Meet Candace – A Grad From North Africa
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.
Q: Why did you choose your location for overseas?
A: At first, I had chosen to go to the South Asia base. But God had other plans. He used a hard situation to get me to North Africa. There was a time I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go at all and the time was wasted. It seems so silly to say it, because we know that Jesus doesn’t waste anything at all.
They gave me the option of South East Asia and North Africa and I took a week to pray about it more. I remember people asking me are you even supposed to go? Is this the Lord closing doors for you to go? I am remember thinking, gosh “NO.” That’s not what’s happening. I remember reading Paul, ‘the door to Asia has been closed to me.’
Q: Did you know you wanted to do missions long-term?
A: I didn’t know signing up with the program that I was going to go long-term. I didn’t go even thinking I was going to commit to long-term.
I had a basic idea about missions that was really skewed - like you are a little bit more holy when you are on the mission field and you are less like yourself.
I thought If nothing else comes from this I would have met Muslim people and known them face to face so that I understand them better and bring that back to my community.
Q: What did God reveal to you during your time with Cafe 1040?
A: The most encouraging thing was the fact that I met these people in North Africa that live and work long-term and they are people like me. They are humorous, they are Christians, and they are doing long-term work. It’s possible! People like me can do this. That was probably the most encouraging thing and if you ever get to experience the overseas staff there, you can easily understand why that would be encouraging.
I enjoyed our team camaraderie that we established through hard work. It didn’t come natural to any of us - even for me whose strength is harmony. It didn’t come easy at first. We were so similar, but also so different. There is no hiding on a small team. We had a great team. We are not naturally cohesive, but we have learned how to appreciate each other and sharpen each other.
Q: What surprised you most about the culture?
A. I appreciated most - how easy it was for me to make friends. I really appreciated that openness and transparency and willingness to engage that isn’t necessarily a Western practice. From being an external processer and friend- wanter, I appreciate that a lot. It makes it easy to talk about Jesus when people are willing to talk.
Q. What led you to say yes to long-term work today?
A. Experiencing the people and the truth of being in a place where they have never worshipped Jesus and really experiencing what’s its like to be around people who have never heard of Him. Going into the homes of the people who worship a lie, it really impacted me. And coming from a community where the name of Jesus is so saturated into everyone’s lives, this was eye-opening and life-changing.
The most mobilizing thing was the internal work that Jesus was doing in me - in the still, in the quiet. Also, I was able to see how much passion the the staff have. They are raising their families there and having to leave family in the States. Their passion stirred a passion in me.
Q. Where will you be serving long-term?
A. I am in the process with Pioneers looking to serve in the Middle East and North Africa.
Q. If you could summarize Cafe 1040 into one sentence, how would you summarize our program?
A. A program that takes the idea of the Great Commission and puts skin on it.
Q. What would you tell someone who is considering Cafe 1040?
You have to come with no expectations, but come willing to be changed. Come as a learner who is willing to be changed.