Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why we started building coffee shops in Europe

My husband and I used to pastor in the USA. Our churches ran anywhere between three and five hundred people. We had staff people who worked with children and music and teens. We had a big house and two cars, a good salary, credit card debt and a life that often seemed overwhelming. Life was full of meetings and retreats and services and events. We started out believing that we could help people find Jesus only to find that the bigger the church the bigger the machine, and fewer people actually came to know Christ.

At some point we both heard God telling us that He had something for us to do. Something bigger and far away. We sold our house, our cars and our stuff. We quit our jobs. We paid off our debt and left our families. We moved to Europe and we started listening to people talk about what was important to them, all over Europe. Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, Kosovo, Poland, Norway,Denmark and Germany. We met new friends and we asked many questions. We tried to figure out why so many young people did not go to church anymore. We prayed about how we could bring them back to a place of worship once again, a place where they really felt loved.

When we moved to Poland we started building our first coffee shops. We have never run coffee shops, but we felt God compelling us that this could be a really different type of place. We could welcome ANYONE. It didnt matter where the came from, we could offer a place to be real and safe. A place to find and discover FAITH.

It is hard to describe how it all happened and what it is like. But I think it was worth it all. This is what Helka thinks:


8 comments:

beachy keen girl said...

Awesome for you guys. It's all about hearing God's calling, or knowing that He is calling you to something different - and going in that direction. I love the idea of doing these coffee shops in Europe. I'm happy that God is using you in this unique way. That's what life is all about!

Thanks for sharing.

Helky said...

Thanks for making a place where I feel reeeeeaaaalllyyy loved :*

D'Anna said...

Makes my heart leap - - please continue sharing your story! I think we may be "kindred spirits" - -
Would you care to mentor someone in Russia dreaming of the same idea? . . .

Mindy said...

Rhonda what a beautiful story. I am so happy that you are spreading God's word around the earth! I belong to a big church and I love it. But I can understand where you have been am sure you have now found the right place to be, right now.

Beautiful video Helka. Hugs to you from Edmonds, WA

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

What a wonderful story! It makes me want to spend time with you over there in your coffee shop. I'm sure God is using you and your husband in big ways for Him with this calling to befriend people and open your shop for them to come and hear about Jesus etc... It took a large leap of faith to do what you did, but it's evident through the screen that you are right where God wants you.

Thank you for sharing how this all came about in your life.

Lee Ann

Lissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lissa said...

I love this post! I'm sending it to my girlfriend who is a missionary in dresden. I love how God used your love of coffee and love of him to bring others to know him. Now i can see why helka speaks such good english. This is one of the most inspiring posts I've ever read!

Lissa said...

ps Did you realize that Mindy is my friend and goes to my church?