Our New Website Is Live!

Go HERE! It’s our new website! It’s the same URL as before, but it looks a lot prettier! Our blog will be housed there from now on, so this page will no longer be updated.

So subscribe on our website to receive blog updates via email!

We’ll still be making tweaks to the new site as we move forward, but it is live! Check it out! Read everything! Share it with your friends!

Thank you everyone who has kept up with Purple Door on this blog! We hope you continue to do so on our website!

Blessings, friends!

A New Website!

Hey everyone! We’re rolling out a new website soon! We’re excited about it. It will be much better than our current one.

With that transition you may see some down time with the site itself and with our emails. Hopefully that will be kept to a minimum, but you never know what can happen with stuff like this sometimes.

You can always contact us on our Facebook page, or our Twitter account. Please bear with us in the transition.

One very cool thing that is coming from the new site is that we won’t need this page anymore because our blog will be incorporated with our website, so you can just go to purpledoorcoffee.com for our normal website AND our blog! That will be a very welcome change!

Thank you faithful readers/followers/supporters. We’re excited about this transition, please excuse any bumps in the process!

You can still donate online by clicking here!

You guys are the best!

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Expectation Rooted in God’s Goodness.

Every time a donation comes in we’re always amazed. We are still astounded that people are willing to put their money towards Purple Door. We’re not astounded because we think the mission is mediocre, or that our cause is not worth people’s support. We’re astounded because people could give to about million other amazing causes. Causes that are more established. Efforts that are already proving what they are doing is working.

We thank you for this. We’re constantly amazed by your generosity.

On the flip side of the coin we have come to expect donations to come in. Not because we place an expectation on you who are giving, but our expectation is rooted in the goodness and providence of God. God rewards those who pursue Him (Hebrews 11:6). At Purple Door Coffee we truly desire to reflect God into this world increasingly each day, and we believe God rewards that. We also know that we fall short, and God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness allow us to continue on.

We believe God is present in the work with Purple Door. This is simultaneously humbling and exhilarating; overwhelming and peace-giving; terrifying and life-giving. 

God has placed this vision and mission in our hearts. He has grown it, developed it, advanced it, shaped it. We are so amazing by His clear hand in the process.

We expect God to continue providing for the needs of Purple Door, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. He is a God that gives good things, and desires for people to know Him and experience the love He has for them. 

We are so blessed to be one of the ways that God has chosen to show His love to this world, and we are so thankful that we serve a God that makes up–exceeds even–our deep inadequacies. We couldn’t make Purple Door Coffee happen on it’s own, and if we did it would probably be pretty lame. We are thankful for the Love of God and how we are constantly being transformed by it. We fully expect God’s love to continue to be evident in our lives–both in receiving it and giving it. We desire for Purple Door Coffee to be defined by the Love of God.

Thank you for responding to the prompting of God in your support of Purple Door thus far. Thank you for sharing God’s love with us and our friends on the streets in Denver in the various ways that you have. We cannot express how blessed we are by you!

If you would like to help Purple Door here are some things you can do:

Pray
We’re entering a phase where many big decisions will be made that impact the direction, stability, and overall presence of Purple Door–things such as location, design of the space, purchasing of equipment, roaster (which we have visited several excellent ones this week), etc. These will all shape Purple Door in meaningful ways–pray for us as we make decisions.
Pray for the employees, whoever they will be. Pray that they are making decisions now that will enable them to be successful in their transitions away from the streets. Pray that they will see their immeasurable valuable. Pray for our friends as they continue to fight a very difficult battle.
Pray for funding to come in. We are so close that we can almost taste it! Pray that the remainder of the funding comes in, and continues as long as the ministry needs to raise funds.

Donate
We’re still in need of around $25,000 to reach our startup fundraising goal. If you’re interested in contributing (every gift is so valued) you can click here.
We have a hybrid volunteer/donor opportunity right now. Read about Purple Door Coffee Advocates here. Anyone can become a Purple Door Coffee Advocate, so just ask–we’d love to partner with you.

Share
Share our story with your networks and communities. The more people that know the Purple Door story, the better. We’re excited about what God has done, is doing and will do; and we’re always ready to have more people join the story! Post on Facebook or Twitter. Blog about us. Tell your church, your sports team, your family.

Be Creative
Brainstorm. Help us come up with ideas for the space, the job training, the life-skills training, whatever comes to mind. We like to think we’re creative, but collectively we can be even more creative. So, if you have an idea bounce it off of us! We would love to hear from you.

Thank you again for all your support and love for Purple Door. We’re thankful for you, and are excited to together be a part of what God is doing with Purple Door!

