Seeing the need for the gospel in the rural areas of Taiwan, my husband and I moved out to the countryside in Chiayi County to begin church planting in 2010. When we first moved in to our village of over 1000 households, surrounded by farm fields and factories, people were suspicious of us. Why were these foreigners living here? Moreover, most of the folks in the village are farmers and laborers. We are not. We needed to do something that would help us get to know the people in the community better and be more working class like them. So, we opened a coffee shop on the first floor of our house.
The coffee shop has been opened for two years now. It has become one of the few places in the community where people come together to chat and relax. Through the coffee shop, we have met so many people, young and old. More importantly, we have had many opportunities to share the gospel, tell a story, pray for people, etc. We have people who come regularly, many with whom we are having continuous gospel conversations. Most surprisingly, though, is that most of our regulars are men! This was something we really weren’t expecting. Most days we are open, we still have one or two people come to the coffee shop for the first time. And, often, people just come by to chat. They don’t even want to drink coffee!
The venue of the coffee shop has also helped us to launch other ministries, including youth ministry, adult English classes, and moms groups. Additionally, all the money that we make from the coffee shop goes back into the community in the form of special activities and meeting practical needs.
We are open about why we are in this village and why we have opened the coffee shop, and people are generally very receptive. We are welcomed and feel truly a part of the community. We see and hear what is going on in people’s lives and families, and we are invited into people’s homes where we have more opportunities to share the gospel. After two years, we are sensing a softening among our friends and neighbors here. May the Lord draw them to Himself as He promises to do in John 12.
Amy Gibson – Zhongpu, Chiayi
Will you pray for Missional Businesses?
- Praise God for how the coffee shop has opened doors in the community and create space to talk.
- Pray for the relationships built through the coffee shop, that they would continue to grow and deepen.
- Jesus said: ‘when I am lifted up[g] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ (John 12:32) Pray that he would draw people to himself through this coffee shop.