the event, one of my colleagues, while on our work break, was crying. When I asked if she was OK she replied, I am worried about my son, Edwin, who is being badly bullied.’ 


Following an altercation and further continued bullying, Edwin had plummeted into deep depression and had been hospitalised on two separate occasions – one for two weeks and the other for three. The depression had deepened to the point where he wanted to take his own life. 

Before our break ended, I told her that I was going to pray for Edwin. I also told her to tell her son that a colleague of hers was praying for him and wanted to meet with him when he was ready. 

After a while I asked her how Edwin was doing. She said he was getting better so I asked if I could invite him to the curry night our group were holding. Edwin accepted the invitation. 

On the day of the event, I picked Edwin up from his house and took him to the restaurant where the Curry Challenge was to take place. After a good meal, entertainment and fellowship our leader shared his testimony, and Billy Graham (on a large screen in the restaurant) gave a short message on Hope’.

After this, I presented the guests on my table with an opportunity to give their lives to Jesus. Edwin gave his life there and then! 

Every guest at the Curry Challenge evangelistic initiative was presented with a Welcome Bag’. We are very grateful to the Gideons who distributed some New Testament Bibles in these bags for our guests. Not everyone that night was as bold and evident as Edwin with giving their life to Christ – but I’m confident seeds of the gospel were sown in men’s hearts. Being able to present these Welcome Bags containing the Bible provides an opportunity for them to delve into the Bible in their own time, thereby providing a pivotal link to give their life to Christ further down the line. 

Another man on the night, having gone home with his Welcome Bag, placed the bag and Bible in a cupboard and forgot about them. Some weeks later, when he was home and alone with his thoughts, the curry night came to his remembrance. Intrigued, he pulled the bag out of his cupboard to look into its contents. He rang his friend who had invited him to the curry night, and said, I want to know more about this Jesus.’ 

Last week I saw him at Kensington Temple attending his first church service. The seeds had borne their fruit! 

Edwin has not looked back and attends one of my men’s groups each week and church every Sunday. He’s a changed man and growing in Christ. Last month he was baptised. 

We will keep praying that the Word of God will come alive in the lives of the other gentlemen to become fellow disciples in due season. Who knows when they will pick up that Bible – but we trust that one day they will, and come to experience the great treasure of it, just as we have. 

Simply Eat is a coffee table book designed to inspire Christians to share Jesus around food.

From a BAFTA award-winning writer to a former Hindu priest, and from a poetic schoolgirl to a celebrity chef, Simply Eat is an inspirational collection of stories and recipes celebrating the power of food and faith.

Buy Simply Eat.