A lot has happened since I wrote you last week, but one place is really on my mind and heart lately: Africa.
Right now there is a Texan named Peb Smith who is over in Kenya. He is spending some time with a married couple named Onesimus and Esther, two lovely people who suddenly find themselves doing some tremendous work among orphans. All this has sprung up rather quickly and they are presently caring for roughly 40 orphans in and around their home. They are working to provide everything from clean water, to food, clothing and the supplies necessary to get these kids enrolled in school.
Many of these kids have been orphaned as a result of the widespread devastation caused by the Aids epidemic and are presently living with aged grandparents or aunts and uncles, who simply do not have the means to properly care for them. About a year ago, Peb, a retired medical doctor, found himself in Kenya and face to face with this crisis. Since that time God has brought him a small team of people Stateside who have begun to help offer support to Onesimus and these kids. One of those is my friend David Sheldon, who lives in Loveland.
Several weeks ago David put together an impromptu meeting for Peb to share what is happening in Kenya as he was passing through. My wife and I had a sudden cancellation on our schedule and found ourselves sitting on the couch in a friend's home and listening to Peb's amazing story. Since this coffee thing began, we've always imagined that, someday, there would be a connection with East Africa. Not knowing where or when or with whom, we simply kept waiting. Until now.
This past week it became clear to me. We are to begin what we will call The Africa Project. This project will be simple. Each season we will buy an African coffee that we will tie into the project. We will sell this coffee and give $4+ per bag to the work that Peb is doing there in Kenya. In so doing we will offer people a very clear opportunity to support a specific need in a specific place. Where it goes from there is in the heart of God.
David Sheldon is the artist who will design a special brand and label that we will use on all Africa Project bags. Our first coffee will be the Ethiopian Dry Process Kochere coffee. We will sell it at $14 per bag and give $4 from every bag directly to the project. In total, I hope to sell all the coffee by Christmas, which will result in us raising $1600.
There is talk about Onesimus knowing a coffee farmer in Mehru, Kenya and a trip with Peb in the future. We'll see... I am not holding my breath, but I'm not about to say no to such an opportunity!
Let me finish with this. There are a lot of companies out there who are giving 1% or even 5% of their profits to works of charity. While that is wonderful, I am not going to be satisfied with us giving such a small percentage. Some people may say it is not sustainable to give $4+ from every bag to a work like this, but I don't believe God got me into this think small. I want to be wise, but I also want us to make an impact... a BIG impact.
This in no way changes any of the work we're doing in Nicaragua. It's just the next place God is connecting us.
Imagine little orphaned kids getting clean water, proper fitting clothing, love and nurturing... all in part because people like you are willing to pay a few extra bucks for your coffee. It's a beautiful thing that is beginning to happen here. And YOU are a part of a great story that is just getting started! I can sense it in my inner man. Something wonderful lies ahead. Come with us and be a part of it!
Nicaraguan Coffee from Luis is On its Way!
We just got word this past week that the coffee we have been expecting from our Nicaraguan friend Luis is actually on its way! They loaded up our 10 bags into a container last week and shipped it off to New Jersey. And the coolest thing ever is that each of the coffee bags has our logo stamped on them! Yes, they hand stamped our logo on each of our bags, which is going to be amazing to behold when they arrive.
I am so excited. This coffee is the product of a dear friend and a man who is doing some tremendous work in Nicaragua. We are so blessed to be partnering with him there. This week we are releasing a pre-shipment of some of this coffee, so get ready! It is very balanced and beautiful. If you remember last year's coffee, it is every bit as good. Super high grown, the bean is very dense, which means more flavor and more complexity. This cup has a rounded sweetness to it that has hints of caramel or brown sugar. There is also a nice touch of lemonyness (if that is a word). All in all, it is a very approachable coffee that we are roasting in the medium range.
I'll have more to say once the big shipment arrives. For now, enjoy!