Written by Angel Bailey
I met a new couple at our Community Thanksgiving Dinner. They are new to the area and in recovery from addiction. The wife was 7 months pregnant with her first child. She was nervous and unsure about being a parent. I sat and talked with her for a while and gave her some tips for preparing for baby. 2 days later, her husband came in to the café and told Herb that his wife thinks her water broke. Herb called me and asked me to call and talk to her. She didn’t answer at first and I was a bit nervous but started praying. I finally got ahold of her and strongly encouraged her to go right away to the hospital.
Thank God they did, because her water had broken and the baby was in duress. They did an emergency C-section and had to give the baby a breathing tube. They had a little girl, and named her, but she was life-flighted to a hospital if Pittsburgh so they couple didn’t get to spend any time with her. Tuesday morning, the husband came to the café for bible study and confessed through tears that he was scared for his baby’s life and about being a father. Everyone around the table was so encouraging to him and it was amazing to see God’s love in the flesh. We are waiting to hear back from him about where they will be staying when they get a room at the hospital where Piper is being cared for so we can go visit them. Please join with us in keeping this couple and their newborn in your prayers. God bless!
Written by Helen Yi
There is truly nothing greater than seeing people who have been deeply blessed be a blessing to those around them. It paints an intensely beautiful picture.
As I work, I sit facing the main entrance to interact with customers who come in, greet people who come to meet with Herb, grab packages and mail as the postal workers walk in, and to lend a helping hand to those who seem a little lost. Some of my favorite interactions with the people who walk through the doors is when I see the love of Christ being exemplified. This month I was able to experience that because of the people who partner with the Café in ministry.
We have been collecting winter coats since the beginning of this month because the weather in Pennsylvania is brutally cold. This past week, I was sitting working and it was earlier in the day and I saw a gentleman walk in with a large box. I was unfamiliar with the person and could not see what the box contained. Angel and I were both watching as he approached the back of the Café, and she greeted him, and he told her he had winter coats! She knew his name and thanked him, and he said to let him know if we needed more and walked out. I immediately stood up and looked in the box and was taken aback. The box contained a bunch of puffy, colorful jackets all brand new with their original tags.
I looked back at the rack of existing coat donations and was deeply moved. The coat rack has been well visited by many people, but the rack is never empty. It gets replenished with coats almost instantly. So many people have been blessed by this rack and it is all thanks to people like you. The people who have donated coats will probably never know or see where their donations went or to whom received the coats, but the point is that they gave freely. They gave freely because they were freely given grace from the Father.
We are able to bless others because we know that God has truly blessed us. We were given grace when we deserved death. We were given grace when we chose sin over God’s love. We were given grace and because we were given grace, we can also give grace to the people we serve. We love because He first loved us.
Written by: Nancy O'Leary
A couple of weeks ago, I had an unchurched workman who came to my home to do some much needed repairs and, after a just few days of my listening to his story and some basic conversation, he is now choosing to be baptized and will start his instruction in a couple of weeks. Basically, evangelism, for me, begins with listening. In my home, I was basically God’s ear and I was listening and speaking words of hope and truth.
At the café, we promote listening as the philosophy of evangelism and this is where we usually start at the cafe. People are carrying a lot of pain and loneliness in today’s world and they often don’t feel like they are being heard. Often, people are angry about many things and just to be heard brings a sense that someone understands their struggle and that what they feel and say has importance and valued -not only to you but to God.
The second thing I do is to lead with the love of Christ and acts of kindness. The good news of Christ also is to be lived through our words and acts of love which speaks volumes to a world which is longing for meaning and hope. I recently heard an author explain that telling the story of God needs to begin with creation, in the garden, where a beautiful God has made a beautiful world so that we can enjoy it and each other. By leading with the love of Christ and the beauty that God has created for all of us can transform each and every person with whom we come into contact. The two things that people today need the most is to know that they are being heard, that they are loved by God, and that they have a place in this beautiful world which God has created and that they
Written by: Herb Bailey
A lot goes into planning a fundraiser. From caterers to speakers to who to invite and even the design, many hands go into seeing a fundraiser successful. We have plenty of people to thank, from Nancy Cochran and her team of fundraisers, to our own team, headed up by Helen Yi. It was an amazing time and we got to highlight Aliquippa’s own fire chief, Dave Foringer, who works behind the scenes often to bring change about in our community. The Mayor Dwan Walker offered prayer and a quick testimony about the café and its ministry. The guest list was full of dignitaries, friends and partners in ministry and every word that I heard about their experience was humbling to me.
Our team of volunteers and staff gave testimony to their experience of dignity (our theme was Delivering Dignity) and the sounds of glory to God echoed through the basement of Crestmont Alliance Church. We are so grateful for their partnership and for them hosting our banquet. Singing praises, Andrenna, Kyah and Angel, with accompanying on the cajon by yours truly, had voices joining together to worship God.
With a call to not only give one time, but for a continual partnership, we saw over five thousand dollars given that night with many new people coming on to support the delivering of dignity to our community. If you wanted to give and missed the opportunity, or you have friends that are looking to support the work of a ministry that loves well its community, please don’t hesitate to partner with us, both financially as well as physically coming over.
The divide is only as wide as our fear allows it to be. May the Lord perfect His love in us all. May the Lord give you opportunity to deliver dignity within your sphere of influence and may He expand your reach.
Blessings to you!
Uncommon Grounds Cafe