We hear many stories from people who have not felt welcome in certain groups or fellowships. This is not one of those stories.
The coffee shop where we volunteer has many college-aged staff who work there while getting their education. Some want to improve their English skills while others are earning extra money for their future. They come, they go. It’s a painful part of the life of the coffee house. Relationships are formed and deepened while they are here. And that is why many of them can’t stay away for long!
Neil is one of our longer-staying staff. He works full time as an IT guy during the day and works part time at the coffee house to earn extra money for his future and to improve his English. He always wears a smile, even when cleaning the toilets. He’s a delight to have around. He and many former and current staff will meet up at the coffee house, even on their days off to socialize, sing at music night, or go out together after closing time. It’s very gratifying to see these workplace bonds spread out beyond our walls into their social lives. It’s a good wholesome group of young people who encourage each other and laugh together. They don’t all think the same or even hold the same values, but they are accepting of and patient with one another.
That is also something that happens with our customers. They are all so different. They come to the coffee house for more than just refreshing drinks and learning English. They come to laugh, to sing, to play games, to meet new friends. Some are very lonely and seek others to interact with. Some are motivated to put language learning into high gear.
All of them are accepted. All of them are given respect and value. All of them are touched differently by the atmosphere. All would say that they are meeting up with their friends when they come in the doors.
That’s how heaven will be. We’ll all feel welcomed, accepted and among friends. How cool is that?!