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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

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Our awesome volunteer team!

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Not even two months after serving with Land of a Thousand Hills at the Justice conference in Philadelphia, I found myself once again volunteering with this amazing ministry. This time they set up camp at Catalyst West Coast at Mariners church in Irvine, California. Catalyst is a leadership conference that gathers influencers who are seeking to see change in this generation by passionately pursuing God. Land of a Thousand Hills has always had a presence at this conference by giving out coffee to the attendees as they walk in and out of the worship center. I met up with Bryan Farrar, the community relationship coordinator for Thousand Hills and he got our team ready for a fun day of serving and connecting with people about the story of community trade coffee.

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A few of us having a blast! (Photo from Catalyst photo stream)

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Serving coffee to the Catalyst crowd

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Bryan making sure everything is running smoothly

Bryan making sure everything is running smoothly

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What a great team of volunteers we had!! It was a fun few days of getting to know each other and working together as a team. It was amazing to see how easily we bonded together. Bryan did a great job of making sure we had everything we needed so our days went smoothly. The people of Catalyst loved having their morning coffee as well as hearing the story of Land of a Thousand Hills and what they are all about. I feel so blessed every time to play a small role in the getting the word out about Thousand Hills and how they are making a difference in the Rwandan and Haitian communities. I had a blast and I look forward to serving with Thousand Hills again someday. DRINK COFFEE, DO GOOD!

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Another solid time volunteering with the Thousand Hills team

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Reblogged from Land of a Thousand Hills blog:

This week we bring you a great article on our friends at 8th Day: Coffee and Culture. We love what Shane is doing there! If you’re in Phoenix, check them out HERE!

Drink Coffee, Do Good

Coffee Shop Aspires to Bring Community to Downtown Phoenix

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By Alicia Canales

Perhaps the building’s former life as Just Breathe Wellness, a yoga studio, gives it the relaxing atmosphere. Maybe it’s what the building, now 8th Day Coffee & Culture, stands for that provides a sense of peace and calmness when entering through the black outlined doors.

Eighth day stands for “eternity,” or the “eternal day” in ancient terms, co-owner Shane Copeland says. The definition creates the purpose of the coffee shop’s 4,000 square foot space, which is to convey light, creativity and relationship.

“There’s enough darkness in our world,” Copeland says. “Creativity is a beautiful thing. As a place, we want music and arts and culture to be present and relationship is at the heart of it.”

The eighth day meaning carries on when 8th Day closes on Sunday. The building hosts St. George’s Anglican Community, of which Copeland is the pastor. The coffee shop and church are separate entities with some relational connection. The same calming ambiance is present when people in the building gather to worship God or gather over a cup of coffee.

A sense of community drives Copeland as a co-owner and pastor. St. George’s met at Roosevelt Community Church for four years before leasing the 8th Day building. Copeland says reconstruction began in April 2012 and took four months. The main room used to be a yoga workout room. Copeland says workers removed mirrors, knocked down some walls and installed fire sprinklers. Now, his congregation has a place of its own.

“We kind of felt nomadic and not settled,” Copeland says. “Having been able to move in here on Sundays has given us a sense of home.”

For 8th Day, it’s a place for good coffee and to connect with friends. Amber Hunter, a barista with curled strawberry-blonde hair, said she enjoys having a front row seat to watch relationships form or grow as people drink their coffee.

“I think this is a space you really have to come in and experience for yourself because I do think there’s something special here,” Hunter says. “We’re just at the very beginning of what this space is going to be, so I’m excited.”

Eighth Day, located on the corner of Second and Garfield streets, is welcoming from its exterior. Its warm red paint exudes an air of cordiality that draws a person closer. Trees, ordained with strings of lights and white paper lanterns, are planted in the middle of the patio.

Opening the door, a rich aroma of coffee beans invites the customer in. To the left, people talk amongst each other or type on their laptops. To the right, a barista behind the coffee bar greets regulars as old friends.

