8:43 pm Well I am back with you. Dinner called and so being a good guest I joined in for another fabulous dinner. Again the food is some of the best I have ever had. It is not your typical mission trip food. That has been one of the many surprised we have experienced on this adventure. What has been most consistent throughout has been God’s presence. With every visit, with every new person we meet, every new story we here, every place we visit God just keeps showing up. Today visiting the coffee farm was no different. I really don’t have the space to share with you all the many stories we heard today. Just suffice it to say that the coffee farm supports fifty families of around 280 people and that they are self sustaining. As we were hearing the stories today we could hear coming from one of the homes music from a worship service of the evangelical church there. The pastor, who also is a part of the community, was leading the service. Again God was present even as we heard their story of hope and perseverance. We were with the poor again today. While they might be self sustaining it is a life whereby 50 families live on the $60,000 they receive for their coffee. I learned today that coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world behind oil. Coffee has been and is their life. The pride with which they run their community and work was most impressive. They grow organic coffee. The folks at Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina who help them market and distribute the coffee they produce do so through a company they have named, “theirbucks coffee.” Google it and see what you can learn about it. I understand you can order coffee from the web site. I hope all of you will look at it and think about ordering from them. We had a taste of the coffee at lunch and it was smooth. There was no aftertaste at all. It was good. I could drink their coffee black.
Paul, Becca’s husband, led us today along with Ian. He translated for us as one of the community men told us their story and answered our questions. Paul is from Ireland and it was fun listening to him speak with the Irish brogue.
Paul has been another one of those God surprises. He and his wife Becca and their two girls are Quaker. They have a great story too! They have lived here as a part of this ministry for 15 years. Becca came fresh out of college as a volunteer intern and never left. Paul’s passion today was so evident. He loves the story of the folks we met today and he loves those people. That much was rather obvious. That seems to be true everywhere we go in the country related to the CDCA ministry. Today we finished our work with them and tomorrow we get the day off to shop and play a little. It has been a rather intense week but a memorable and holy week as well.
Tonight I challenged the group to pray about where God will be leading them in response to the marvelous gift of this trip that each of us has been given. I call our church to respond to the same challenge. What does this experience mean for our church from this point on. The mission team is recommending to the mission committee that we enter into a relationship with this ministry and that we bring another mission team back next year in November to do more ministry on the ground with them here. We will bring 15 if our church accepts the recommendation. I want all of you to prayerfully consider what this means for our church. Bridget reminded us of the shirts we wear when we go to minister with the homeless that says, “the church has left the building.” If we decide to support the recommendation of the mission team we will be creating new shirts that say, “the church has left the country!” John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church said it best when he said, “the world is our parish!”
We have had an indescribable experience here among these new brothers and sisters of faith. The need is great here!
We have begun a partnership with some folks who are dedicated to serving the poor in Nicaragua. Continue to pray for us as we finish up the next two days. We feel your prayers. We have really enjoyed your support through the comments.
Thank you for encouraging us to come on the new adventure of ministry. God has blessed us and we have received far more than we have given. I will see you in the morning! It has been quite a day in the Kingdom!!
I will see you on the road,
I John 3:1