Two of our families are currently involved in running a coffee farm in South East Asia. The goal of this project is to improve the lives of the coffee farmers and increase profit through direct trading of the coffee, while providing our workers long-term access to this unreached people group.
Several years ago, the national government planted thousands of coffee trees in the area, hoping that the local people would be able to benefit from the production and export of coffee. Unfortunately, most of the farmers were never taught how to correctly harvest and process the coffee beans, and there were not as many buyers as expected. As a result, many coffee farmers started burning down their coffee trees so they could plant different crops in order to keep earning money to take care of their families. Our workers are trying to help this situation by educating the farmers in the growing and processing of coffee, while also building relationships and sharing the Gospel in the process! Through the work and research they have done so far, they have been able to produce a high quality coffee and, therefore, utilize these resources that were left for nothing. They’ve implemented direct trade practices, cutting out the need for a middleman and building mutually beneficial and respectful relationships between the producers and the buyers.
The farmers are excited to have them in the area, since many of them now have steady work and income to provide for their families. Our workers spend hours each day with them, working alongside them in the business and also building strong personal relationships. In addition, they have opened a cafe in the village to promote community while serving the locally grown and processed coffee.
As these relationships grow and trust is strengthened, pray that they will be able to speak truth into the farmers’ lives, and eventually start discipling them through God’s Word.
*Names and places changed for security purposes.
Picture Credit: Nathan Dumlao