Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peru: How it all started

So, I sorta sprang the whole trip to Peru thing on everyone without any details. Now I'll go back and fill you all in briefly and in my own words on how it all began.

The missions pastor at my church in Greeley has a connection with a pastor in Lima, Peru. The vision of the work in Peru is all about raising up leaders and sending them out to plant more churches, not so much about building a mega-church situation. Anyway, about 3 or so years ago, when Zoe's was being renovated, Phil (Zoe's pastor) took a missions trip down to Lima to help out a new church that had been planted in Cruz del Norte by Pastors Benjamin and Anita. During that trip, Phil and the team shared about what we were building with Zoe's. Anita mentioned that her family had a coffee farm and gave Phil a couple of pounds of green coffee beans. These beans needed roasting and Phil gave it his best shot after reviewing several "how-to" videos on Youtube. This first shot at amateur coffee roasting turned out to be a bust, but it also became the inspiration that led to last summer's coffee roaster purchase and the start of roasting at Zoe's. The vision for coffee roasting at Zoe's is not simply about being trendy. It is about establishing direct trade relationships with our coffee farmers in order to provide them with a more fair price for their coffee. The connection with Pastors Benjamin and Anita in Peru seemed like the perfect place to start this next phase of the Zoe's journey. Phil arranged for an exploratory trip and 23 people volunteered to join him on an advenuture to Anita's family farm in Palomar near Villa Rica, Peru.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Faithful? Are you sure?

Tonight as I was wasting a bit of time on Facebook, I noticed the status of a friend of mine. Apparently her dogs had gotten loose, but had been found after prayer and searching or friendly neighbors or something. Which is great. A relief for sure. Anyway, something in her post struck me. She mentioned how it was, "another reminder from our Father that He cares for things dear to our hearts." Which again, is great. And I don't have a problem with that. At all. Honest. But it got me thinking. What about all the things/people dear to my heart that He hasn't returned. No, they haven't been returned at all. More like ripped from me at times. Painfully. Irretrievably. What are those instances and circumstances supposed to remind me of? That He doesn't care about the things dear to my heart? That I haven't prayed enough or with enough faith? That really they were idols in my heart that needed pruning out anyway? I am thankful for the reminders He gives me. For the items and people returned or whatever it is that shows me He hears me. That He sees me. That He cares for me. But sometimes the dog gets run over. And it sucks. That doesn't change the truth of Him caring for what is dear to my heart. This simple status update offering acknowledgement of God's goodness has provoked me to consider circumstances in my day. To remember that God isn't good and moving and working and faithful because my day goes well and my prayers get answered. He is good and moving and working and faithful because that is who He is. Period. My life, my circumstances are not the standard by which He is judged. Yet He is gracious to show me His faithfulness in my life in ways I can understand. Through friends who remind me of truth and who won't let me quit this struggle of faith and those who call and offer to take me shopping so we can catch up on life. And so many other ways. But I have to remember that God's goodness and character and faithfulness is not founded in my life, but in His life, His essence, His word.

"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights."
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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