The baristas interact in a familial way, talking and joking amongst each other during a lull in the day. It’s rare to look over at the bar and not see the employees smiling. Hunter, also a St. George member, says the employees avoid gossip so no bitterness is between them.

“We’re very quick to work through that stuff with each other so that we can continue to support each other and that makes a huge difference,” she says.

Their love and connection with each other extends over the coffee bar. Alexandra Korsick, an Arizona State University justice studies major, comes to 8th Day twice a week with friends. She says the customer service is the friendliest she’s ever seen, and she appreciates that Copeland works behind the bar every so often.

“He’s so nice. I think it’s not often you meet an owner,” Korsick says. “You can tell he cares about it, which is a good thing to see.”

Throughout the work week, sofas, cushioned chairs and wooden tables fill half of the main lounge area. The other half is closed off by folding, black-trimmed dividers. Between the cracks, it’s possible to see sound equipment. Eighth Day encourages local artists to contact its art director or sign up for its open mic nights.

On Sundays, the dividers come down. Members rearrange the furniture and bring out chairs. The congregation faces the back of the room, where a table covered in white and purple cloths and a wooden cross stand. Copeland, who wore jeans and a blue-white plaid shirt two days earlier, dawns a white robe with black sleeves and collar. The wardrobe change seems to be the only difference in Copeland. His shoulder-length, curly black hair frames his oval face. His powerful tone draws his congregation members to listen just as the baristas cannot ignore his orders. As he leads the sermon, he uses the same hand gestures and smiles as he does when welcoming customers.

Shirts showing 8th Day’s slogan line a corner in the coffee bar area: Drink coffee, do good. This is the motto of its coffee provider, Land of a Thousand Hills, which allowed 8th Day to also use. Land of a Thousand Hills provides community-trade coffee from Rwanda, Haiti and Thailand. Eighth Day pays twice the fair trade amount. Three dollars go to the third-world farmers instead of half that price, so farmers can make a sustainable living.

“There’s something really powerful about being able to go and buy something you use every day, like coffee, and know that you’re making a difference in the world,” Hunter says.

The building also offers a back room for studying or conferences. St. George’s church creates a nursery from a separate room during Sundays. On the patio out front, customers bask in the sun in wooden chairs. Copeland says more people, regardless of faith, discover ways to inhabit the building.

“We’d want the community to be able to use it across the spectrum of life and, obviously, that would include spiritual as well as other components because we believe in the holistic need of people,” Copeland says.

Copeland says everyone has opinions around religion, and he doesn’t desire to argue with those upset about 8th Day hosting a church. Both entities, while separate, build community, he says. The Christian perspective of loving God and your neighbor as yourself motivates Copeland and workers, some whom are members, in the shop and church.

“We just want to be present at the table, in the community doing good, blessing the community,” Copeland says. “For people who think that religion doesn’t benefit community, all I can say is this is what we’re doing.”

Article Source: http://www.ecollegetimes.com/student-life/drink-coffee-do-good-1.2822302

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My first stop at the Justice Conference was in the exhibit room where I was volunteering at the Land of a Thousand Hills booth. I have been a long-time advocate for Thousand Hills and was excited to put some faces to names and also have the opportunity to serve their community-trade coffee that I have been promoting at churches for years. I also frequently visit 8th Day Coffee & Culture – a local coffee shop here in Phoenix that serves up Thousand Hills coffee and have enjoyed the friendships and community that I have made there. Before I left for Philly, Jono Moehlig called me to give me all the details of what I would be doing. Jono is a manager of one of the Thousand Hills coffee shops in Georgia. He gave me the quick low-down of how things would run and the whole brewing process. I have a couple of years under my belt as a barista at a church cafe, so a few things came back to me. I also met Dimitri Iliadis, the ministry relationship coordinator for Land of a Thousand Hills. Both Jono and Dimitri were great guys with a passion for this organization. Dimitri was big on me talking with the guests about what Thousand Hills is all about and why I wanted to be here to serve with them. Land of Thousand Hills was giving out free coffee throughout the Justice Conference during the breaks. If fact, I first heard about Thousand Hills when they gave out coffee at a Catalyst conference I attended years back.

