HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — John Grooman’s Chevy Silverado was stolen from the driveway of his home last Friday.
Normally the theft of a 2006 car wouldn’t make news, but the 65-year-old Grooman used that silver truck every week to help feed more than 1,000 homeless and needy people.
The truck is his everything.
But, as he tells CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Amanda Burden, his faith makes he believe the vehicle will somehow make its way back to him.
His many admirers call him “Big John.” And they are referring to his heart.
Most nights he can be found at the soup kitchen he founded — the Five Loaves and Two Fish Ministry. The name, he explains, “comes out of the gospel of John.”
Many of the folks here — the ones who don’t call him “Big John” — have no issue with calling him “Saint John.”
He doesn’t see what he does as any big deal. He’s volunteered and helped people all his life. He says, humbly, “I guess God just puts it on your heart.”
Irene Garcia, who is currently homeless, sees it differently. “I think that he has a very big heart.”
Right now he has a void.
The Silverardo was stolen as was his wife’s car. Inside was $3,700 worth of cooking equipment he uses for his ministry. “We’re a traveling soup kitchen and so when they got my truck they got all my cooking supplies, my tables, my serving trays.”
Grooman figures he is down, but not out. He tells Burden he isn’t even concerned. “My first thought was … ‘I wonder what God has in store for me next?’”
Already the community has rallied to his side. One friend offered him the use of his truck. Other friends and supporters offered all the grills and tables and trays he needs to keep the traveling soup kitchen alive.
Says Grooman, “That’s where God reaches out. He makes it available and then you use it and you start replacing your stuff. We didn’t miss one beat.”