Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Emma, Claire, Levi, Josie and baby Jane

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Coffee and the Call of God

Picking coffee berries from our bush in the back yard.


The beans inside each newly-picked berry must be squeezed out or separated from the fruit, and then allowed to dry.


After drying (using the "pulp natural" method of processing), the parchment covering each bean must be peeled off. The yellowish beans on the right are "parchment coffee" and the beans on the left are the "green beans" which have each been individually hand peeled. This is the longest and most meticulous part of the processing.

Green coffee ready for roasting.


A hot-air popcorn popper serves as an excellent coffee roaster.


Fresh-roasted beans ready for grinding and brewing.


Some brilliant, long-past resident of our house at Tenwek had the foresight to plant a coffee bush in our back yard. And so, last month, we harvested the first crop of our own, home-grown Kenyan coffee (although small enough only for one French-press pot). Processing of coffee, from the picking of ripe berries to the roasting of the “green beans,” was quite involved, but fully worth it after taking the first perfect sip of fresh-roasted coffee.

When Heather and I were researching opportunities for orthopedic mission service in 2006, we stumbled across Tenwek Hospital which happened to be in Kenya. Although at the time we had no clue, geographically, where this small country lie on the African map, in our passion for home-roasted coffee, our hands-down favorite had always been (and still is) Kenyan, with its characteristic “bright citrus notes, and black currant, winey hues” (as described on www.sweetmarias.com). We thought, “If the coffee coming from Kenya is this good, it must be a really cool place to serve.” So here we ironically are, now full circle, thanking God for bringing us sovereignly to this place of service, while drinking a cup of our very own Kenyan brew.

God often works and directs in and through our passions to accomplish the purposes of His kingdom. What are your passions? And how is God directing you to strongly serve Him in and through those passions? Let us encourage one another to step out in in the unique gifting, calling and interests that God Himself has given us. Oh, and once you have tasted home-roasted coffee, you can never go back...nothing else compares!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

2 comments:

pkeiper said...

Thank you, Dan, for that word today. Dave and I are in a transition period, him having lost his job and now in school full-time. We are waiting to see what the Lord has for us, wanting to be obedient, and it is so encouraging to remember that He will place us in a position to honor Him AND use our passions. God bless.

Mardi said...

Writing from Phoenix, AZ, I stumbled on your blog awhile back and have been watching and praying from afar for you and your family. Your blog gives inspiration everytime I read your entries. Thank you for sharing your experiences here. The call of God has sometimes seemed obscure at times to me. I am a Nurse Practitioner and so feel that I do his call everyday by serving others, however, my heart has always been in foreign missions since age 5. I had the opportunity of serving in India 18 years ago and thought for sure I would return soon. However, this has not occured as of yet. I continue to pray that my everyday is in His will. Thank you for sharing your words here and living out God's call in your life. God bless you and your family! :)