One of the questions we get most frequently is, ‘What do you do everyday?’ We aren’t open yet, so this is a good question. Each week looks different right now with a few consistent activities. We wish that all of you could come see the cool things that God is up to in Denver, but we know that isn’t possible for everyone. So, we wanted to convey as much as we can about what we do.
Flickr image by russelljsmith
Right now we are perpetually looking for ways to share our story. We are making connections with people to spread our network by meeting with different churches, businesses and individuals in Denver so that we can share what is going on with Purple Door Coffee. We’ve been comparing this a lot to Mark 4. We’re spreading as much seed as possible and only some of it will grow, but God will grow it!
Mondays and Tuesdays are filled with miscellaneous things–meetings with people that are interested in Purple Door–churches, businessmen, other urban ministries and anyone else you can think of– efforts to share our story on the internet (like this blog), sending out thank you letters, sending tax receipts, updating databases, helping out with Belay’s other faith ventures, making calls, sending out updates, organizing smaller fundraisers, and so much more. These are the days that look different each week. Mondays and Tuesday are also days that we intentionally learn from Jim Reiner and the Belay team about job training ministries and running a non-profit. Learning happens throughout the week, but on Monday and Tuesdays we typically get to spend more time with Jim and share vision and goals for Purple Door.
Wednesdays are a fun day for us. We get to sit in a conference room with all the Bud’s Warehouse employees and share about how our weeks are going, what goals we are working towards, and update everyone on our own spiritual journeys. It is a beautiful time of community and encouragement.
Thursdays are also a lot of fun–but challenging as well. The morning and early afternoon are filled with similar things as Monday. We also check in with some of the Bud’s Warehouse employees that we journey with as goal coaches. This happens at other times throughout the week as well. The late afternoon and early evening are times spent with Dry Bones. We attend bowling with Dry Bones.
Each week Dry Bones rents a bus to take our friends bowling. We bowl and have a good time. It is a place of belonging and safety. This time is used to simply build relationships with our friends from the streets and the volunteers that work with Dry Bones, as well as lavish love on everyone present. We then go to the meal that is served after bowling and continue the conversations that took place at the bowling alley as well as start new ones. This is a joy as well as a challenge.
Sometimes the conversations are light hearted and fun, and at other times they are dark and sad. This is valuable relational time that helps us remain connected and in tune with the culture that is present on the streets. This is vital as we dream about and plan the training components of Purple Door. If we were disconnected from the culture of the people we are striving to work with, we would not be able to help them as effectively as possible. Our consistent presence on the streets also communicates our love and concern for our friends, and helps us establish ourselves in the culture on the streets.
Fridays are also a very enjoyable day. Friday morning is started with Bible study with the Bud’s warehouse employees. I (Mark) have been blessed to lead these studies for the last month and a half. “Lead” is maybe a bit misleading. Each week I bring a passage to the group and give a little context. After that the discussion begins. I chime in as a participant in the discussion, and we all journey through scripture as a community.
It is challenging and beautiful. I have been presented with a new angle on a passage I have read a hundred times on more than one occasion already. The diversity of backgrounds and the different lives that have been lived in that room provide a component to the study of scripture that I have not encountered in a traditional church setting. It is a huge blessing to journey through scripture with this group of people. After the Bible Study we again just work on what is before us–emails, sharing our story, checking in with Bud’s employees, meetings, etc.
In the early afternoon in the summer months we head over to Dry Bones’ picnics. We spend time in the park with our friends from the streets and just continue to grow the relationships there. This is a relaxed atmosphere that allows us to connect and have meaningful conversation. Again, this is a valuable time for us as we seek to stay in tune with the culture on the streets.
As much as we love what we’re doing now, we are ready to open the doors of Purple Door! We are ready to provide employment, job training and life skills training to the street kids in Denver that want to exit street life. Please consider donating today as we currently have a $30,000 matching donation! Click here to donate and help us open Purple Door Coffee so that we can provide employment to our friends that are working to rebuild their lives from homelessness.