Larry and Katherine Cox joined our team because of coffee. Sort of. Larry and Katherine are from Andover, KS, located outside of Wichita. Fellow team member Noel Keyes (now from Florida) began a coffee ministry at Hope Community Church several years ago. One thing led to another, and Voila! they joined our team and have done a yeoman’s job in making sure the church sanctuary got painted. They took a few minutes to talk with us about their church, and how/why they came to join us in Panama.
* How did you become aware of this trip?
Larry – Our church has a big coffee ministry. We buy coffee from Noel Keyes, who used to live in Wichita. He moved to Florida and stopped roasting coffee. He met Ken (Julian) at a coffee convention. Ken does his roasting. Someone came to our Senior Pastor and asked if we could change coffee companies because they knew of one that supported missions.
Our Sr. Pastor asked me to look into it. We already had a coffee company that supported missions. I called both Noel and Ken and was told about the Panama trip. I gathered information for our Pastor, and he asked if we could go to be part of a fact-finding team, and got the OK.
* Can you tell us a bit about your church?
Katherine- We have three services, including one on Saturday night, and have a little over 1000 members. We are very mission oriented, financially support a lot of missions both overseas and at home. Our church is very seeker-friendly, and offers classes for all ages.
* What do you hope to accomplish on this trip?
Larry- To obtain enough information to present to our Leadership Team to see if this is a mission the whole church would support. A large part of our budget goes to support numerous missions on every continent.
* What has struck you about this mission experience so far?
Katherine- The extreme poverty. Today we went to visit a child who had surgery on both legs. His house had a dirt floor with no furniture except for mattresses on boards. There were chickens in the house, and a puppy that was just skin and bones. Eight people live in a 10′ x 12′ shack with no electricity.
We asked if we could pray for the boy and his family before we left. The mother gave us hugs, and the whole family was very appreciative that we would pray with them.