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Dimitri talking with one of Justice Conference exhibit volunteers before we open up

I had a blast! I loved meeting the different people at the conference and telling them about Land of a Thousand Hills. I ran into tons of friends from Phoenix and people that I have met at other conferences over the years being in ministry. I also loved working alongside some of the other volunteers and hearing their story of how they got connected with Thousand Hills. This is a great organization and I’m blessed to be a part of it. They are doing some amazing things in Rwanda, Thailand and Haiti and I just love the videos they put out every once in awhile. I enjoyed briefly meeting Jonathan Golden, the founder of Thousand Hills too. I look forward to visiting the coffee fields in Rwanda some day and partnering with these guys again. Drink Coffee, Do Good!

Land of a Thousand Hills posted a story about my experiences on their blog site here. Love these guys!

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Serving up some coffee!

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The amazing volunteers of Land of a Thousand Hills

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Drink Coffee, Do Good!

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Advent – Day 18

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I spent the day at Starbucks today reading a book and a letter that I got from my Compassion child that I sponsor. I have been supporting him since my birthday of 2006 – it was my gift to myself. As I was writing Ladouceur (who is now 11), I was trying to put myself in his shoes in the country of Haiti and what his everyday life is like. This is when I appreciate all the countries I’ve been to and how I’ve seen with my own eyes what poverty-stricken countries go through. Not too long after that, my buddy Kory Kredit posted this video of an India trip I took with him and Cornerstone two years ago. Even though I love the ministry of Harvest India, that was a one time trip for me (unless He calls me back). But it was a trip that came at the perfect time of my life. I saw the power of God and the power of prayer in a country dominated by Hinduism. I was able to share my testimony to hundreds of lepers, dedicate a water well and saw scores of people come to Christ. Harvest India has made a difference in the Kingdom because of prayer. I needed a boost to my faith during that difficult time and I can now look back at that spiritual marker as a source of hope. God has always used my life for extraordinary things and I time and time again forget His faithfulness. I needed to see this video. Later today I got an amazing out-of-the-blue email that just blew me away, but yet not surprising because it is how God works. Watch where God is working and join Him thereExperiencing God. Try not to figure what He is doing and just take a step in faith. As I join in this new partnership, I look forward to sharing this awesome God story as it unfolds. God is working and He loves us enough to ask us to join Him.

2011 Team to India

2011 Team to India

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

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The leper colony I shared my testimony with

Lots of people wanted to be prayed over

Praying for the people of India

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Starving Jesus

It was a rough day for me. Today was what would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. I woke up not wanting to let the day get to me. I wanted to do something productive instead of sulk on the couch. So I decided to serve.

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Craig Gross of the XXX church and J.R. Mahon wrote a book called Starving Jesus. The theme was that too many Christians are not doing enough to tell others about Jesus. Too many Christians are stuck in the pews. So they rented an RV and started a 40 day road trip across the U.S. to visit different cities and to challenge those within the church to put their faith in action. In addition to fasting during the 40 day journey, they also brought a pew along and chained themselves to it wherever they stopped.

sj1cryiDay 6 consisted of a stop in Chandler, AZ. They challenged us in the community to go serve at the Liberty House. Steve Lappen is the director of Crossroads Youth Intervention – an organization that takes in at-risk youths. The Liberty House is a building that the kids can hang out after school. They have tutoring and after school programs. The goal is not only to get them off the streets, but also present them the gospel. The problem is that CRYi has a small staff and Liberty House is a very old house that is in need of some work and cleaning. So a team of us when down there to work on the place. It was a hot, but very rewarding day.

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Liberty House

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Starving Jesus book

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That evening, Craig and J.R. spoke at Camber – Cornerstone’s college ministry. They chained themselves to a pew onstage and spoke about the passage in James that states “Faith without works is dead”. Afterwards, Compassion International had a table set up in the lobby. I had the blessing of signing up and sponsoring a child from Haiti named Ladouceur. What a blessing that was! God made an amazing day out of what could have been a rough one for me.

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