Sitting here in the Dubai airport having given up on finding great coffee and settling for Costa — drinking something they (and quite a few other weirdos) call a “Flat White” [At Endiro, we just call it a “correctly made Cappucino”]. But enough coffee snobbery. This is the beginning of my first quarter 2016 trip to Uganda. So much work on the agenda. Trying to successfully establish a “business as mission” venture is very difficult. Personally, there are a few key points with which I am wrestling.
- Making money in the majority world is very easy if you don’t mind exploiting others. But striving for ethical excellence means you are clearly playing on an uneven field with the competition.
- The ideal of buidling trust and healthy, grace-filled relationships with staff is often in conflict with the mandate to steward well the resources of God. There is much heartbreak behind this one.
Asking for prayer and acts of support and encouragement from all of you. The next three weeks will have a lot of meetings, lots of planning, lots of difficult conversations and decisions. Pray for wisdom. Pray for God’s protection on our coffee shops and farms. Pray for grants and capital investments to begin to flow in so that we can continue to build the farm side of the company. In particular there is a certain amount of coffee that we need to buy from our farmers, we need to equip our roastery, and we want to install more equipment into our farming communities in order to raise their crop yeilds and quality.
There is also the crucial component of disciple-making. The Lord is speaking. I know he wants to make clear progress during this trip, but I don’t know the details.
Also, please give to support our efforts. There are two places on our website that are most helpful for our work in Uganda right now.
- Foundation Fund — this provides some of the most essential funding, including salary for myself and others driving this whole thing.
- Venture Fund — this is a capital venture-style fund that we use for start up money. For example, we bought our first ton of coffee from this fund. The fund gets gradually replenished, but it takes time and meanwhile more opportuities arise that we need to seize. Large donations to this fund will actually continue producing results for years and years.
Gotta go. Flight time.