We’re counting a lot these days. It’s November, so we’re counting blessings with joy and thanksgiving.
We’re always counting the lives saved and transformed in Africa, like the 21,388 men, women, and children in the Durban, South Africa area, who visited and received medical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual care at the 1000 Hills Community Helpers clinic between the months of July, August, and September, and the roughly 900 people who received care at the Tanzania Christian Clinic during that same time period. And we’re counting the 10 new children who have been sponsored at Village of Hope in Uganda in the past month.
We’re counting coffee shops joining our partnership and celebrating the third-of-the-way-there-mark we passed this week.
These are all brilliant things to be counting. No doubt.
But when God is your CEO, as He is ours, you find yourself in the midst of counting other things – like “divine appointments” and “God moments” and flat out miracles!
Our Director of Sales, Wendy Bjurstrom, travels around the country making presentations to coffee shops and bookstores inspiring them to add “tea with a cause” to their inventory, to “share tea, save lives.” Says Wendy, “I have learned to listen to them, learn about their ministry, and then leave the results up to God.”
Her travels have introduced us to many people and causes. And those travels have also been amazing testimonies to God’s faithfulness and care. Her most recent trip to Colorado is one such example.
Writes Wendy, “My day started with a meeting with Mary from the Rock Church in Castle Rock, CO. We had a great visit together since Mary grew up in Puerto Rico and Ed and I had also lived in Puerto Rico. At the end of our visit, we said our goodbyes. I was headed to my car when Mary handed me an envelope and told me not to open it until I got into my car. She said the Lord had impressed on her to give this to me. I didn’t know if it was money or perhaps a scripture to encourage me, but I felt personally encouraged. I put the envelope in my coat pocket and quickly headed to my next appointment, forgetting about the envelope until much later in the day.”
Mary explains, “I have been practicing obedience and that morning I was digging through my purse and remembered that I had that money in my purse as a payment that I had received for participating in a coffee focus group! I felt blessed that I still had that money and tucked it back in my purse. As Wendy and I were talking in the coffee shop and she gave me the assortment of teas, God started prompting me to donate the money to Wendy and CompassioNow. I was trying to ignore Him, but the prompting got stronger at which time I asked Wendy, “Do you want money for these samples?” And she turned down my offer. I heard myself telling God in my mind, “Are you happy? I asked and she turned me down.” But the prompting feeling didn’t go away. As I was walking away, God said, “Really? You love money more than me?” And that is when I knew I needed to be obedient and go back and hand Wendy that envelope. Only God knew what was to follow. I’m just glad that God used me to be a part of that blessing. And so you know, it hasn’t been burdensome.”
Are you eager to hear what happened next? Are you curious about this money? Read on!
Wendy writes, “At 2 pm, I met James from Heavenly Grounds Coffee House in Littleton, CO. Heavenly Grounds is a nonprofit coffee shop that raises funds for Haiti and also does medical mission trips to Haiti about 4 times a year. Our meeting began on quite a sad note as James had lost his 38-year-old sister as well as his uncle on September 28. It was SO hard to know what to say or how to comfort!
James and his Aunt Robin had started Heavenly Grounds in honor of his father who died of a massive heart attack in 2010. His dad loved to help the people of Haiti, so James and his aunt opened Heavenly Grounds to continue that work. I realized that God had sent me that afternoon to try to comfort James, but I was at a complete loss as to what to say and was praying silently for wisdom and the right words.
James was leaving on a medical mission trip to Haiti on November 4th and was feeling discouraged because he had set out a suitcase for donations in his store for the trip asking for medicines, clothes etc. and all that had been donated so far was a few pairs of shoes. I told him that CompassioNow would be happy to help him by donating some medicines, so after our meeting, I drove over to a nearby Costco. There, I picked out items such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, antacids, etc. These are the usual items that we would take to a clinic in Africa. The total cost for CompassioNow was $102.28. I knew God would provide donations to cover this cost.
When I got back to my car after leaving Costco, I remembered that I had not looked in my coat pocket to see what Mary had put in that envelope. To my shock, there was a $100 bill! I drove back to James’ store to tell him the good news that God loved and cared about him so much. James was also amazed at the donation and couldn’t believe how Mary had started her day in obedience to God and He used it to bless James. Only God knew the $100 would be used to buy medical supplies for Haiti later that day! I prayed for James and his family. There was finally a smile on his face when I left.
This is what makes life ‘on the road’ for Compassion Tea exciting!”
Yeah. We’re in the business of counting – wholesale customers, profits and donations, inventory. We’re in the business of sharing tea in order to save lives. And we’re counting lives touched, people saved, God’s work. This is the economy of eternity.