Over 10 years ago when I was in high school, I had this idea come to mind of a coffee shop that has a greater purpose, though, at the time, I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. For the next 10+ years, I allowed my fears to dictate many of the decisions I made, trying hard to ignore this dream. But after 10 years and still on my mind, I started to clue in to the idea that a business with a greater purpose might just be a nudging from God, though still not ready to fully embrace it.
The community at Eastside has been an amazing supporter of mine, even throughout those fear-driven years. I am blessed by a pastor and church community who challenges and pushes me, and encourages me to “do what is right in front of me.”
At this point I was introduced to a Harrisonburg-based nonprofit called, New Creation, a Christ centered organization that is counteracting sex trafficking. They have a local focus with a global approach, serving through educating youth, raising awareness in our communities, and generating funds to see many rescued & restored through a retail shop, and surprise (!) they have a goal to start a coffee bar!
When I finally met Sabrina, the director, we hit it off right away; I was an obvious fit for New Creation. Initially, the plan was for me to be in charge of getting their small coffee shop started in the new building (last spring they purchased a former pornography shop which was completely renovated; the retail space opened the summer of 2015), but as with many non-profits, finances are sometimes a struggle. With that said, the coffee shop is on hold until we get additional funding.
In the mean time, I stepped into the position of Volunteer Coordinator. Since another full-time employee was not in the budget, I partnered with Virginia Mennonite Missions, where I’m participating in tranSend, a mission program strongly rooted in discipleship, through mentoring, training, and accountability; my term started in April 2015. The hope is that eventually New Creation will be able to support me as a staff member, but until then, I am blessed to have a mission agency willing and excited to support local missions!
My husband and I are excited about this opportunity to step out in faith and trust that the Lord will provide. It is scary, and exciting, and we are learning what it means to listen and trust the Lord has a plan for our lives. We trust that all of our friends and family will continue support us during this journey, and that our church community will continue to support us – challenging and encouraging us to continue to “do what is right in front of us.”