Can a cup of Coffee Change the World?

Smiling with Glenda at Panera

When I began blogging a year ago last January I was not prepared for the kindness exchanged, the encouragement offered and the connection I would make with likeminded writers of faith.

I found a remarkable thing this past week when I met one of my ‘imaginary’ (virtual) friends for a cup of coffee.  She just happened to be coming to our fair city where, it turns out, she and her husband lived for over 15 years.  
What joy I experienced when I met Glenda Childers–a true sister friend–in person. (Glenda lives in Chicago and blogs at GG Notes on the Journey. Oh, watch that space, I might add)

I think we pretty much clicked from the get go–had a Jesus connection in our heart and spirit that just filled me to the brim.

We listened to each other’s stories (hers were way better…………) prayed together, talked about our children, her daughter’s upcoming wedding, our faith walk since we came to know Jesus, heart kinda stuff.

One story in particular that touched me was the tale of how Glenda’s mother came to the Lord.  Glenda and her siblings were raised in Vietnam where her parents were missionaries.  

Missionaries? To Vietnam?  How’d they get there?


Then she told me about the little tiny church where her mother took she and her brother to the baby nursery because she wanted them to be raised differently than she had.  Glenda’s mother, Hallie, never went inside the church–she just sat in her car in the parking lot, waiting for church to be over.

When Hallie came in to pick up her babies–Glenda remembers she might have been 18 months old, her brother slightly older–the women working in the nursery noticed Hallie was pregnant.

Throughout the months she came and dropped off the children, Hallie never darkened the doors of the church.  The nursery women finally decided to make steps to welcome her in. Turns out no one was going to give her a baby shower so the church ladies threw one for her. It was attended by over 50 women, probably ALL of the women in the church, where they no doubt ate cake and drank cups of coffee.

Hallie and her husband wanted to do something nice to thank the church so they decided to have their children baptized at the little church.  Turns out they didn’t baptize children, but dedicate them, asking parents to ‘raise them in the ways of the Lord.’
Glenda’s father confessed, “I don’t even know how to do that!” and the pastor responded with a personal visit to their home.  Both Hallie and Glenn received the Lord on that visit, beginning a walk with God that touched many lives.  They eventually ministered in Vietnam for over ten years and Glenda’s dad started a church back in the states as well. 

Glenda told me over our cups of coffee that her soon-to-be-son in law was visiting  their home a few weeks ago.  He asked Glenda’s dad how many people may have received the gospel because of their  ministry in Vietnam. He estimated 40,000 people.

Forty thousand.

Glenda almost fell out of her chair. She had no idea.

I told her of my little small group dream I had……the one where I share God’s word with women right where they are and love and care for them and serve them coffee.  How we’re starting next week and there’s only one woman signed up.

One.

I realized then that all it takes is one person being touched by love over a cup of coffee that can change the world…

I’m ready.

How about you?
~~~~~~~

Linking with the dreamers at Jen’s and Laura’s 
and with the Soli Sisters this week.
(Apologies to Glenda who was busy speaking at a retreat and unavailable for comment if my facts aren’t all straight!)

13 thoughts on “Can a cup of Coffee Change the World?

  1. Coffee sure can change the world! Just ask my kids what I am like before and after coffee! I love this story. You only have to tell one to reach more people. God knows what He is doing. Good to see you again!

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  2. Jody,
    It was such a joy to tuck into Panera for a sweet visit with you, right in the midst my busy ministry schedule. It was like a breath of fresh air, before I went off to speak. I hope we get to do it again. And thanks for sharing the amazing story of my mom … so of course you know from her story … the little nursery worker reached out to just one shy young mom … and my spiritual legacy was changed. Can't wait to hear how the Lord uses your time together. I loved meeting you.

    And Beth … I would love to meet you for coffee (after our May wedding.)

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  3. Just look how cute the two of you are! I'm so glad you got to meet and felt that instant connection. What a wonderful story Glenda shared with you. And Jody? You serve up that coffee. Yes, I do believe it does change the world.

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  4. I'm in Chicago and would love to meet your friend Glenda for coffee. Would so love to have coffee with you too…you should come visit your friend! What you shared warmed my heart. I agree with others, the power of one is great with God on our side. Blessings to you.

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  5. Yes, indeed. The power of one is great–when God is on your side! I sense awesome things ahead, Jodi. Hang on for an exciting ride! And Spirit blessings upon you as you reach out in faith, obedience, and hope.

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  6. Amen, Jody. Only one is more than enough. God had to bring me to this place when I was teaching my class. I was lamenting that there were “only ___” in the class (I can't remember the number now) and He asked me something like this:
    “Jen, if there were 10, would that be enough? How about if there were only 5? Would that be enough? What if there was only one? Would she be enough? What if it was only you and Me? Would that be enough?” I've learned that it's not about numbers. It's about obedience. It's about Him.

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  7. Oh, I adore Glenda…and I looove her stories as well. I am so glad that you had a chance to meet in person. Sounds like such an encouraging visit and even “one” is important to the Lord. I am praying in my heart that your cup of coffee with even one woman will be awesome. Blessings to you and keep us all posted about your small group! 🙂

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  8. Dear Jody
    What a wonderful privilege you and Glenda had to finally meet in person! Yes, dear friend, we feel that sweet bond of the Holy Sprit even if we are continent away! What a great Pappa we have. I am so glad to hear of her parents conversion! I will pay her a visit.
    Blessings from Jenn's
    Mia

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  9. Jody, It was wonderful that you got to connect with Glenda over coffee! There's nothing like sharing our hearts… sister to sister. I'm praying right now for your small group. Be encouraged; one person can change the course of history… 🙂
    Thanks so much for coming by!
    Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  10. O.K. It's my turn!! Lol. So want to do coffee with you soon too, friend! 🙂 Also, there is a Christian Writers Conference at Overlake Church next month. Heard of it!? Going? Looking forward to hearing your stories & praying for your small group, even now! Blessings, Jen

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  11. How wonderful that you could get together!
    Yes, I think a cup of coffee, or any other small thing done for God's glory can change a part of the world within His plan. How lovely to be part of it…

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