Family dedicates life to helping sick people in Richmond and Ethiopia

CHESTER, Va. -- Serving sustenance is what Tim Brock lives for at his BBQ restaurant. It is a place where customers come first.

“I love BBQ,” says Tim. “I love cooking for people and feeding people.”

But serving others isn’t reserved just for the family business. His family’s passion also lies more than 7,000 miles away in Ethiopia.

Five years ago the congregation at Cornerstone Assembly of God raised funds to launch a mission called Project Hope. The clinic delivers sorely needed medical services to strangers barely surviving in Gende Tesfa, a town of 22,000.

Project Hope at work

Project Hope at work

“Now they have food,” says Tim. “They have clothing. They have medical care.”

Co-founder Pastor Shawn Franco says Project Hope is saving lives.

“You’re talking about the poorest of the poor in a third world country,” says Pastor Franco. “It is something that we and the Brocks and the people we work with in Project Hope carry them in our heart all of the time.”

In five years, the Brock family has gone above and beyond. Tim’s wife Lisa and their daughter Sarah, both registered nurses, say traveling to the impoverished town has transformed their lives.

Project Hope at work

Project Hope at work

“Just giving them a little bit to them has brought so much more to my heart,” says Sarah Brock.

“Lot of times they have leprosy still in this village,” says Lisa Brock. “(The clinic) is like a beacon of light in the middle of this desolation almost in the desert,” says Lisa Brock.

Project Hope is flourishing through Tim’s fundraising and his daughter’s hands on approach,

Tim Brock

Tim Brock

“It just makes you very humble and makes you thankful for what you have,” says Sarah Brock.

Whether it’s BBQ with a side of slaw or supporting strangers half a world away, the Brock family serves everything with a big helping of love.

“Yes. It is part of our family, so it is in the forefront of what we do,” says Tim. “It is an amazing program. I just keep praying that it keeps going long after I’m gone.”

If you would like to help Project Hope, two fundraisers are planned. The first fundraiser will be held November 28 at Addis Ethiopian restaurant in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, from 7-9 p.m.

A second fundraiser will be held at Brock’s BBQ restaurant in Chesterfield on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.

If you know someone who I should feature in my “Heroes Among Us” segment, please reach out to Reporter Greg McQuade.