Coffee is better than cow poop

In Armenia just over a year ago, we worked with some wonderful people in the plateaus of the Caucasus Mountains. These Yezide Kurds are amongst the poorest people groups of the region. Those we met are hard working, wonderful people who earn very, very little money. We felt bad knowing they heat their homes and cook their food with bricks made of dried cow poop.  This photo shows a mound of hay which the animals can eat during the winter and mounds of cow poop to use in cooking/heating.


Their region provides very little wood for fires and they use the resources available to them.

A pastor with whom we worked said if he and the people of his church could help their neighbors utilize something besides the norm for their fuel it would make a huge difference.

Chad, one of Convoy of Hope’s former interns, is in Armenia right now. Among his various projects, he’s helping these Yezide Kurds use something much better than cow poop to use as fuel. Coffee.


Java Logs are bricks made of coffee ground.  They’re not a new thing, but they are in the plateaus of the Caucas Mountains. Chad’s using local resources, including coffee grounds from area hotels and restaurants to test java logs with these great people.

He’s still working on the best local resource for the wax that helps keep the java logs together, but from what I’ve heard from him, overall things are going well.  Pray for the right wax combination and source so the project can spread across the area…

I love innovation.

What are some innovative things you’ve seen to help people where you live or around the world?

Mark Batterson, our interns, Primal

Last month our interns served at an outreach in the DC area.  While there, they met up with author/pastor/leader/thinker/twitterer, Mark Batterson.  Mark lived here in Springfield for a few years while in college and from what he tells us, enjoys Andy’s Frozen Custard.  Why am I blogging about him?

Two reasons: 

1.  He took an hour out of his schedule to meet with our interns.  They drank coffee and talked about life.  He really poured into them.  Many have mentioned that it’s a highlight of their internship.  Thank you Mark

He also gave us copies of his books In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase.  We’ll keep a copy of each in our intern house for the future generations of interns to read around the world.  Thanks for these as well.

2.  He has a new book, Primal, coming out soon.  His publisher is giving away 500 copies to bloggers who agree to review it.  I submitted my name and this blog and would love to give my meticulously and beautifully worded review of the work.  Plus, I’d love a free copy of what I know will be some great reading.


Hence, this post. 

1.  Thanks Mark!
2.  I pray Primal impacts a lot of people.

PS:  Thanks Randy Whitlow for the heads up on this opportunity.





OneHope, kingdom stuff, and old friends

Well…not old, but you know what I mean.  I loved being a part of the Book of Hope (now OneHope) team from ’02-’06.  Great years, great friends.  With a two night layover in S. Florida to pick up our team from Haiti and then head to other foreign lands, I was excited to reconnect with some great people, and stay in OneHope’s Forum.
I blogged yesterday about a call I got that changed our entire two weeks.  Kathryn from the OneHope team actually started helping us search for new flights, Paul prayed over us.  The administration team of OneHope helped in some cool ways too.  The change in plans threw off some of our transportation…and friends like Pat and Christine chipped in and helped in huge ways.  I love the Kingdom of God.
Along those lines, our Convoy of Hope Interns in Haiti did a Book of Hope distribution to children while serving with a King’s Castle team.  Working together.  I like that.  It’s very John 17ish.
Guatemala is beautiful.  Our spiritual retreat begins today. I may even purchase some coffee here, at my favorite place to buy whole bean coffee in the world (let me know by Friday afternoon if you want some).
We’re off to El Salvador on Saturday.

Enjoying the aeropress

aeropressOur french press broke. While researching which new one to purchase, I found this…

It’s pretty poor marketing, but it makes a great cup of coffee. I’ve been making an aeropress cup each morning. My friend at the Coffee Ethic in Springfield even said they may start carrying them someday. They just need better marketing…

Almost there

I’m on my way to Moldova and then Armenia to do some set-up for our fall intern teeam. It’s been a long process of delays/cancelled flights and stuff like that. I’ll skip the details. I’m on a rerouted journey, currently in transit in Frankfurt, Germany. I grabbed a Starbucks (Americano with 2 sweet-n-lows and cream) which is what’s keeping me awake to write this. While in line, I saw these two shelves…

It’s the largest collection of Starbucks mugs I’ve seen outside my kitchen or Jeff Nene’s office. I only have carry on bags…no checked luggage. Won’t waste my space on them,
and purchased none, but it got me to thinking…
1. This world is getting smaller. It’s sad in some ways, cool in some ways, but regardless of the implications, it’s getting smaller. I wonder how long it will be until this tribe will have their own Starbucks…sadly, it may be quicker than we think. Globilization.
2. I like to drink coffee.
A few moments ago, I met David, a new Facebook friend. He’s returning from Iraq where he was injured as a gunner in the National Guard. Good talk.I’ll write more from Moldova when I’ve had a bit more sleep!