Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coffee for the Multitudes!!!

Coffee for the Multitudes!!!

Our ministry here in Cusco has been going great! I apologize for not giving you all the details, but it would probably overwhelm you with info. I will try to highlight some of the things that stand out.

The café business has been growing pretty steady since we took over. We invested in some additional improvements such as more dishes, a refrigerator, a larger stove(our chef was using the equivalent of stove that you might find in a motor home from the 1960’s), a beautiful sign to go on the outside of the building, as well as a small espresso machine, and juice squeezer. Many of the items that we added have been such a convenience and allow us to serve our customers better as well as give us more options for menu items. We recently started serving lunches. They are a huge hit. It is a pretty basic menu at this point, but it includes soups such as creamy carrot cilantro, broccoli cheese cream soup, as well as tomato basil. These all look so good that people like them before they actually taste them. Then once they try it, it seals the deal. We also have some amazing sandwiches to go along with the soups. We are continually seeking new options to improve our menu.

We recently had a group of missionaries from our previous mission come up on their vacation to serve in the café. It was great to see friends and have some new energy and smiling faces. They allowed me to take a bit of time off without having to worry about personnel shortages. While they were here, we had the biggest day in the history of the café. We just keep breaking records. God is good!

Even with the cash that we put into the café this month, we are going to be close on breaking even. It could be the first ever month of making a profit since the inception of the café. I am excited to get the final numbers from the accountant (my beautiful wife, Teri). It is going to be close. We are prepared to handle more business now and we should be able to operate without buying many more assets. This is exciting stuff.

As for the Church at The Meeting Place, I have been blessed with the opportunity to preach a few times this past month. I was able to preach on topics such as “coincidences”, motorcycle riding lessons-biblically speaking, and the value of being surrounded by solid friends. It has been a bit intimidating, but God made it work.

Just this past week, Ken Dujay, a young and vibrant pastor from Texas arrived to take over the responsibility of the pastorate of The Meeting Place Church. His sole responsibility is to operate the church. He and his family will be moving to Cusco permanently in October. This will give me the ability to continue in the vision of The Meeting Place to expand the development of additional micro businesses in the area. Ken will also be working as a volunteer in the café which will allow him to connect and draw people to the church. Our plan seems pretty solid. I am excited to see how God will work through Ken and his family to reach the people here in Cusco.

As for our family, our little princesses have been getting used to their new school. They are going to a bilingual school here in Cusco called Ausengate. They teach one half of the day in Spanish and the other half in Spanish. It is a school that comes highly recommended. They seem to enjoy the school so far. They are able to participate in afterschool activities as well. So far so good on the school front; what a blessing!

We have had a few visitors over the past few days. It has been nice to have some family around. Teri’s mom, brother and sister have been spending a couple of weeks with us. The kids have enjoyed hanging out with Grandma, Uncle Mike, and Aunt Rita. Somehow, they have the amazing ability to stay up all hours of the night playing games. They are troopers for sure!

Our family is doing well. We have had a few dental issues with the girls. Not fun, but we have to do a root canal on a permanent tooth of Kayle’s and possibly do one on Emma. We will see this week. Please keep Kayle and Emma in your prayers.

We have a few prayer items to share with you all. One thing that is really pressuring us right now is our finances. We are feeling the effects of changing mission organizations. Many of our donors have either, not changed their support accounts for whatever reason, or they have decided to discontinue. In addition, we have increased our expenses as we are in a more expensive place to live in Peru. The school for the kids, to food, to rent; all of those things are costing us a bit more each month. Only about half of our monthly needs are met at this point. If you are not part of our financial partnership team, I would encourage you to pray about how God would allow you to participate. If you are signed up, pray that others would join. If you would like to sign up, the fastest way is to click here on our link to donate: Support the Englund Family

Pray for the success of the café and church. We want so bad to see this ministry go crazy successful. It has been growing rapidly, but we will soon be in the midst of the slow season. Pray for continued success so we can support our ministry partners and reach people for Christ in Cusco.

We are also looking for volunteers to come down and volunteer from a few weeks up to a couple of years . We are looking for friendly people who enjoy a social coffee shop environment, willing to live in a different culture, wanting to learn a new language, and spend some time in a new and

exciting place. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please get them in contact with me.

We also want to thank those of you that are currently supporting us with your prayer and financial resources. We are blessed to have you on the team. Thank you! We are experiencing God’s blessing through you. Blessings on you and your families!

We will have a bunch more to write about next time. We will keep you in our prayers and we ask for your continued prayers for us and our ministry. God bless…

Until next time,

Scott Englund

Monday, August 9, 2010

What's Happening With the Englund's in Cusco?

Well this week has been a crazy one! We are getting settled into our new mission and things are just getting heated up around here. We sent the kids off to their first day of school in their new school in Cusco. It went well, but was a bit tough in the beginning. Let me give you a rundown of some of the happenings with the Englund Family and The Meeting Place Café and Church.

