Serving God through coffee shops Recently, OM in Argentina interviewed Jose*, an Argentinian worker serving in Southeast Asia. Below is his story of how he entered overseas service and what he has seen God do through his not-so-typical ministry. How did you hear of OM? Jose: I came to know the Lord when I was around 13. It was the field leader of OM in Argentina (at the time) who first shared about God’s love for me. When I was about 17 I felt like God was calling me to something else in my life, to sacrifice more for him, so I decided to start by becoming more involved with OM. What brought you to Southeast Asia? Jose: I actually never thought I’d come here, but then I joined the Asian Challenge Team (ACT), a programme where you have to spend a year in two different countries in Southeast Asia. While in my second year, my leader asked if I wanted to help start a programme in a different Southeast Asian country. I prayed and I decided to go. I began to realise that God wanted me to be here, and that He had already been preparing many ways for me to serve before I’d even arrived. What are you doing in Southeast Asia? Jose: We run a coffee shop! The purpose of it is so we can be near the people of our community, whilst also allowing us to get visas to stay in the country. I can’t share the gospel with a person outside on the street because I am serving in a closed country, but inside the café we have a safe space to talk about the love of Jesus. Having the cafe also lets us employ locals from surrounding villages; vulnerable people, who if they don’t receive help in the form of jobs, could be in danger of ending up in prostitution or something like that. We give them housing and a job, whist sharing God’s love with them and discipling them. How did your life in Argentina prepare you for overseas work? Jose: When I was a teen I had many jobs, including working in a coffee shop. Here I am now unexpectedly using the skills I learnt back then to share God’s love! What is one story you can share from your time in Southeast Asia? Jose: One of the girls who was working in our café has now gone to work on the Logos Hope! We found out that a dream of hers was to share with others the love she had received from God, so we suggested that she could serve on the OM Ship. At first, she didn’t want to go, but in time God showed her she needed to go. With the ship being in Argentina this year, it means ministry has come full circle. I came from Argentina to Southeast Asia, and now there is someone who we discipled in Southeast Asia on the Ship in Argentina, sharing God’s love in my home country! What is something God has taught you during your 10 years with OM? Jose: I have learnt that God takes time in our lives to prepare us for the future. I’ve been in missions for 10 years, serving in different countries, but today I can see many of the things God was doing in my life before I came to Southeast Asia was to prepare me for the season I am in now—like working in cafes! *Name changed Like Jose, do you have a talent or skill (like working at a coffee shop) that you can use to serve God overseas? What if God gave you those opportunities and abilities in order to do them as ministry? Contact us to explore what it could mean for you to share God’s love overseas through your occupation!