Meet Winston - A Grad from Southeast Asia
Q: Give us a little background about your testimony/story and how that led you to looking for an organization like Cafe 1040.
A: I have been on several short-term missions trips and high school and college to Cambodia. They impacted me in great ways. Initially, they were trips where I wanted to be adventurous and wasn’t sharing the gospel, but sharing humanitarian aid. I realized I wasn’t being fulfilled with these trips. Throughout college I read more about the biblical basis for missions and I had a group of friends that were working a program at camp and another friend presented the biblical basis for missions, the state of the world and what unreached people groups were and how they had no access to the gospel. It stirred me to research more about it and cross-cultural missions and figuring out my place. After reading over the Great Commission, I realized I needed to be involved in this somehow. My senior year I looked into Cafe 1040 and saw that the program was a great next step and learning experientially and finding out if long-term missions would be for me.
Q: Why did you choose Cafe 1040 over other programs or organizations?
A: It was the only program I had ever heard of that took you through a three month process in an unreached area of the world and taught you and mobilized you in a way you could find out your place in cross cultural missions.
Q: Why did you choose your location for overseas?
A: I had gone to Cambodia in 2015 for short-term missions trip for two weeks. Within those two weeks I was able to experience the culture there and get a look into some of their religions, Buddhism and Animistic cultures. I had never been around people who subscribed to those beliefs. That was all new to me. I wanted to find out what it looked like to live long-term so I could be more immersed in the culture and create relationships with locals.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time there and with our program?
A: The relationships I was able to make with locals. I enjoyed meeting the people there who had no context for who Jesus was. They had never seen the pages of the Bible before. To be able to sit across the table from someone in a coffee shop and share the gospel and show them the Bible for the first time.
Q: What was most encouraging for you during our 3-month program?
A: Having a mentor overseas was the most encouraging part of my experience. I was able to have an older, wiser and much more experienced missionary. I loved having a mentor who asked questions, asked about what was going on in my life and kept me accountable and talk through next steps and loved on me well.
Q: Describe an experience you had that impacted the way you thought about missions.
A: Our team was able to visit a people group who was majority Christian group in the north. Seeing all of that was very good for my soul in a lot of ways. I was more encouraged by them, more than they were by me. It helped me realize that sometimes the best thing to do in order to learn is to see a people group that was already reached.
The excursion helped me realize the utter importance of cross-cultural work, alongside but locals who are actively seeking and trying to bring the gospel to the village around them.
Q: What did you appreciate the most about the culture you were living in?
A: One of my favorite things was walking into a coffee shop because there were no phones out in front of people and people were actually having conversations and spending time together. I enjoyed the relational time and the time that people took out of their days to get to know one another instead of being distracted.
Q: What surprised you most about the culture?
A: The go with the flow attitude was different than a lot of the attitudes I have seen before in the West. It was very surprising.
Q: Tell me about any relationships you created with locals.
A: I met a guy named Q* at an English speaking café and I talked to him a few hours when I met him. I got his number and for the rest of my time in SEA we met up regularly for coffee or he would pick me up on the back of his motorbike to watch the sun rise or sunset. He loved adventure and exploring like I do so we bonded really well for our love for the outdoors. We were able to have lots of conversations about creation and about eventually about the gospel. I was able to share the gospel with Q* and we were able to follow up several times and talk about his beliefs and how they differed from what I believed about Jesus and I encouraged him to ask questions.
Q: What are your next steps?
A: Currently, I am in the process of coming on staff with Cafe 1040 as a stateside mentor.
Q: Would you recommend Cafe 1040’s program to others/friends? Why?
A: Yes, I would. Cafe 1040’s programs seem to be very different than the other programs that are offered now around the 3 month range. I was able to learn from experienced missionaries, be mentored weekly and sit in classes about cross-cultural missions and how I play a role in that. All of this learning and being among an unreached people group for 3 months provided me with much more clarity than I would have just going on short-term mission trip.
Q: If you could summarize Cafe 1040 into one sentence, how would you summarize our program?
A: Cafe 1040 exists to teach, inform and mobilize an entire younger generation by way of cultural immersion and experiential learning to go into the least reached parts of the world.
Q: What would you tell someone who is considering Cafe 1040?
A: Wow, a lot! They should 100% do it. I think anyone who is at least interested in finding out their role in participant in cross-cultural missions and reaching the unreached should sign up for one the programs. I appreciate how Café 1040 and it’s staff don’t push you or put an unnecessary amount of pressure on you to be a goer, but they push you and encourage you to find your role in fulfilling the Great Commission.