 

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The Final Push!

As of today we have right around $31,000 remaining in our start up costs! That’s not much compared to how much God has provided through all of you already.

We talk a lot about creating a community, a community that truly is Purple Door Coffee. In someways we’ve felt that our ability to shape a community is a bit limited until we open the doors of Purple Door. But here is a way you can be a very tangible part of the Purple Door community that will be vital to us opening our shop by this fall!

We need 31 individuals, families, groups, or organizations. 31. We have hundreds of people following the story of Purple Door. That number 31 is what will get us to our goal. We need 31 Purple Door Coffee Advocates working to raise $1000. $1000 is very attainable, and when you have lots of people working together it adds up quickly! We need reach this goal by October 15th so we can reach our fall opening date!

Once you sign up as a Purple Door Coffee Advocate you can get to work to raise that money however you want–bake sales, concerts, 5Ks, art sales, simply asking people for money, writing a check yourself, however you think you can reach that goal–get creative! We value creativity and would love to chat with you about your ideas. In doing this you will be doing some incredible things for the ministry and life of Purple Door Coffee. You will help us reach our fundraising goal–which we are SO thankful for! You will also help us tell the story of Purple Door to new people and in new places. Purple Door’s community will grow in so many ways because of your efforts! Thank you!

If you are interested in becoming a Purple Door Coffee Advocate we will equip you with  videos and brochures as well as help out in whatever ways you need! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or bounce ideas off of us. We would love to hear from you! Email us at mark@purpledoorcoffee.com or madison@purpledoorcoffee.com.

So, grab a couple friends, your small group, your organization, your bowling team, your chess club, or anyone you can find and see what you can come up with to help provide job opportunities to homeless teens and young adults here in Denver, Colorado!

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The Importance of Collaboration!

Purple Door Coffee has been in the works for a very long time. If you haven’t read our history, you can do so here. We believe that collaboration is at the core of who we are. While I (Mark) like to think I know everything, daily I’m reminded that I do not. I also like to think that I can get things done on my own, but almost hourly I am reminded of my limitations. I am thankful for the things that I do well, and I am thankful for the things that Madison does well (especially when those things line up with the things that I do not do well–which is often). We together are incredibly thankful for the people that step into the community of Purple Door Coffee and do things that neither of us are any good at.

I think of 1 Corinthians 12 and how God has created us in such a way that we each are distinctly important to the body of Christ. Everyone has his place in the Kingdom. We are blessed to live into this vision for Purple Door as a component of the Kingdom of God. We are so thankful to be able to work with Purple Door and for those that have and are continuing to partner with Purple Door. I Corinthians 12:18 says that God has arranged the parts of the Body just as He intended them to be. We are thankful for this, because God’s people continue to be an integral part of this effort. Thank you all for your tenderness to the prompting of God as you have joined us in this journey towards provided employment and job training to our friends who are working to exit street life.

Purple Door has been blessed on collaboration with people, but also with other organizations in both Belay Enterprises and Dry Bones Denver. We could not have crafted these partnerships on our own, but the collaboration is a beautiful thing and a snapshot of the Kingdom that God talks about. We have our faults and our bumps in the road, but the unity we work towards is something that is close to the heart of God. Together we are working to make known God’s goodness and God’s love for this world. In the process we get to experience those things as well.

We’re also blessed by partnerships with cafés and coffee shops that exist to respond to specific needs here in Denver and in other cities as well. We are appreciative of their willingness to give guidance and suggestions, specifically in areas that are difficult to navigate. We would not be where we are without collaboration with other organizations.

We are energized by our continued collaboration with you as individuals, as well as with organizations. Thank you for how you have already used your gifts, skills, abilities and resources to collaborate with Purple Door Coffee. Purple Door Coffee would not be who we are without your help and support. We are thankful for everyone’s commitment to the vision of Purple Door Coffee, but, more importantly, for the commitment you have to the Kingdom of God.

Thank you!

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Coffee School Recap (a short one)

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Some of the highlights of coffee school in no particular order:

  1. We got to hang out in Portland.
  2. We met some amazing people in the coffee industry.
  3. We met some amazing people that work with Street Kids in Portland.
  4. We were introduced to some new friends on the streets of Portland.
  5. We drank awesome coffee. Lots of awesome coffee.
  6. We learned about espresso, brewed coffee, steaming milk, pouring latte art, etc., etc. Basically all the basics of serving great coffee in your coffee shop.
  7. We were able to try a ton of different machines and figure out which ones we really like.
  8. We were able to see a bunch of great shops and get ideas for our shop and clarify our vision.
  9. We got to see old friends and meet new ones.
  10. We are tired–in the good way.
  11. We ate excellent food.
  12. We learned more about running a coffee shop overall (cost of goods percentages, bar flow, menu planning, etc.).
  13. We were able to take in the beautiful weather and landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

So many things about this trip were incredible–most of which can’t be put in a list. We’d love to tell you more about our trip to coffee school, so just ask!

