For the past month, a couple days each week, I have been intentional at picking a spot in NE/SE DC where I could enjoy a cup of coffee and mingle with the residents of those communities. Before I go to DC I always invite various local pastors to meet me if their time permits, have a cup of coffee, and pray for our city. Each moment spent in DC is accompanied with an expectation that God will reveal Himself through the eyes and hearts of those we meet.
A friend always accompanies me; its his way of being supportive of what I am doing. Kind of reminds me of how the disciples always traveled in twos. This trip was no different.
The coffee shop I had selected is new and it is located in Anacostia (The Big Chair Coffee Shop) . Wow, great service and super big coffee mugs! We purchased breakfast (large portions!) and as we chatted with the barista we learned that the coffee shop was a family affair. Police officers and folks on their way to work stopped by and as they waited for their orders we chatted with each of them . I did notice that more women than men stopped by over the two+ hours we were there.
One man came in, ordered a cup of coffee and pulled up a chair and sat right next to us. It was obvious he and the barista knew each other well. I assumed he was a regular customer that came in each day. He casually asked what brought us to the coffee shop and over a matter of minutes we discovered that he was the owner of the building. He is a developer that owns a sizeable bit of property in Anacostia. As folks came in they stopped and chatted with him and it was obviously that he was well-known and respected. Some laughed and told us he was a great guy to know and that he was a man who truly cares about those who rent or lease from him. They had a nickname for him – “The Prince of Anacostia”. As we continued to chat, we learned that he knew most of the pastors in the area and he enjoyed helping them find affordable rental space so they could open child development centers and other community oriented endeavors that would benefit the “poor in spirit”. He seemed humble and it was obvious he loved the community.
The coffee shop has an upstairs room that local companies have begun to use to host staff meetings etc. My friend and I went there to find a quiet spot to pray and at that moment it was empty – perfect.
As we prayed for the city and those we had just met I realized that my plan to meet with pastors wasn’t nearly as terrific as God’s plan for me to meet with other men and women who care for the city. Whether planned or simply something that has evolved, the “Prince of Anacostia” has already begun to build a fellowship of friends who are discovering how they can use their gifts and pour love back into the community.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with him!