Missions {a reminder}

If you know me at all you know I love coffee.  Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of a passion that has been laying dormant in my heart, and He has been doing it through coffee.

First, a little history. I have been in church since childhood. My mom worked at a little mission in our hometown called the Cornerstone Mission. It was affiliated with our church and served the needy in our community by providing food, clothing, medical and dental care, utility bill payments, prayer, and the truth of the gospel. I would help my mom at the mission on days off from school and for most of the summer. I have always admired her compassion and heart for the needs of others, both physical and spiritual.

Now back to present day. Due to the crazy heat in Kansas lately, my afternoon cup of coffee has been iced. The Dude came home with a bag of iced coffee from Starbucks the other day which I have been thoroughly enjoying. But through some internet meandering I came across this recipe. I really want to try it, but need to gather some supplies first, so my Starbucks will just have to get me by for now. Anyway, her recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee immediately took me back in time to my month in Southeast Asia. After high school I boarded a plane and traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on a mission trip. The bulk of our trip was spent visiting orphanages both in the city and in the country. Digging out these pictures from almost ten years ago renews my heart's cry for children in this situation. Most of the pictures I brought home are of children. They are so beautiful. I want them to know that they are loved and cherished by their Heavenly Father, even when they don't know the love of an earthly one. The Lord showed me so much grace on that trip and changed my heart and life in a major way.

There was a little French bistro around the corner from our hotel in the city. A girl who I was acquainted with at home became my dear friend in this strange city. We shared some down-time at the bistro enjoying this same Vietnamese coffee and french bread and butter. Yum! I was so thankful then for a comforting taste in a challenging time and place. Today I am thankful for a reminder of that place and what the Lord taught me there.

My life now does not carry the flavor of international missions. I am focused on raising my children to love God and to need Jesus, to serve other moms in my community and church. How can I be missional from my 1960's ranch style house in the middle of Kansas? The answer...  coffee. {I should say one answer, because there are many ways to be mission minded and to live that out on a day-to-day basis. This is just one way.} My pastor shares my love for coffee and Sunday he informed me that the Starbucks brew which lovingly greets me at the door every Sunday morning is being replaced by coffee from the 963 project. The name comes from Psalm 96:3

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

The people behind this project are helping poverty-stricken coffee farmers in desolate places to earn enough through their farming for basic necessities such as clean drinking water, schooling for their children, food, shelter, and medical care. You can learn more about the 963 project by visiting their website. I think the Starbucks that greets me in my kitchen every morning will need to be replaced by 963 project coffee as well.

So that is how the Lord has used coffee to remind me of my call to be missional. If he has not called me to be in places like this and to people like these at this point in my life, I can be sure to partner in prayer and support for those who are.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

 Philippians 1:3-5

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