It’s the Month of May, Sip, Sip, Hooray!
Have you ordered your SERVE 2017 Authentic Community blend coffee yet? Share some community with others when you SERVE this specialty blend from our friends at Good Neighbour Coffee. A portion of all proceeds will give students the opportunity to experience Authentic Community at a SERVE mission trip in a way that will change their lives forever, encouraging them to impact this world for Christ. Click here to order your 1 lb bag today!
Read below to learn more about Good Neighbour Coffee and the amazing things they have been doing there!
We had no idea that the farmers who, today, grow the coffee beans that we now roast were the very people who were our Honduran friends 9 years ago.
In 2008, my wife and our four children lived in Catacamas, Honduras for four months. Having served as a youth pastor for 20 years in North America, I was granted a sabbatical. We decided to live in a Spanish speaking country for no other reason than to live and learn! I have led more than my share of mission trips and spoke on several SERVE trips, but now I wanted to simply go with my family and nestle deep within another culture.
When we returned from the sabbatical, roasting coffee was something we did as an experiment with neighbours and friends. Eventually, our family began sinking money into some better roasting equipment at about the same time my friends in Honduras began exporting coffee beans with the help of a group who we met while in Honduras called, “The Carpenteros and Friends.”
Meanwhile, my pastoral role in the church included some heavy experimentation in a mission that helped people love their neighbours called Neighbourhood Life. Three years later, I resigned from the institutional setting to begin a full time missionary position which seeks to transform lives and communities in Christ, focusing on our immediate neighbourhoods. This approach takes seriously a theology of place in which we are called to “bloom where we are planted”. At the heart of this model is the call to love our neighbours, with the certainty that God desires to draw our neighbours to himself and longs to see their lives transformed and the assurance that Christ “dwells among us.” I am now in my fourth year.
As the mission increased, so did the coffee roasting. People began asking where they could buy bags of Good Neighbour Coffee, and the number of visitors who stopped by the roasting shop also began to increase. Since I was well acquainted with fundraising for SERVE and various other parts of youth ministry, I approached the increasing sales as the ongoing fundraiser for Neighbourhood Life.
In fact, I also began harvesting stories from the authentic community developed in the various neighbourhoods in which I worked. Those stories were powerful and found their way onto the backs of the coffee bags. This was starting to get interesting. The direct trade coffee not only impacted the farmers in Honduras (currently we impact 55 farmers), and various families who work alongside them (around 250 families), but it impacted neighbourhoods where we live! Crazy, eh?
Well, with the benefit of our direct trade relationship, three of our friends/farmers flew from Honduras to Alberta and ended up at our Good Neighbour roasting shop’s open house this past October. They toured the small roasting facility that also stores the organic beans they so carefully harvested. They were the featured guests, who, through a translator, spoke over a half hour on the blessings the partnership had on their communities. As if that wasn’t enough, some of the other guests (neighbours and store owners) began to ask questions. The owners of a large grocery outlet heard enough and walked away while telling me to bring a case of all the products I roast, so he could sell this to our community.
Today, we have recognized the support of Rio Olancho coffee in Honduras and our Neighbourhood Life mission as the catalyst for creating authentic community. Call it a win, win, win situation! Not only have we increased our purchase of beans, but we are about to open our first, “Good Neighbour CoffeeHouse.”