“If Christ drank coffee, he would have brewed Rwandan Beans.” – Anonymous
As we begin the process each year of constructing The Orange Conference experience, we scrutinize every detail. We want to make sure you have an amazing encounter, from the speakers to the environment to the information. And one of the companies we continually choose to partner with does an excellent job at enhancing our environment as well as conveying significant information is Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company (LOTH).
LOTH is coffee on a mission. They work at a grassroots level to ensure not only that you get one delicious cup o’ Joe, but that your dollars change the lives of the people who grow the beans. In 2001, Jonathan Golden, the founder, realized that growing coffee was a simple, yet powerful and tangible way to help rebuild the Rwandan economy after devastating genocide in 1994. Since that time, over 600 churches and coffee shops have made LOTH their coffee. It has become part of each church’s mission. Many of these coffee mission partners drank their first cup of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee at The Orange Conference! LOTH has also set up three of their own shops in Georgia, brewing and educating customers. They have a thriving online store, and partner with numerous conferences, musical artists and businesses around the world. This year, they were excited to launch their Haitian coffee blend. After the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in Haiti last year, Jonathan again felt God’s invitation to work in a new area.
One of the beautiful and distinguishing elements of the LOTH model is how hands-on they are in the entire bean to cup process. They are on the ground in Rwanda and Haiti teaching, mentoring, building community with the farmers. It’s pretty extraordinary to hear the stories of redemption, reconciliation and rebuilding straight from the mouths of the baristas. With your help, they have witnessed amazing stories of redemption. People who fought on different sides are now working side-by-side. They are coming to know the grace of Jesus through acts of love and kindness. Needs are being met. Lives are being changed. Communities are being restored.
For many churches with missions program, each cup of coffee is the perfect example of how we can be intentional and mission-focused with everything we do, empowering each of us to make decisions that can have a global impact. Perhaps you can think of LOTH the next time your missions or hospitality teams meet. Perhaps you can trek over to Haiti or Rwanda with LOTH to shake the hands of their farmers. Or perhaps your next latte can simply be from a benevolent bean.
Be sure to stop by and see Robert and the LOTH crew at The Orange Conference. To sample the Haitian and Rwandan blends, just follow the smell to the closest coffee station. And while you’re there, maybe you can thank them for allowing us all to be part of their mission. Just like the Orange Strategy, we have a greater impact when we combine our influences.
What are you going to do? It’s your move.
Drink Coffee. Do Good.