What I’ll Miss by Tim Van Arsdale
The week after Thanksgiving was rough. I learned I have a bicuspid aortic valve, likely a birth defect gone undetected for 40 years. The fix? Open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. We’ve temporarily hired Paige Wicks as Assistant Director. She’ll be in charge of organizing volunteers, receiving donations, answering questions, and managing the day to day operations while I’m away (4-8 weeks) healing, recovering, going through physical therapy.
My emotions are all over the place…anger, frustration, depression, denial, and a terrifying fear. I don’t want this, ugh. It’s time to be brave and trust the Lord. It’s time for me to extinguish the pride in my heart, practice humility, embrace the reality of this physical adventure, accept help, and empower others to serve and manage the cafe ministry. This is hard. The cafe is a big part of my life, and I’ll miss it.
I’m going to really miss being with the teens when they pile in after school tossing their book bags on the floor. I’m going to miss seeing those young faces everyday and the impromptu conversations like this one I had recently:
“How was school?”
“Good,” the boys reply. One kid tosses his overstuffed book bag on a chair while the other reaches to hang his coat.
“I’ve got some soup here if you’d like a cup,” I say.
“Mmmm,” says one boy.
“So, did you learn anything today?”
“We learned about different world religions.”
“Really? That’s pretty cool. Which ones did you study?” I ask.
“We talked about Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish faith.”
“Which religion did you find most interesting?”
“Islam,” he replies. “But I can’t wait to study Buddhism.”
“So, do Muslims believe in one god or many gods?”
“ONE!” the boys shout. Their eagerness to share touches my heart.
“And how many gods do you guys believe in?” (See how I snuck that one in there? Couldn’t resist.)
“One,” they say, again.
“Interesting,” I nod.
The conversation may have ended there, but it’s not over. Those students will return and I will be back again also, healthier and better than ever, a new heart valve, a new lease on life.
Maybe the next time we meet, we can talk more about Christianity.
Thank you for supporting Cups Cafe. Personally, I covet your prayers as I face heart surgery. I also ask that you graciously welcome our newest cafe team members. Pray for them, support them, and contact them with any questions you may have as I will be unavailable. This is a time when we need all our volunteers to sign up for shifts, especially during the month of February.
We also need your generous financial support and prayers more than ever. We’re taking a HUGE financial step of faith by hiring a second employee. We really have no choice. I’ll be gone and every day the cafe is filled with reams of young people and families in need of food, comfort, conversation, and help. We’ve placed 6 homeless people in hotel rooms so far this winter from funds in our new Mercy account. The cafe is a busy place; a lighthouse for so many in Medina. Closing Cups is not an option. So please consider sending in a special donation to help us cover these unforeseen expenses. See the included pledge card and envelope.
I hope to have good news to share in our Spring Newsletter on how God is healing my heart and renewing my strength, so I can return to the work of meeting with teens, asking them about Jesus, and serving Hope – one cup at a time. What a crazy, good year. I can’t imagine, or even begin to guess, what God has for Cups in 2016.
Serving to Plant Seeds by Ron Pierce
We here at Cups Café have a wonderful group of volunteers where the experiences grow on a daily basis. We have a decorating crew that keeps up with all the Holiday’s and special functions. We have volunteers to serve guests, volunteers to clean, and sort incoming food donations, and manage schedules, and oversee bookkeeping. Although all volunteers are appreciated and very important, the heart of the matter is interactions behind the counter towards our clients who range from 12 years of age to 25 years old, and then some. Some of the clients are homeless, some just a step away. Some are older and lonely and just need someone to talk to.
My name is Ron Pierce. I have been involved with Cups Café for about 6 years now. I have had the humbling experience of serving behind the counter, to meet and greet people with introductions towards our Savior Jesus Christ. My name back then was known as “The Chili Dog Man,” so you can tell what I like to serve, as it attracted a pretty good crowd. Prayer and planting seeds to serve others was the goal.
Over the years, my service has changed a little. I have had the honor to step in behind the scenes to serve on the Board of Directors for Cups Café. Working with Tim, and our other board members, has been a huge blessing. I am going into my 4th year as a board member and now serve as Chairman of the Board. What an honor to serve the community, and The Lord Jesus Christ, along with everyone at Cups Café. We plan to move ahead with remodeling goals as well as expansion in the future. The main goal is still the same though, “PRAYER AND PLANTING SEEDS” to serve others and The Lord Jesus Christ. Consider joining our “TEAM” to make a difference in serving others, GOD’S BLESSINGS !!!
Chairman of Board at Cups Cafe,
Christmas Breakfast 2015 by Cherity Kremer
The Medina Christian Homeschooling Friends performed their 2nd annual Christmas Day breakfast at Cups Cafe. Praise the Lord that there were 55 people served as the Lord provided an abundance of food and Christmas gifts for the patrons on Christmas morning this year. Most importantly, we were able to serve them the Word of God.
Some important insight for ministry opportunities was revealed in a questionnaire that each adult was required to fill out to receive their meal. The questionnaire had several scripture verses and corresponding questions that clearly presented the Gospel.
Out of 33 surveys collected, only 10 of them answered all 6 of the questions correctly. Out of the remaining 23 surveys, 17 of them answered the following question wrong: Can we go to heaven by doing good works?
An overwhelming majority believe that one can go to heaven by doing good works. As I was reading over these survey responses, I was glad to have the information to know what people were thinking and how to witness better…but at the same time I was very saddened. It burdens my heart to know that we need to emphasize in our witnessing that good works will not get anyone to heaven, it is only by belief in Jesus Christ and what His death accomplished on the cross. It is only by the grace of God that we are able to do anything good at all (Galatians 2:16).
Meet Our Newest Team Members
Paige Wicks has been hired by Cups Cafe as Assistant Director. She first heard about Cups through church. One day, Paige and her daughters stopped in looking for a place to give back and immediately fell in love with this ministry. She’s been a volunteer for a little over a year now. Please welcome her to our team and keep Paige in your prayers.
“I’d have to say the thing I love the most about the cafe are the volunteers (God’s people)…I love them all…a lot. I find it interesting how you go through seasons in life where you need Cups as much as Cups needs you. It’s been true in my life. I needed this place, and now Cups needs me to help manage the day to day activities while Tim heals and recovers from his surgery. If you need anything, feel free to give me a call. I’m here to serve.” -Paige
I’m happy to announce Heather Rupp as Cups Cafe’s new treasurer. Heather, and her family, started volunteering at Cups over a year ago. Heather has recently agreed to use her gifts to serve Cups Cafe in this extremely important position. Heather has a finance degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and was a branch manager for Wells Fargo Financial before deciding to stay home to raise her children. Heather’s two daughters can be seen volunteering at the cafe alongside their grandparents, Ed & Lucy Herman. Please welcome Heather to our team and keep her in your prayers.