Thank you everyone for all your support so far! We are excited for the future of Purple Door Coffee. Though we are continuing to learn, we believe we are now positioned to confidently move into the coffee industry.

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Goals.

As people we tend to always be working toward a goal or a set of goals. My main goal right now is to open Purple Door Coffee. We’re working towards it, and constantly getting closer. That’s a big goal that I’m able to set little goals along the way for. It’s tangible. It’s achievable. It’s something that pushes us, and makes us work.

Last night I talked with friends whose goals are a bit more urgent, and somewhat dire. One friend needed bus fare so he could get to a friends house where there was a bed waiting for him, and a ride to his job in the morning.

Another friend was trying to get food and transportation figured out for tomorrow, because he had been working that week, but didn’t get paid until the next day.

Still another friend needed to get a ride to an appointment that would help them with housing, and if they missed it, they might miss their chance at a place to live.

Purple Door is my main goal, and I truly believe it is a meaningful goal, but it is so much less urgent than the goals of my friends. We have time to process and think about our choices, dream, grow, change, with our goal of opening Purple Door. Many of our friends don’t have that luxury. Their goals are urgent and time sensitive. These urgent, imminent goals are something that we want to help make a thing of the past for our employees. We want them to move into a space where they are able to process and think about their choices, to dream, to grow, to change and to move forward with their lives.

We hope that we can help our friends reach a place in their life where they can be the best people that they can be, and have goals that see beyond the immediate.

In that sense, there is an urgency to Purple Door. We desire to move our friends to a healthier stage of life through supportive and meaningful employment as soon as possible. Help us continue to move towards our fundraising goal by donating here.

 

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Providence, People, Patience

Provision- Purple Door is happening because God is moving. God is opening doors, and moving hearts, and giving us vision. God has provided for our needs along the way–financial, emotional, spiritual, social, professional; anyway you can think of, God has provided. We can’t explain it; we can’t control it; we recognize it, and are thankful for it. God is present in this work, and we are so blessed to be working on a project that we truly believe is close to the heart of God.

To me the two most incredible parts of God’s provision is how He provides in ways that we could have never thought of on our own, and how He provides things that we did not realize we need–he goes beyond felt needs to true needs.

I believe this is exemplified in the life of Jesus. The Jewish people were looking for a Messiah, and they believed the Messiah would be an earthly ruler, likely with military might. Their felt need was the need to overthrow the Roman Empire. God saw that the real need was to overthrow the empire of Evil, by conquering sin and death. Jesus was most certainly not a military leader, because that was not the true need of the people of God. Our true need is redemption–new life brought through Jesus. I’m thankful for God’s provision in His Son, and the way He continues to see our real needs instead of our felt needs.

Belay Enterprises is an incredible example of his provision in the story of Purple Door. We didn’t realize we needed to be incubated, and we couldn’t have come up with a the partnership we have with Belay on our own. It’s a beautiful thing. Dry Bones also continues to be an incredible benefit to Purple Door, and quite literally, we would not exist without Dry Bones.

God is the great provider, and we are experiencing this first hand.

People- God’s people have also been a huge reason for the advancement of Purple Door. If people were not responding the hurt of Street Kids here in Denver, Purple Door wouldn’t be happening. We’re thankful for people using what they have to help facilitate advancement of the Kingdom. The fact that we are working towards bringing justice into this world is enough for some people to be on board with us–whether we’ve met them or not. People from all over the country have bought into what we’re doing and have showed us their support. We’re so thankful for the responsiveness of God’s people, and the way they have allowed God to move in their hearts. Their responsiveness has brought Purple Door to where it is today, and together we will continue. I believe that the community of believers that is surrounding Purple Door is an example of what Jesus was praying for in John 17. He desired unity for followers that would come later. Thank you for unifying around Purple Door.

Patience- God’s plan is unfolding for Purple Door. We just have to wait. We wish we could have opened our doors 6 months ago, but God is at work and who are we to rush Him?

Greg Boyle says it this way in regards to God’s work in people: “Ours is a God who waits. Who are we not to? It takes what it takes for the great turnaround. Wait for it.”

We need to be reminded of this in the startup process, but also with our friends on the streets. It takes what it takes–work towards it, and it will happen. We need to be reminded of this, even though we’ve seen it to be true.

