It was a busy day pulling espresso shots with our staff at the cafe when Yang pulled up on his bike. When he looked confused about what to order, I asked him if it was his first time at our shop. He told me in the local dialect that it was. He explained that he had never had coffee. In actuality, the majority of people in our area of the Himalayan foothills have never tried coffee. I asked him how he’d heard about us, and he told me he’d vented to a high school friend about his depression and suicidal thoughts and the friend told him to come see us.
What does church planting among unreached peoples look like in an area that for thousands of years has had zero access to the gospel? It sometimes means leaving the comforts of our Western life to be the only foreigners living in a city without a church. It sometimes means opening coffee shops to have a platform to live in a remote, restricted-access town. It always means praying every day for opportunities to share with people in a language group that have never before worshipped the name of Jesus, but instead bow down to demons. In the case of Yang, it was all of the above. Church planting was sitting across the table and listening to the story of an 18-year-old who was so hopeless and tired of living that he tried to take his own life.
After discussing coffee for a few minutes, Yang asked me why we had joy and hope in the middle of a hopeless world. Like hundreds of thousands in the city around him, he had never heard the name of our Savior. He confessed that if there had been no one to talk with that day, he planned to take his own life after leaving the cafe. Instead, he heard the hope we have in Jesus for the first time and left forever changed. Yang is attending a study with a local who we have discipled for years and is on the road to making his own disciples.