Written By Andrenna Williams
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
As children of God, we are called to love, unconditionally. This is not always the easiest thing to do, especially with those who "seemingly" push our buttons and make us feel uncomfortable. On a daily basis, here at the cafe, we are confronted with difficult situations that require us to take a deep breath, close our eyes and go to our Father in prayer to help us respond in love. This causes us to remember: a) we can do NOTHING without God, b) we walk with the same authority and love as Christ did, and c) that each and every one of us deserves the love and grace of God. Focusing on those truths and relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us is paramount to navigating thru our day. When we do this, we are more likely to allow love to lead our response and reduce the likelihood of us relying on our own strength. So, when that customer says their toast is too burnt or someone gets into a "scuffle" in front of the cafe, we can respond in such a way that the situation is not only diffused, but the person knows it's coming from a place of love AND they do not repeat the behavior. Our father WANTS us to be successful and has given us all the tools we need to succeed. Glory be!
Written By Nancy O'Leary
On the surface, the Spring Street Farm and Apiary seems like any another garden project but, at its inception and core, its mission has been always about transformation of people through a Christ-centered community. During a mission team visit last season, a young person shared how her father had recently disparaged her and the team surrounded her with words of acceptance and encouraged her identity in Christ. The garden is a place of grace where hurting and broken people are loved back to wholeness as we introduce them to what a Christ centered community looks like and His love for us.
This year, we will begin the building of the greenhouse which is the final project of the garden. The greenhouse is a metaphor for helping others find new life and growth both personally and spiritually. Last season, we hosted young teams and others in transition from various facilities and our conversations were filled with Christ’s working in our lives and His care and love for us. At its core, this is our identify and mission. It’s all about outreach and new life, community, transformation in Christ, and His love and care for us.
Written By Herb Bailey
It has been ten years since he picked up and used any illegal substance. Ten years. And yesterday, he came through the door, and as usual I greeted him with a smile, calling out his name. He walked over to me, eyes lowered, and quietly asked me if we had some food in our pantry. I quickly adjusted my posture, and began to listen to his heart. This is unusual because he normally comes in and buys massive quantities of breakfast food for himself and his family. We made it downstairs to our pantry, a place that holds food that has been donated but we don’t advertise.
We utilize this as part of our relational capital and only with people we have been building relationships with. He filled his two bags and as we headed back upstairs, we stopped just shy of the kitchen. Still out of range of the rest of the café folks, he told me that it had been rough. I attempted to encourage him with words, but what he asked me for was prayer. So we prayed. We prayed and when we were done, he left as quietly as he had come in.
This is the relational capital that you, our friends offer through your giving and through your time and through your prayers. This is what we get to do, daily. Along with celebrating life during Open Mic night and Bible Studies and Recovery Services, we simply offer prayer born out of relationships. Jesus loves you, you love us, and we love the community. What a beautiful example of relational capital, what a beautiful example of the kingdom of God.