During the summer, my family and I visited the Inglewood Night Market when we came across a guy selling coffee beans and sampling his coffee. First things first, I am not a drip coffee kind of guy. I have turned a little snobby when it comes to having good coffee and I really associate drip coffee with Timmy’s. As I am not fond of the Timmy’s drip coffee.
So the guy, his name is Jesse, behind the coffee pots asked me to try his coffee. I was leery to tell him that I would only like half a cup because I am not a fan of the drip.
I took my first sip and my first response was really??? This was absolutely amazing! I was sampling a dark roast Honduran espresso blend. The flavours were so bold with absolutely no bitterness. I could not believe the flavour. I asked Jesse to fill the cup right up.
Before we went any further, I read the poster that Jesse had set up beside his booth, it explained how Kingdom coffee came about. I was moved by the story, as was my wife and my daughter.
From the drop to the dream
Four Pastors dressed up undercover and spent time with the homeless on the Streets of Calgary. There they meet a man named Jim. He was addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol. Jim was at the end of his rope, fighting addiction, and contemplating suicide. The four pastors listened to Jim and showed him love. They brought him to a recovery center where Jesus found him and changed his life. He went from being a violent, angry addict to a gentle man who his grandchildren ran to as he walked through the door. Jim passed away in December 2015 from a tragic work place accident.
We believe if a few men can love Jim, then we in turn can love other people who are struggling like he was. We share our coffee with people to hear their story and let them know someone is listening. A portion of every bag sold goes to helping people into recovery and finding them a place to sleep at night. We thank these four men for taking the time to love Jim. Jim was my father and this is his story.
We believe this love can restore families. Like it restored ours.
Right then and there, I told my wife we needed to buy some of this coffee. My daughter suggested we do a giveaway to our Instagram followers. We wanted to help get this story out there. So we bought four bags with the intent to give away three of them. Jesse explained to us that $1.00 from each bag goes to giving out free coffee on Saturdays, there is a group of volunteers that head down at the Drop In Centre to serve coffee. He told me that if we ever wanted to come down and help out that would be no problem.
Saturday October 27
On the weekend of October 27 we had the pleasure of working with Jesse from Kingdom Coffee down at the Drop In Centre. We arrived at the Drop In Centre around 8:45am and helped set up. Shortly after everything was ready, the doors opened to allow people out of the Drop In Centre and people started heading our way.
There was a couple of tables of baked goods, as well as, a couple of tables filled with coffee urns full of the best tasting coffee. Across the way, there were a few more tables set up with gently used clothing, water bottles, metal drink holders, care packages with tooth brushes, and other assorted items for anybody who needed anything.
There was about 20-25 people volunteering down there from assorted churches in the city. As well as, us three, who just wanted to help.
The people started moving down the tables getting some goodies and then to the coffee tables. My daughter was down at the goodie table giving out some of the 15 dozen cookies she had made the night before. My wife and I were on coffee pouring duty. Funny story, the first person my wife encounters asks for a double-double, now if you are not from Canada, that’s two cream and two sugar. My wife had no idea, but then after a chuckle, I realized that she doesn’t drink coffee and has no idea what that is. We poured a ton of coffee that morning, and listened to some stories for about two hours. I would think we served about 100 people, maybe more.
There were also three or four hair stylists across the way from us, doing haircuts to anybody who wants one. It was very cool to see how a little kindness can make a big difference.
Here is a question for you out there: How can we change people’s opinions and views on homeless people??
Not an easy question to answer is it? You can educate people until you are blue in the face, but they don’t listen or don’t care because it’s not their problem. People come up with their own stereotypes, whether taught or learned. They all have a story and their pathways in and out of homelessness is different for every single person you see. I wish people would stop and look around and see how they could help make the world a little better. How much would the world be different? Maybe that’s a place to start.
On Saturday, I had the pleasure to talk with quite a few people, some more talkative than others. The stories were all different and it was quite humbling just to listen to them, I felt that they just wanted to be listened to as well. I felt like they really appreciated what was happening down there and what people were doing for them. I didn’t encounter one rude person, everyone thanked me for the coffee and they were all very appreciative.