My heart will forever be gripped for the people in the 10/40 window. For me they are no longer numbers of unreached statistics on a page. They are names with faces—friends I know and love deeply. They are visibly broken and lost hearts professing in false idols or nothing at all. They are beautiful people that our Father desires to be his own again.
Q: Why did you choose Cafe 1040?
A: “After looking at Cafe 1040, I also explored some other organizations. It was really eye opening for me to see a mentorship is something people actually do. Honestly, the reason I picked Cafe 1040 is I felt heard, and understood and identified with by Cafe, more than other organizations that have similar program.”
From the beginning of the trip, we have been told repeatedly:
Life is not about doing things for God--even good things. It's about seeking and knowing Him.
So I've asked God to strip away my agenda, my life, my plans...I've essentially asked to die to self (we always underestimate prayers of this kind!). And He is answering.
Setting down my chopsticks after yet another dinner of chicken and rice, I looked up to see three rough, wrinkled fingers waving in my face. “Three… three”, she says in her best English. Although we couldn’t communicate verbally, I knew what she meant. She was planning for me and my team to wake up at 3:00 a.m. to go fishing with her family, a daily routine for most people in this remote fishing village. She seemed overwhelmed with excitement to be hosting three American girls in her home for the weekend to experience their culture first hand.
One night our team was praying in our apartment. We took a minute of silence to listen to whatever God was trying to tell us. I started feeling really convicted that I needed to share the gospel with my friend Samir. I had kind of written him off as uninterested. All he ever seemed to want to do is goof off.
What Keeps Us Going In This Work?
As we near the end of another year, it’s always encouraging to look back and see how God has worked. He has worked in the lives of students who are seeking to leverage their lives for the sake of people knowing His name. He has worked among locals across the 10/40 Window, calling them to Himself. We have seen individuals come to know Jesus for the first time. We have seen countless young adults say “yes” to whatever God has planned for them among the nations.
Hear how one of our Southeast Asia students sums up their time with Cafe 1040:
“Knowing how great God's love is for me leads me to a place of surrender.
Whatever you want God, I'll do. I just want to be where you are and do what you call me to do.
I trust that you will continue to give me the strength to obey what you lead me to do as I am motivated by your great love for me.
This is especially important for this line of work. If I falsely believe that God’s love for me is subjective on how many people I share with and lead to Him, then it is very easy for me to get burned out and to feel condemned if I'm not seeing those results I long for.
But if I rest in God's great unchanging unfailing love for me, it empowers and sustains me even when I have to walk through the hardest of circumstances.
Having a right understanding of God’s love is crucial and I am so thankful for the way he has continued to demonstrate his love for me these past few months."
We praise God for what He has accomplished in 2017. It is His work. He simply invites us to be a part of it. And what a privilege that invitation is to accept.
Want to join what God is doing in the 10/40 Window?
"I have been thinking about this boy. I think about him so often. I don't want to see him anymore though because I don't want to miss him again...it hurts too much. I don't think he's real. I have never met him. I don't know his name. I saw him in my dream. I just saw his eyes. When I saw his eyes I could see everything.
As much as we try to provide answers and stories of what Cafe 1040 does, it is the students who have been through the program who provide the best insights.
Every student that goes through our overseas mentorship has a unique story of how God led him or her to Cafe 1040.
Find out how God moved in Bryan to be a part of our South Asia summer program.
In the year before I left for Southeast Asia, I researched everything I should expect during my first months as a missionary. I studied culture shock charts, looked at line graphs of stress levels overseas, asked for advice about how to endure the life of a single missionary, stockpiled my anti-diarrhea medicine, and braced my supporters for a life-altering transition.
Sam grew up as a self-proclaimed redneck mountain man. In the hills of West Virginia, he was always outside learning about the land. While studying agriculture and irrigation in his college years, Sam was drawn to Cafe 1040's mentorship program and spent a semester in North Africa, where he clearly felt God calling him into missions. But he wasn’t sure where. Or how.
Have you ever looked closely at an optical illusion? There’s one in particular that comes to mind. You have probably seen it. It looks like an image of a vase. It’s an illusion because the image of the vase is actually the space between two faces, but most people only notice the vase. It doesn’t matter how long you stare at the picture before you figure it out. Once you notice the faces, they can never be unseen.
Do you ever wonder what a day could look like overseas? Each day is full of stories and new experiences. Each part of our overseas mentorship is designed to expose students to different ways to engage culture. This past week, we had a group of students in a home stay, which is where students live with a local family for about a week. This is a tool we use to immerse students in culture and language and to give them an intimate view of different beliefs. For many, this is the first time they have experienced other religions in this way. It’s also a time where God opens the students’ eyes to what He is up to and how they can be a part of it.
Twenty years ago, a sixteen-year-old girl living in a rural mountain village was kidnapped in the middle of the night. Terrified, she spent three days with a family who intended for her to marry their son. After negotiating with her family, she was a married woman. The first ten years of her marriage were marked by extreme poverty, fear, and pain. Her husband soon became an alcoholic who spent his days gambling away their small income. Struggling to make ends meet, this young girl who was now a mother spent many days wondering if life was even worth living. Would killing herself take away the pain?