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Chicago Nun Wins “Chopped” and You’ll Love What She’s Doing With the $10,000

Sister Alicia Torres, the winner of “Chopped,” the Food Network’s reality TV cooking show has a passion and affection for Jesus that is refreshing (and some amazing dishes too!). Torres won $10,000 for Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, which helps feed the homeless and hungry in Chicago.

This “cooking nun” credits her talents to Jesus. The reason she did the show was not just to earn money for the mission, but to use her talents for God and to raise awareness about hunger issues.

Here are three things I learned from Sister Torres:

Intentional Community – The Extra Effort is so Worth It

At the mission, the sisters set tables with table cloths and real dishes to share a meal with their soup kitchen guests. Their focus on meeting both spiritual and physical hunger combined with their intentionality on community has created an environment where people come not just to eat, but to stay for a while.

Torres said, “Now [the guests] stay for at least one-and-a-half hours, sometimes two! It is amazing to see how the Lord draws us together as brothers and sisters in Christ to share food, faith and fun!”

Joy is Contagious – Share Your Affection for Jesus

People are often curious and interested in the sisters and how they find so much joy and satisfaction in their relationship with Jesus. “In our lives, we strive to share the love and the joy found in this relationship with all we meet. I think many people are attracted by the joy that sisters have and it makes them wonder if that joy is possible for them too,” she said.

“I hope that by our witness we can help all men and women discover that being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the most fulfilling way to live life.”

All is Ministry – Use Whatever You Love to do for the Kingdom

On participating in the show, Torres said, “I wanted to do it for Jesus: to be a witness to how fulfilling a life surrendered to God can be. I also wanted to represent the least among us, the very poor, who are so dear to Jesus.”

“Perhaps being on national TV and winning this competition will bring some attention to the issue of hunger and to the reality that God’s love is so strong and so big, he can take this little nun from Chicago who never went to culinary school to compete. … Literally nothing is impossible with God,” she shared.

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Esther Laurie is a staff writer at churchleaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.