Happy July! Can you believe this year is half over?! We, at footetraffic, are kicking off this month by telling you our coffee story, so make yourself a cup (if you’re a non-coffee drinker, no worries, everyone is welcome at our table!) and settle in for a spell. When you’re finished reading this, please share it with your loved ones! We want your help in getting this word out!
Our coffee story begins in May 2010, when Jordan and I went on a vision trip to Costa Rica. God had closed the door to full-time ministry with a church-planting team in Buenos Aires, Argentina before we even arrived there, teaching us that His plan & timing are perfect and are never without a purpose.
Through our time in Costa Rica, at the invitation of missions leaders in San José, and in conversation with our then missions pastor, Terry Jarvis, it dawned on us that starting a coffee business in Costa Rica could be a phenomenal way to partner with Latino missionaries who want to enter restricted access nations with a legitimate business. In fact, our church is very involved in the growing coffee scene in China and the need for shipping beans to China from coffee-producing countries is great. There was talk of starting a coffee business in Costa Rica and possibly exporting from that business to China, the U.S. and other countries. Little did we know back then all that God had planned for us and this “little” idea.
We were approved by our church, Mission Hills Church, and our mission agency, WorldVenture, to do Business as Missions in San José, Costa Rica. WorldVenture partners with local churches like ours to carry out the work of spreading the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever tools God equips us.
In April 2012, Jordan left his business analyst job at Comcast Corporation, so that we could raise support for the mission field. He also began working part-time as a barista at our church’s coffee shop, which FINALLY (thank GOD!) taught him how to love drinking coffee, how to make it and how to sell it!
In August 2013, we reached 100% of our one-time funding needs and had commitments for 110% of our monthly budget needs. God really wowed us with His timing and His abundant provision! Our family said “hasta luego” (until later) to our beloved city of Denver, CO and landed in San José, Costa Rica, two weeks before we began language school.
Fast-forward to June 2014, when Jordan’s parents came to visit us for the first time. One of the areas we took them to was at the base of Arenal Volcano, which has incredible geothermal pools. In one of those pools, we ran into a long-time missionary pastor, Lamar Salley, who was hosting a short-term team and had taken them swimming. When Jordan gave him the 30 second description of what God had called us to do in Costa Rica, he said, “You should meet my friend, Roberto and his friend, Isaac. I think they’re interested in doing ministry through coffee, as well.” Email addresses were exchanged and we went on with our busy lives.
In September 2014, a couple from Huntsville, Alabama came to Costa Rica to care for some friends’ kids for a week while their parents attended a conference. We wound up driving John and Peg to the store one morning and realized that we had similar passions regarding Business as Missions, discipleship and coffee. John, a space engineer and a successful businessman, is also a leader of his church’s discipleship program. He began asking us, every month, how we could ship Costa Rican coffee to him in Huntsville, so that our ministry could benefit from the sales. Before we could blink, John was gathering groups of coffee lovers, taste-testing Costa Rican coffee, giving us feedback, placing orders for any coffee we could get our hands on, and encouraging us to start our coffee business on every front! People like John and Peg are rare on this earth. We count it a tremendous privilege to know them and to have their support on this journey.
In January of this year, Jordan met Roberto and Isaac (the gentlemen Lamar Salley told us to contact) for the first time. When they began to unfold their dreams and desires for serving the Lord in missions, through doing a coffee business, Jordan thought Pastor Salley had told them about our plan, because it lined up so well with what we were looking to do. As Jordan shared our heart with them, their eyes grew as large as 20 oz. coffee mugs! They had NOT heard of our ministry plan, just that we were interested in coffee and that we should meet up.
As it turned out, Roberto & Isaac were already in the process of starting a gourmet coffee exportation company and were wondering what their next steps could be. In fact, they had a large shipment of beans in the works for a client in Dubai, but the deal fell through. They began to ask the Lord if they were heading in the right direction, or not and asked Him to show His will to them. They had the coffee farmers lined up, they had the coffee, they already had the shipping all figured out. They needed only clients to whom they could market and ship their products. Just a few weeks later, they met us. We had the clients, we just needed the coffee and the shipping company. A wonderful partnership was born, by God’s grace!
Since January, the Lord has knitted our hearts with both of Roberto and Isaac’s families, as well as with their church & community. Isaac is one of the pastors at his church, Templo Bíblico in Barva, Heredia and he is passionate about the youth in his community and missions work. When given the opportunity, he preaches to the cafeteleros (coffee farmers) in the Santamaría de Dota mountains, from where our coffee comes. Isaac’s family was brought into that community by his father’s friend, who has been ministering to those same coffee farmers for over 20 years. This makes the fact that all our beans are single-origin (every batch comes from one farm, one harvest … they are not blends from multiple farms or harvests) even more special, as you can be sure that the farmers are being cared for economically and spiritually, by our Santamaría Gourmet Coffee team.
Roberto and his wife, Nancy, are both bilingual (Spanish and English) employees for Cisco and Baxter, respectively. Roberto is also one of the music leaders in the Barva church, which has become our home church here in Costa Rica. Roberto’s desire is to be able to do this business full-time and Jordan has already had a few chances to pass on some business expertise to him. It is an understatement to say that we are having fun! We have had a wonderful time learning from them, befriending them and doing business together. We could not have asked for more godly, reliable, hard-working, humble and dedicated business partners in this endeavor. We love worshipping, brainstorming, praying, eating and laughing with them. Every time we leave from being with them, Jordan and I shake our heads at the goodness of God in bringing us, and this plan, together!
In April, Roberto, Isaac and Isaac’s father, Marvin, incorporated their business officially as Santamaría Gourmet Coffee and we (including John Cranston) became their primary sales force. We are already receiving great reviews of the coffee from a varied cross-section of folks here in Costa Rica and in the U.S. and we cannot wait to share it with you!
Also in April, John Cranston contacted us about a project he is spearheading to create a reflective sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope. Apparently, the perfect reflective material is found on the inside of COFFEE BAGS! John decided that he wants to have elementary-aged students (the same ages as several of his grandchildren) assemble recycled coffee bags. The entire sunshield will measure 45 feet x 70 feet. The center of the shield, 14 feet x 14 feet, will be made entirely out of our Santamaría Gourmet Coffee bags and they will be assembled by homeschooled children in Costa Rica (because of our kids)! We know this story sounds out of this world (pun intended), but you have heard that truth is stranger than fiction! To give you an idea of the scope of this project, both Starbucks and NASA are involved. We just can’t make this stuff up!
If you would like more information on how you can be involved in this project, please contact us at email@example.com.
In early June, a Business as Missions group from our church set us free to focus on coffee distribution as our main business model for the foreseeable future. We are excited about this because it allows us to hone our skills and our experience in the global marketplace, with solid partners in coffee distribution. It also gives us a wide open door to send Latinos to unreached nations with a “business in a box,” which will permit them to apply for business visas and to have a viable, sustainable business to keep them in-country, for the sake of ministry relationships. We can’t wait to tell you the stories we are collecting about this concept of mobilizing and equipping missionaries worldwide, through the sale of coffee beans!
It has been quite a road since our May vision trip in 2010. We give God ALL the glory for this story … please share it with someone now! Please help our ministry dream of seeing this coffee distributed worldwide, through the efforts of missions-minded partners, so that the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ can do its powerful work among communities who have no visible witness, or church.
To read more about our coffee, available for sale in Costa Rica and for export to the United States, please visit Our Coffee. To ask questions about our ministry, to get pricing for coffee, or to place orders, please email us:
or call us: 720.446.0809
Your coffee missionaries in Costa Rica,
Jordan & Marie Foote