The whole story of scripture is an example of how God is at work over time. God has been working to restore the world back to Himself since the fall. 2 Corinthians 5 encourages us to join in that restoration and reconciliation process. Restoration takes time. Reconciliation is a process. It takes what it takes. We serve a God who waits.

All three of these principles tie together. God provides, and frequently uses his people to do so. His people will help us meet a need, but needs are on going, changing, and complex. God’s people must serve this provident God and have the faith that He is at work, that He is reconciling and making it right–in His time, not ours. As we wait, we get antsy, but we need to perpetually remind ourselves of the provision of our good and loving God. Ours is a God who provides. Ours is a God who loves. Ours is a God who desires unity. Ours is a God who waits. Who are we not to?

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Want to know how to ruin your life and relationships?

So, this thought has been running around in my head lately. I think that no matter what you do or say, there is one sure fire way to make sure to ruin all of the relationships in your life.  Want to know how? This is a secret I have figured out after years and years of observation and personal experience, so I don’t know if I want to share it with you…but maybe I will because I am a super generous person. Wanna know? Wanna hear it? I’ll tell you. Here it is. This is how you can lose all of your friends and ruin your own life:

Value people/individuals based solely on what they can give/do for you.

So many stories in the Bible make it clear that Jesus didn’t choose whom he hung out with based on what they could give him. It is also clear that Jesus loved and valued each person he interacted with.

We do not love so that we can be loved equally in return. We love because every individual deserves love. Love that is dependent on a response isn’t actually love at all. It is a true and deep love when one keeps on offering love when the other party wants nothing to do with it. Isn’t that what God does to us? He continues to offer His love and forgiveness to us even when we think that we are better off without Him or even when we think that we could never be good enough for Him. God continues to offer love. His love is not forced or obligatory. His love is a gift. Out of His abounding love, our obedience and faithfulness grows. True love inspires our best.

So, love.

Love hard.

And give value.

And then do it again.

This process is not easy; it is an everyday, moment-by-moment choice. Christianity is not defined by the big choice we make when we become a Christian; Christianity is defined by the decisions we make every few seconds.

So, want to know how to change your life forever for the better?

Genuinely see value in others and love them solely because they are people.

Peace out,

Madison

A bit on the struggles of homeless youth.

Street Kids are an at-risk population. They are very much under-served and under-resourced. We hope to be a service and a resource to our friends on the streets as they are rebuilding their lives.

“Youth in or aging out of foster care, runaway and homeless youth, and youth offenders, among other groups of youth, are particularly vulnerable to not completing high school, going on to college, or securing employment. For example, in a study of youth who had been in foster care and were, on average, about age 25, most had obtained a high school diploma or passed the general education development (GED) test at about the same rate as young people ages 18 to 29 in the general population. However, they were much less likely to have a bachelor’s degree—1.8% versus 22.5% of all young people. Further, the employment rate for these foster care alumni was 80%, while the employment rate for their counterparts in the general population was 95%.” (From Vulnerable Youth: Employment and Job Training Programs)

That paragraph was from 2007, which was a much healthier economic climate. Our friends simply cannot find jobs for many different issues, but a combination of a suffering job market and a lack of job skills is the perfect combination for remaining unemployed.

We pray for reform in the foster care system, but we seek to help those that are already victims of a broken system. Many of our friends on the streets have been in the foster care system at one time or another, but that is one item on a typically long list of things that classify them as “at-risk”.  What that communicates to me is that our friends are fighting an uphill battle that we would love to join them in to give them a higher chance of leading a healthy, sustainable life.

Transition from adolescent to adulthood is difficult for any adolescent (Madison and I are still technically in this transition stage, as research now indicates that the transition goes until around age 25). Imagine how much more difficult it is for individuals who have no parents that genuinely care, no financial resources, or no soft skills to apply to a job.

Our friends have a difficult situation at a difficult stage in their development.  There is no quick fix or set remedy to this, but at Purple Door Coffee we hope to walk through times of transition with our friends so that it might be a bit easier, a bit healthier, and a bit more transformational as they seek to build a life away from the streets.

If you would like to read more about at-risk populations, adolescence, and the state of our economy here are a couple resources to check out:

http://www.casey.org/resources/publications/pdf/improvingfamilyfostercare_es.pdf

http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/1851/

http://www.childtrends.org/Files/DefiningAtRisk%5B1%5D.pdf

http://mdhi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2012-Point-in-Time-Report.pdf

These are just a few of many resources that you can look into to learn more about the issues facing many of our friends on the streets. Look also at the resources in the articles themselves.

 

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