Remember to pray for our national pastors and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ in Cote d’Ivoire.  Here one way that you can remember to pray for them.  Pray for them every time you drink coffee. Why!?

Where Kandee and I lived for 2 weeks in the jungles of Cote d’Ivoire, many of the Christians were raising coffee.  We got to see a coffee plant for the very first time.  I bit into a coffee “cherry,” as they call them, so I could see what it tasted like.  It DIDN’T at all taste like coffee! There are two little coffee beans inside the cherry.  They are whitish, quite soft and have no inkling of a coffee taste.  How did someone ever discover that? Who would have ever imagined that if you took the seeds out of this cherry, dried them, then roasted them, that it would … taste like coffee … and become likely the most popular drink on this planet earth?

Coffee grows very well in Cote d’Ivoire.  The country is located in what coffee industry people call the “Coffee belt.” Funny thing is: the Ivoirians DON’T DRINK COFFEE! When asked, “why?” Joseph, our Praise West Africa Director replied, “It’s too hot to drink coffee.”  So they must export their coffee in order to make any money in the coffee business.

Back in 2002, war broke out in Cote d’Ivoire, civil war, the north against the south, Muslims against Christians, one tribe against another, and then there are all the ordinary gangs and criminals who joined the fighting and killing.  At that time, all western companies pulled out of the country, leaving Ivoirians who farmed coffee, as well as cacao and rubber, with nobody to buy their product.  They farm rice too but they eat their own rice.) Many of them abandoned their crops and their homes in order to find safety.  The war is over now.  Ivoirians are back in the fields, producing coffee, cacao, rice and rubber. But they still need the foreign industries to purchase their products.  Check out this excellent video documentary on “The Coffee Addiction.”  It is so interesting!!!

Kandee had the idea: what if we could help out a little and find an American free trade coffee company who would buy Ivoirian coffee and give them a decent price for it.  Both Kandee and I love to “facilitate”, to link people with other people, kind of like “match-makers.”  One of Praise International’s goals is to facilitate the ministries of national pastors, to help them make enough money to feed their families, put their kids in school, make a positive impact in their communities.  Well, we have spoken with several about this idea and it might just happen.

So back to my idea.  Every time you drink a cup of coffee, could you pray for our Ivoirian national pastor, their family and the Believers in their churches?  When you drive by a Starbucks, Dutch Brothers, Tully’s or another of the many, many, many coffee/espresso shops, could you prayer for Ivoirians?

Here’s another idea, maybe not that original, but I’ll throw the idea in anyway.  One of the goals that Praise International has is to provide a $35/month sponsorship for national pastors in poverty-stricken counties.  This $35 gift may not seem like much to us but $35 for a pastor in Cote d’Ivoire is huge!  In rural Cote d’Ivoire, $35/month is about the average salary for someone who works.  How many lattes do your drink in one month?  With the average latte costing $3.50, $35 would be 10 lattes.  Between every member of your family, could you “donate” the cost of 10 lattes to a Ivoirian pastor?  Just a thought.