*Image of ANM Colombian ministry partner and Christ to the Unreached Tribes leader Helman Ocampo with Arhuaco tribe coffee beans
Legacy Church of Ruckersville, Virginia, is a church with a pioneering spirit. They are eager to reach their community with the gospel in creative and unique ways. That is why their partnership with Crisalinco, a ministry partner of Advancing Native Missions in Colombia, South America, is such an inspiration to them. Crisalinco does ministry in any way they can to reach unreached people with the gospel. For example, they started Café Caleb to help the Arhuaco tribe sell the coffee they raise.
Crisalinco’s leader, Helman Ocampo, had been trying to get a foot in the door to minister to the Arhuaco tribe for 25 years. He approached the tribe one last time, inviting them to talk with him. He suggested that they could discuss Jesus, the church locked to ban Christianity in the village, or coffee. They chose to discuss coffee. Helman learned the tribal men were carrying sacks of coffee on their backs through the jungle to sell it in the village at the bottom of the mountain. He saw an opportunity to help the Arhuaco tribe and gain admittance to the village. Then, Brandon and Deisi, Helman’s son-in-law and daughter, moved to the village at the bottom of the mountain to minister to the Arhuaco tribe. They bought a donkey to transport the coffee. Now Brandon purchases the coffee and processes it to sell in the US. He pays the tribe the market price for organic coffee. The coffee is sold in the US, and the proceeds are used to support the tribe and the ministry of Crisalinco.
When asked about the impact Café Caleb coffee has had on Legacy Church, Jason Luber, a staff member of Legacy Church, said, “Café Caleb has been a wonderful way to bring awareness of global missions to our church. With coffee being a popular drink, it instantly grabs people’s attention. It’s a lot more than just coffee. It’s got such a wonderful story behind it, and for us, it is a very personal story. I think things like this resonate more with people when they hear a story from a firsthand source.” Jason is referring to the fact that a team from Legacy Church has visited Helman and the Arhuaco tribe twice. They have shared with their church about seeing the green coffee beans harvested on the mountain, then seeing them carried by donkey to the village where they are processed and shipped — eventually reaching their church. They know that selling the coffee has helped develop relationships that are leading people to learn about Jesus.
Jason and the team were impressed by what they experienced during the short times they served alongside Crisalinco in Colombia. He said, “Every single day they [Brandon and Deisi] are serving and loving their neighbors. That’s like a priority for them. It’s not like, ‘Let me do my day job and my chores, and then if I have time, I’m going to love my neighbors.’ It’s the other way around. Love comes first. It is incredibly inspiring to me to see how Brandon has leveraged buying coffee from the native tribes in the jungles — it not only opens doors of communication, which leads to sharing the gospel, but it also then allows him and his family to fund their ministry.” He went on to say, “It is a creative example that we can take inspiration from to better reach the people in our community right here in the US … The mindset we witnessed with Crisalinco is something that connects with who we are as a church.”
Jason said it best, “I think that spending time with Brandon and Deisi, and getting to know what they are doing there and especially with Café Caleb, has been really amazing. We get to be a part of the wonderful work God is doing there.” Jason stated, “When you go on a mission trip serving with Crisalinco, you are on the battlefield on the front line with them.” He and Legacy Church appreciate the personal, direct, and intimate connection with those ministering to the tribe in Colombia. It has encouraged Legacy Church to try creative ways to minister to their neighborhood in Virginia. Before the pandemic, Legacy Church was planning to launch “pop up” churches. Attendance at regular church services seemed too mainstream for some people, so they planned to go into different neighborhoods and hold mini church services. Legacy members from that specific neighborhood would be speaking and sharing testimonies. The idea was that people would be more likely to listen to someone they knew. Now because of the pandemic, Legacy is meeting in a field in a pavilion. They see this as training for when they can hold “pop up” churches in the future. This is one example of the type of ministry Legacy Church is doing because of the inspiration of Crisalinco and Café Caleb.