I was in Ensenada, Mexico last week. Ensenada is about 75 miles south of the US/Mexico border on the Pacific Ocean. It is also where the ministry I work with, Adventures in Life, began serving in 1992. I was there to see how some of our church partners were doing and to make ministry plans for later this year.
It has been exciting to me to see how both the city and the Christian community have grown and changed since we started ministry in that area. I remember when we had to drive through a river just to cross to the other side of town. I can remember when what now seems to be close to the center of town was considered the boondocks. I even remember bringing water with us from the US because clean safe water was not available where we were working.
And I remember when Mariano started a little cafe on Calle Lopez Mateos serving coffee and espresso. It was the second coffee shop in Ensenada and it was called Cafe Tomas. Now I will be honest with you. The coffee is only good. But the espresso drinks are incredible! The guys there are artists. And not just when business is slow. They take their time to make a really good cup of espresso and make it look good too. Check this out.
Have you ever seen a better looking cup of joe? I drank that latte. It was delicious. As it is every time I go in, no matter what day, time, or who is working. They care about quality.
Now let me tell you why I always go back to Cafe Tomas when I am in Ensenada. I believe we need anchors in our lives. Unchanging, dependable experiences, traditions, and places. Those anchors give us comfort as we travel and navigate the seas of life. Cafe Tomas is one of my anchors. Jesus is another. Probably my most important one. For no matter how big the squalls, no matter how much change is swirling about, I know He is always there, unchanging and full of love, for me. And that is incredible.
Change has become a constant fact of life for both individuals and institutions like the church. One of my friends even has a blog titled Turnaround, sharing a little about how his church deals with change. As someone who works with churches both here and in Mexico, I am confronted with this on a regular basis. And here is what I have learned about dealing with change. We need to go to Cafe Tomas more often. We need to experience our anchors in life on a regular basis.
Whether that is Mom and Dad's house on spring break, church on Sunday, or a great latte in your favorite coffee shop, those anchors keep us grounded in a world that is changing faster today than ever before in the history of mankind.
Think about that and the next time you are going to be in Ensenada, get in touch with me. I know where we can always get a great cup of coffee.