We have had a couple of firsts in the past few weeks.

I became a barista. I don’t even like coffee, but I can serve a mean one for sure.

I threw my first fit in Spanish-Our internet salesman sold us something that does not work even close to what he explained and I told him about it after he told me I would have to pay a huge cancellation fee-Most Peruvian service is terrible! How frustrating!

I spent one day as Chef in the café-Scared me to death, but food was cooked, served, consumed, and paid for without complaint-A miracle!
I preached my first sermon

I saw my first forest/range fire in Cusco

I ate my first Picarones-Kind of like a flat churro-I love em!

Emma and Teri got caught in
a local parade near the cafe

Probably more than that, but those are the ones I could think of quickly.

We are getting really settled into our groove here. I am excited to give you all a report on our new ministry. We have been operating The Meeting Place Café and Church for the past two weeks.

Not much time to breathe, but I had to stop for a second to let you all know about what is taking place down here in Cusco.

Our first week started a bit slow. I was still learning the drink recipes from a volunteer who had just learned herself. We managed to get through the first few days without any problems. Thank goodness it was slow at first. With a couple of slow days under our belts, we started to try some new things. We cooked up some tasty waffles (cannot find anywhere else in Cusco) and went out into the plaza and gave out samples, Costco style. People responded well and we harvested a few customers.

In addition, we started telling people our story. It is not that difficult, but people really think it is great that we are giving 100% of our profits to help support three local ministries. We have had a bundle of repeat customers in the past few days. There has been a significant increase in business over the past few days. In fact, our biggest day ever in the history of the café was our first Thursday on the job. Then like a storm, the first Saturday came and we broke the record again. We have had a number of solid days as well. The business side is going really good.We have also been preparing for expanding our hours as well as expanding to serve lunches. In fact, I spent this morning buying dishes, additional utensils, beefing up the kitchen, and buying additional food items in order to start serving lunches tomorrow. Marco, our chef, is excited to expand into a more rounded dining experience. He is taking a lot of pride in The Meeting Place. I am excited to have him on board.

Our goal is to make the business profitable enough by November, that we can take over the rest of the building and begin operating a language institute as well as operate a hostel for our future volunteers that may want to serve in a volunteer capacity in the café. They can also learn Spanish during their time here. So if any of you know of anyone that might be interested in coming down and serving as a Christian volunteer in Cusco for a period of a month or more, just let me know. I will soon be developing a package that will include an amazing and fun Christian ministry volunteer opportunity, including a Spanish element that will be tailored to the desires of the student, a safe and centrally located place to live while serving in Cusco, as well as be able to enjoy the local culture and flavor of Cusco, Peru. I think it will draw some interest. But for now, I am focused on the café.

The church part is still very intimidating for me. However, I am getting more comfortable with it each time we meet. The music is awesome. The people are fantastic. It is a great place to come to the feet of Jesus in adoration and praise.

So there you have it! We are doing fine, but it has not been easy for us to make this transition. In fact it has been quite stressful. We feel like we have not had a break since the end of last year. Fatigue has set in, but the new venture is definitely giving us new life. I, personally, am energized when I get to tell the story of why the café exists. Teri has been occupied with getting the house in order. She is a great woman and I love the fact that she makes our home a great place to be. We have been able to make a lot of solid connections here in Cusco already. There is a good group of volunteers here that frequent the café as well as a group that is connected with those that belong to the church. It has been refreshing that we have been able to connect so fast. The girls have also found some really great friends. God is so good to us!

We want to thank you for financially helping us in our mission. Many of you have already committed to partnering with us into the future by switching over your support accounts to CTEN. For that we are so thankful. We are in a position now, where we need to get our funding in order so that we can budget our lives here in Cusco.

We need your help in supporting our ministry here in Cusco. We have been blessed by so many of you and have been able to accomplish so much as a result of your blessings. If you would consider continuing your partnership with us and The Meeting Place Ministry, we now have a link that goes directly to the donation site for our family on the CTEN website. We are blessed when we see that people are willing to serve this ministry with us. I encourage you to sign up and start supporting this ministry, or switch over from the previous mission to our new ministry in Cusco. We are in a position, where our costs have risen and without additional support, it will be quite difficult to stay afloat and continue in the ministry like we hope that we can do.

Here is the link-

We have had a lot of difficulty communicating lately because of our internet issues, but at least now we can email. The telephone only works part of the time and creates a lot of frustration when we try to call and then you cannot hear us on the other end. We apologize for those of you who thought you got a prank call from our number.

We will continue to try to reach those of you that were supporting us with Extreme and check to see if you would consider continuing your partnership with us. We would be delighted if you continue.

Please keep us in your prayers through this time. We are doing what Satan does not want us to do. He is fighting with us at every chance. Pray that we can remain strong, continue to reach people, and pray for the success of The Meeting Place so that we can help support our local ministries here in Cusco.

Huge blessing on all of you!

The Englund Family