Grounds for World Change: One Cup at a Time!
June 28, 2012
The following is adapted from a recent update by JB and Iris, who serve in St. Petersburg, Russia. The couple works with Global Grounds, a training program for Christian leaders and community developers to learn coffee roasting and barista-ing—a platform to grow the Church.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,” wrote Zechariah (4:10) the prophet more than two millennia ago. The folks at Global Grounds would agree.
During its humble beginnings seven years ago in Siberia, “we roasted coffee beans in a popcorn popper” JB recalls. Last month, Global Grounds celebrated its grand opening in the new St. Petersburg community center. More than 130 attended—a cross-section of the many relationships the team has built within churches, ministries, and business networks.
“It was quite a humbling and exciting time, a pretty great event . . .” says JB. “Perhaps the coolest thing of all was that a vision was finally coming together!”
According to the Global Grounds Web site, “Our aim is to train people in coffee, in Zumba Fitness, in English by teaching English courses, The English Cafe and English Camps as well as working with minority groups. Why? To grow the Church in Russia.”
During the grand opening, English classes were conducted in several of the center’s classrooms, a local worship leader played live music, and Iris performed songs from Zumba Fitness to promote the class, which is offered at the center throughout the week. “And a lot of coffee was served!” JB exclaims.
“There are many people whom our team can thank for this center finally happening—those who have given financially, have prayed, and have come to help through short-term service. To all, thank you!
“But the task at hand is far from over. . . .”
“Coffee Roasting is the Answer!”
Andrei pastors the church the couple has worked with since moving to St. Pete two years ago. “He is the type of person we want to raise up and train—a humble leader who desires to see God’s Kingdom grow in Russia,” says JB. “But he can only continue to serve in this capacity if he is bi-vocational, since the church is too small to pay him anything—let alone a salary.”
Slava, an Inuit Eskimo, is the associate pastor of a growing church plant in St. Pete. His wife, Olga, is the worship leader. Several years ago, God laid a calling on this couple—to take the gospel to the outermost Inuit villages in northern and western Alaska.
“The only way they will be able to fulfill this calling is if they have a sustainable way to live and minister,” JB observes. “Coffee roasting is the answer!
With Global Grounds’ continued growth, fewer finances from outside sources will be needed, more leaders will be trained and sent, and more churches planted. “This translates into more communities—better yet—more individuals and families being impacted for Christ,” JB observes.
“Thank you for continuing on this adventure with us!”
What You Can Do
Make a Donation
- Give to the Great Commission Fund. In doing so, you enable workers like JB and Iris to birth innovative businesses that pave the way to share the good news in word and deed. When you donate to the GCF, you partner with workers like this couple, bringing hope to the lost in Russia—and around the world.
- Pray for Alliance workers around the world.