It is an early morning, pre-kawa (coffee) moment. We are staying in the apartment of Dave, Marybeth, and Makayla Giles and I have snuck into the living room of their typical Polish apartment to blog. The Giles live in the student area of the city just one tram stop from the Sweet Surrender coffee shop.
This family of three, along with the Tracys who are another Mission Corp family, keep Sweet Surrender going. The shop employs seven Polish young people and together they create a cozy haven for the pour soul in need of a shot of caffeine or the harried mom in need of a tranquil moment, or the friends getting away to touch base in a busy day. Community in the midst of a community. The very nature and activity of the Jesus we all attempt to model. It is him that I meet with each morning over my first cup of coffee.
Laying claim to our hold on prevenient grace, we believe that each person who walks through Sweet Surrender’s door has been led there by the Holy Spirit. They encounter Christ in a unique way. Sweet Surrender is a touch point of Christ’s presence, a warm spot in the community where weary sojourners can surrender themselves, this is the reason the coffee shop exists.
Volunteers like the Giles and the Tracys are amazing examples of Nazarenes who have sacrificed to answer God’s call on their lives. They have uprooted family, left homes, put careers on hold, to come and simply live and serve. A beautiful and inspiring kind of servant hood, this. A sweet surrender to do His will.
As we chatted last night with Carson (13) and Ally (15) Tracy, two teens weathering the first months in a new country, I understood some of the complexity of sacrifice and servant hood in a teenage world. Amazing kids who are learning to go to school on line in a place where everything is new and often difficult to understand. And, as I sip my first dregs of coffee, I am entertained by 2 year old Makayla, learning to speak Polish in school.
Ahhh, the sun’s rays are beginning to highlight the activity on this Polish street and I wonder how God’s spirit will lead and work in the lives of each of these today. May they find an opportunity to drink in His presence and sip from the deep cup of his grace. may they find sweet surrender in this community.