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Job Training

By | Homeless Youth, incubation, Street Life | No Comments

Madison and I continue to attend Dry Bones events and build relationships on the streets. Over the last few weeks many of our friends are getting job interviews, but so few are actually getting jobs. It makes me see the need even more clearly for Purple Door. We hope to teach our friends interviewing skills, job skills, give them a job history, give them positive references, and be a source of encouragement for them to help them keep going.

Job training ministries are interesting places to work. There is certainly never a dull day. I have the opportunity to lead the Bible Study at Bud’s Warehouse on Friday mornings. Lead is a relative term. Really, I pick the passage we read and we go from there. We’ve been bouncing around the Sermon on the Mount lately. It’s amazing how scripture speaks and moves in our lives.

Flickr image by DaveBleasdale

I learn more than I teach in this setting. It is awesome and challenging when I see aspects of faith that are stronger than my own in that room on Friday mornings. I am excited to see that take place at Purple Door Coffee–to be challenged by our employees while simultaneously challenging; to grow together as we walk our personal paths.

Purple Door will be a place of community, a place of love, a place of respect, a place of challenge, a place of growth, a place where Christ is evident. Our prayer is that Purple Door will be a place where God is glorified and all people are changed.

“A Problem”

By | Street Life | No Comments

To be viewed as “a problem” impacts one in a deep way. It impacts one’s understanding of who one really is. It prevents one from seeing their own value.

Our friends on the streets encounter this every day. With the passing of the urban camping ban here in Denver this profile of being “a problem” is even more strongly embedded into our friends’ minds.

Image by Tyrone Clakely on Flickr

Our friends are not a problem. They are valuable people that are in a difficult place, fighting an uphill battle. They are people that deserve love and can give love; people that are funny; people that are creative; people that are helpful. Our friends on the streets are not a problem.

Because of their value, we don’t want them to stay in the situation that they are in. We want them to experience a safe place to sleep. We want them to not have to worry about whether or not they will eat today. We want them to be able to meet their daily needs. We want them to lead a physically, psychologically and spiritually healthy life.

At Purple Door Coffee we hope to communicate that our friends are not a problem, and that we want what is best for them. We want to communicate that they are valuable. We want them to realize that they matter, that they can make an impact, and that they are deserving of a healthy life.

We hope to equip our friends to lead that healthy life. Help us in this journey to communicate to our friends that they are not a problem and to equip our friends to lead a healthy life by donating here.

God is doing some cool things with Purple Door Coffee and we hope you can join us in this journey.

Generational Impact

By | Homeless Youth, incubation | No Comments

Generational impact. It’s a bit of an abstract concept. So frequently we think only of what is in front of us. We think of immediate needs and the needs of a single life. Seldom do we think of how choices made now impact our descendants–the next generation. This is true of all people in all places. Generational impact is real, but difficult to wrap our minds around.

Flickr image by edanley

Generational poverty is a widely studied and researched concept. It is a cycle that is vicious and difficult to break. Most of our friends on the streets were not born into wealth and affluence. Most were born into situations that mimic theirs today, and research shows that without marked changes in their own lives, their children will enter a similar situation.

Changes that are made today (positive and negative), affect those who come afterwards.

I’m reminded of the Biblical story of Abraham. Abraham was told by God to get up and move to go to a land that God would show him. I don’t know about you, but when I move, I like to know where I am going. Abraham just left. He took his family–his whole life–and moved. Had he not done this, the narrative of the nation of Israel would not have begun through him. An entire nation was established because of the change made by Abraham. He made the change based on a promise for the future, the promise of becoming a great nation. Not a promise of riches or immediate power, but a much more nebulous and futuristic promise.

Many of our friends have experienced a lot of negative changes in their lives–many of which have been decisions made for them. When a pattern of changes being negative develops, it is difficult to make the necessary changes to improve one’s situation.

We hope that we can provide the support needed for our friends to make the brave decision to change. Change in a way that improves their situation for themselves and for the future.

It’s important that our employees realize that the changes they are making as they work to improve their situation now will impact the rest of their own lives, but it will also impact the lives of their children and grandchildren. Their changes will change the trajectory of their future and their family’s future.

This generational impact is very important to us at Purple Door because it is about working towards the repair of a broken system. God is restoring all things to himself by using His people, and we are blessed to be a part of that restoration in this specific area.

It also helps us remember that one life changed by God through Purple Door Coffee is not a solitary life, but a life that is connected to many lives. That changed life will have a ripple effect to others.

Abraham got up and moved. He changed his life, but never saw the full fruits of that change. We at Purple Door must remember that we will never see the full fruits of the changes that are started in the lives of those connected to us, but it is still worth it. And our employees may not see the full fruits of their change either, but we pray they find conviction and courage knowing that they are impacting their family generations from now by making positive changes now.

The Widow and Her Lottery Ticket

By | Non-profit, organization, Street Life | No Comments

Many of you might be familiar with the story of The Widow’s Offering in both Mark and Luke. Here is Luke’s account of that story- Luke 21:1-4 “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

I love this story so much because it emphasizes the beauty of sacrificial giving. Another reason I love this story because I am currently experiencing the reality of what it means to live on someone else’s donations. Through my experience, I have realized that every single penny donated helps us so much more than anyone can ever know. I would like to share a story with you that happened to me just two nights ago. Yep, just this past Monday night! That means that you are on the cutting edge of society because you are receiving immediate news from me, a highly credible source of information.

So, I moonlight as a Zumba instructor. I teach only once a week and I LOVE it. After class this past Monday I went out to eat with a group of students and we chatted about life and its ups and downs. While we were chatting, someone asked me to clarify exactly what I am doing right now for work. The set up of our work can be pretty confusing, so I get questions about this a lot.

I explained that Belay Enterprises is incubating us and that we are currently working at Bud’s Warehouse as Goal Coaches so that we can learn the ins and outs of running a non-profit job-training program. I talked about how we are working to raise money to open Purple Door Coffee and that we are also raising our salaries and spoke briefly about the stresses that come along with raising money.

After explaining these things, one of the ladies, Linda, quickly reached down into her purse and pulled out a small, square piece of paper. She handed it to me and said, “I don’t have any money to give, but I just won $25 on this lottery ticket and you should have it!” Linda is truly one of the most giving and supportive people that I have ever met. She continues to amaze me with her generosity and encouragement with each interaction. This story is so beautiful to me because on Monday night, Linda gave Purple Door Coffee what she had; money that she could have spent on an awesome meal or on a girls night out or on some new shoes for her two beautiful kids.

Linda’s generosity has given Purple Door Coffee so much more than $25, it has given us encouragement to get through today and press forward to a goal that is much bigger than both Mark and I. (Just to clarify, Linda isn’t a widow. She has an awesome husband named Doug. I titled this story ‘The Widow and her Lottery Ticket’ because her giving reminded me of the story in Luke that I mentioned earlier.)

The super exciting thing about this kind of giving is that you have the ability to participate! YAY! We have a Crowdrise campaign up and running to raise money for coffee equipment for Purple Door. You can become a part of this journey to open Purple Door Coffee by donating here, today. Please consider donating to help us create jobs for kids who are working so hard to get out of homelessness. I assure you that every little bit helps!

How To Donate To Out Crowdrise Campaign

We love you guys and are so thankful for all that you have already given! Peace and blessings.

Love, Mads