Wednesday, March 20, 2013

French-Pressed Coffee: Tips to remember to pray for others

I’d never used a French-press coffee pot before my trip to Haiti last year. My friend there uses one all the time. I’m not sure if she chose this method of brewing for its superior taste or because it doesn’t require electricity. Either way, many wonderful conversations transpired while enjoying the results of the press.

I encountered a second French-press user soon after returning home. Two friends home on furlough from Africa turned out to be participants in this method. Like my friend in Haiti, they also are avid coffee connoisseurs so I’m not sure of the reason they prefer the press.
My friends have something else in common. They both serve as missionaries in two remote, spiritually dark, poverty-stricken areas; countries that no one ever mentions when discussing their summer travel plans.

When my second set of friends returned to Africa, my husband and I had the privilege of helping clean out their apartment. With their permission, we took many of their items to help furnish an apartment we are building to serve as temporary mission housing. I found their French-press coffee pot in the boxes. I’m sure the risk of shipping the glass around the world had led them to leave it here and buy a new one when they arrived in their new home.

I was excited to see it – I had wanted to buy one but really couldn’t justify it as my traditional drip coffeepot still works fine. I decided this item was going to my own kitchen, not remaining in the boxes awaiting the construction of the new apartment.

So now, my drip coffeepot sits on the counter; I still use it when I have company. My French-press, however, is how I regularly enjoy my morning.

I enjoy the press because it makes a better cup of coffee. I enjoy that it doesn’t use electricity. More than anything, though, I enjoy it because every morning it reminds me of dear friends serving God in remote parts of the world. It reminds me to pray for them – for strength, endurance, courage, protection, encouragement.

Men and women serving God in spiritually dark areas constantly need our prayer. In the Scriptures, Paul also served as a missionary; he also endured hard times. Many times he asked for prayer in his letters to fellow believers. “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30).

I challenge you with this – do you have something that reminds you of a loved one every time you see it? Maybe they’re not a missionary serving halfway around the world; maybe they're a friend, relative, or co-worker. When you see that item, don’t only think about your loved one and remember the good times you’ve had together. Go one step further and say a prayer for them!

The African culture where my friends serve calls these things tokens. They are a physical, tangible item that reminds you to pray whenever you see it. That’s why I’m sure my friends won’t mind that I took their coffee pot. They may not know it, but they left me a token.

Do you have a token – an object that reminds you of a loved one? Maybe even to pray for that loved one? I’d love to hear what your token is – leave a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. I have several items in my home to remind me to pray - a tiny oil bottle that I assume came from the same missionary friends now in Africa when they served in Egypt - it sits on my kitchen window sill, with a coin from India when the brother and his wife made their first trip to that country. I also have a small purse from Jimmy's sister that is in my jewelry draw that reminds me to pray for our military.

    I have several items in my house to remind me how thankful I am for items we take for granted. When our luggage did not arrive when we arrived in Africa we had to buy personal items. In my bathroom I still have the horrible roll on deodorant - only one kind offered in the store we shopped at. I also have a sign in my laundry room brought home from Haiti "Merci Jesus" hanging beside an old washboard.

    I enjoy what you share - may God bless your family.