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How Can Coffee Go Further?

Gospel witness can start with buying someone a cup of coffee, or by helping someone thousands of miles away get a cup of coffee. In the fall of 2018, students at Grace College in Indiana were able to make a tangible difference in a coffee operation in Southeast Asia, without even leaving campus.

It all began when missions conference organizers got together with Encompass Mobilizers John Ward and Juli Stokes to come up with a fundraising project to feature at the conference. They wanted to engage students on a practical level and also inspire them to become more invested in global missions. And what connects with college students better than coffee, right?

When John and Juli found out that a coffee shop in Southeast Asia only had a coffee grinder about the size of a water bottle, they knew the search for a fundraising project was over. The shop couldn’t even grind a whole bag of coffee at once. What the business really needed to thrive—and could not afford—was a $2,000 coffee grinder. Could the Grace College students raise that much? 

It was a lot more money than Grace students had been able to raise at the missions conference in recent years, but Encompass and the student-led chapel team at Grace College knew that this was the project God wanted them to fund. So, they shared the need with students, hoping they might be able to raise $1,000 or $1,500. When they tallied the final donations, God had provided the full amount through the generosity of Grace students!

The real success is the way Grace students engaged with global missions. By partnering with the coffee shop, they discovered that missions is about more than preaching and planting churches. God can use any interest, any degree, any passion in the work of ministry. They also learned the impact they can have on global missions without setting foot outside the United States. Through the work of people like the Encompass mobilization team, it’s easier than ever to connect with creative ministries around the world. And when we work together, we can go further.

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