Much has been happening for Second Story Coffee Roasters, including small-scale renovation of the shop location, the pre-open of our business, the launch of our website allowing customers to join a coffee subscription club, and the planning for our grand opening event on June 4th. This has required all of us, all days of the week. (Though I usually spend at least one day fully in my PJs, drinking coffee and reading, to make up for it!) We had heard that starting a business requires the investment of your heart, your time, and your finances, and it is totally true. We are excited for what we have begun, but it is up to God now whether or not it will flourish. We still have not been able to find investors, please pray that God would provide them.
Because we are deep in the details and processes of starting a new venture, which one of my favorite people once described as "trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant," it is easy to forget the WHY of what we are doing. We have taken a time or two together as Second Story staff (Rob, Tara, and Masayoshi) to discuss, debate, and pray about what God has in store for us as a shop and business within the community of the Oya neighborhood of Shizuoka, Japan.
The vision statement of Second Story Coffee Roasters is the following:
We exist to cultivate a safe and vibrant middle space, where mainstream Japanese can encounter the values of the Kingdom of Jesus and experience gospel-centered community.
God is already moving within this vision, giving us relationship with the workers of the cafe next door to us, a few of whom seem drawn to us and with whom we have been able to discuss: What is the meaning of life? Why were humans made? Why do we exist? We are grateful.
But we are also exhausted, us and our fellow Second Story workers. Really, we experience the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9, where Paul recalls God's words to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." We are a weak and motley crew, four of us not native to the language and customs, none of us experienced in business, six children between us, some of us living with illnesses of varying kind, but ALL of us being brought to a place where we remember by WHOSE strength any of this is possible. Several times a week, I have the thought, "What we are doing is CRAZY. Why would God choose us for this job? For the job of living in Japan even?" But the answer to that is never far behind, when I am reminded softy of the heroism of our Creator, who challenges his people to daily pick up their cross and follow Him, to be willing to be a weak tool in His strong hand, for ends and goals known mainly to Him alone. Following Jesus into the unknown of faith is the job of every Christian, and we are greatly encouraged by thoughts of His people around the globe, doing hard things for Him.
Please pray with us for the success of this business, so that it might open doors to the Kingdom for the people around us. We long to see the impact of Jesus's love on this Oya neighborhood, where we have lived and labored since our move to Japan nine years ago.
Wife, Mother, Founder, Writer
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