My girlfriend Norma and I set out about 9 AM on Thursday for our 2 and a half hour drive east. We went first to Birch Run Outlet Mall and did some damage there. Then we stopped at Uno’s for (way too much) yummy food. After that we headed to our hotel.
I brought my Bose ipod thingy and we spent some “knee” time in worship and prayer before heading off to Tim Horton’s at 7 PM.
I was unsure what to expect, but I knew God had a plan for us that night. It was a cozy group of about 9 of us, perfect for what the Lord had in mind.
After meeting these precious friends of Hope’s, I asked them about what God had been doing in their lives. One conversation sparked another and we spent 2 hours praising God for all He had done through some of our darkest times.
Among them was a gentleman (yes, a man…and it worked out just fine!) that had just gone through a battle with cancer and in the midst of it, his wife past away. With tears in his eyes he shared how hard that was…but how good God was.
Another friend told about how the Lord had called her and her husband out of pastoral ministry to take care of their children- their 18 children. Yes, eighteen. Three biological and 15 adopted. They never dreamed that God would take their life in this direction, but He did and they were grateful.
And then there was her neighbor, oh I would have loved to spend a whole day hearing her story. She is an author and publisher who beautifully reflects the amazing grace of God. I only got a tiny glimpse into her life, but I could tell that it was one full of testimony to the love of her Savior.
As we were visiting a customer came over to Hope to ask her about what we were doing. She told her that it was a Praise and Coffee Night and the woman said that she had a praise to share. She told Hope how the doctors thought she had cancer but after prayer, it ended up being something else. She asked if they were going to meet next week (and they are) and she wants to come.
At the end of the evening we prayed together. I felt so blessed to have met these people and hear their stories. I believe we all walked away feeling that we had not only met with one another, but as we gathered together, He was there in our midst also. The evening lived up to it’s name, a Praise and Coffee Night.
Norma and I went back to the hotel, turned on the Bose and thanked the Lord for all He had done. It was good.
Here is a link to Hope’s very sweet words about the evening. (She has pictures!)
I believe that all of the Praise and Coffee Nights are going to have a different feel to them, but one thing will be central and that is…praise to our God.
The main focus of these evenings is to share His praises with one another. Share what He has done and is doing in our lives.
Encourage those in the group that are going through a valley and rejoice with those on the mountain tops!
I am looking forward to this Thursday as we meet in my hometown and as Mel meets in Florida. I pray that many of you also will take the initiative to start your own Praise and Coffee Nights.
If you do, let me know and I will post them here.