Jono and Lucy started cooking meals from around the world and praying for other countries with their kids. Now, they’ve developed The Fisherman’s Meal, a way to experience the Easter story as a family together


Source: Eat & Amen

“Mum, is it Eat & Amen today after nursery? Or is it tomorrow?” asks our four year old over breakfast. Her head tilts to one side as she tries to figure out the sequence of the week and how much longer it is until the family down tools in exchange for cookie cutters, mashers and peelers, boogies to some new tunes and tucks into fresh chapatis (or whatever food we’re cooking this week). In her mind, it is one big playtime with all her favourite people.

For all six of us, Eat & Amen is a high point of the week. It gives us adventure, connection and discipleship from our kitchen table. Raising four kids in a big city is intense, with so many competing demands on our time, energy, finances and relationships. Yet the rhythm of Eat & Amen has helped us to keep our most precious values as an integral thread in the fabric of our lives.

Praying round the world

After living in the Middle East for five years, we returned to the UK missing our Syrian friends and their amazing cuisine (who wouldn’t?). We also wanted a way to keep praying for God’s kingdom to come in that part of the world. So Eat & Amen was born! Most Fridays, the whole family would cook some of our favourite dishes and pray a simple prayer that “the news about [Jesus] would spread throughout all of Syria” (see Matthew 4:24).

The novelty of donning a fez and blitzing chickpeas every week unsurprisingly expired, but we realised there was a whole world to discover, cook from and pray for from our kitchen table.

A bigger vision

Eat & Amen gave us time to connect and have fun as a family, with faith as the riff. It empowers our kids to cook and serve, and gives us all a bigger vision of God and his love for the world. Our eyes were widened to the beauty of different cultures, the power of prayer and the universality of the gospel.

More than that, it helps our kids understand that they belong to a global Church family. The older ones are starting to think critically and Christianly about complex topics that naturally come up – such as environmental issues when we made Feijoada on Brazil night, or race and equality on South Africa night.

The Fishermen’s Meal allows families to enter into that moment after Jesus’ resurrection

As friends started to adopt the idea, we sensed that making Eat & Amen into a resource would offer other families a new discipleship tool as they also seek to build their lives on Jesus. Living in the times we do, Christian parents realise the need for a diverse and plentiful supply of tools for the task. There’s a growing recognition that one hour a week of Sunday school isn’t going to cut it for nurturing faith in our kids.

Learning more

A meal together is the oldest trick in the book for fostering connection, but making it fun and multisensory transforms it into an ideal setting for a rich learning experience. The Eat & Amen recipe is simple: we COOK, DISCOVER and PRAY.

Over Chinese New Year, our friend Yang taught us how to make dumplings, Stella shared her story of following Jesus from a communist background, and a discovery video gave a glimpse of life in China, its geography and a brief history of the Church.

We would cook our favourite dishes and pray that the news about Jesus would spread throughout all of Syria

At Christmas, families posted pictures of themselves cooking up ‘The Shepherds’ Meal’ - lentil soup - with tea towels on their head, imagining what it must have been like to be the shepherds who first heard about Jesus’ birth, and praying for peace in the Middle East.

This Easter, The Fishermen’s Meal allows families to enter into that beautiful moment after Jesus’ resurrection when he turns up on the Galilee shore, fills the disciple’s nets and cooks them breakfast on the beach. There are recipes for fish and dip, and edible ice cream nets, prayer ideas and a story. You can make it as simple (fish fingers) or as creative (sou’westers) as you like.

We hope it’s memorable, meaningful and fun - and that your kids will be asking when the next one is!

Eat & Amen is produced by Jono & Lucy Simpson. Subscribe to the YouTube channel or send a message to the Eat & Amen WhatsApp +44 7396 811129. Next episode releases May half term.