"We have found the opportunity through Inspiration Ministries to express not just our feelings but also the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to share with others. I see I.M. as a channel of communication between the church...read more
May, Issue 4
Letter from the Editor
I write to you this month from a place of unspeakable blessing, brothers and sisters. If I could have written the script to my life, I would not have been able to write it any better. May’s newsletter is a bit tardy, but I pray that once you hear what God has been doing in the lives of His faithful children, you will rejoice with me. I pray that you are filled with the joy of the Lord and strengthened by the power of His might because Jesus Christ lives and is worthy to be exalted.
If you are familiar with the past newsletters, you already know that we are blessed to have most of the writing done by those who are currently incarcerated. Our A.C.C. (Ambassadors for Christ in Chains), have been diligent about writing and telling people about Jesus on their compounds. You have also realized that I have the opportunity to share about what God has been doing with my life as well as the growth of Inspiration Ministries. I want to take some time to give you an update on those developments. My prayer is that you will be blessed by this testimony and inspired knowing that our Heavenly Father is in ultimate control of our lives. Hallelujah!
In our March newsletter I praised God because He led my Godmother, Paula Conrad, to contribute to the printing of our first newsletter. What I didn’t mention was that her son, Danny Conrad, was there too, and he mentioned something so insignificant at the time, but so important to this testimony.
I had only been out of prison for a couple weeks, and Danny mentioned that there was a men’s prayer group at The Cupbearer Coffee House every Monday night. I thought it was a great opportunity to connect with some Christian men and find some brothers to help keep me accountable. So, I looked up the address
in the phonebook and decided to go the following Monday. Wouldn’t you know, it was the first snowfall of the year, and I was driving up and down the street trying to find it. Eventually I got frustrated and went home. I figured I would have to ask somebody for directions later.
All this was going on while I was working on the first newsletter before the Lord blessed me with a free laptop, so I was frequenting the public library to use the computer. The following day I was sitting in the library, and an old childhood friend of mine walked in and sat beside me, Wesley Bohl. The last time I saw him, we were in a dance club eight years ago with drinks in our hands and up to no good. However, it did not take long to realize that this was a different conversation. I was telling him about my experience, and he said, “Just pray about it, and everything will work out.” These were interesting words coming from Wes. I then discovered that while God was dealing with me in prison, He was dealing with Wes also. Wes had made a commitment to the Lord along with his whole family. Praise God!
Suddenly, this woman comes around the corner and says, “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I heard you guys talking about Jesus, and it was a real blessing. God bless you.” It was nice. We didn’t think too much of it, though. We were just glad that the name of Jesus was heard.
The next day I was back in the library working on the newsletter, and the same woman sat down beside me. She introduced herself as Cheryl Myers, the former owner of The Cupbearer Coffee House. I came to find out that the coffee house had closed over a year ago. It was easy to see that the closing of the coffee house was a sore subject. So we exchanged testimonies, prayer requests, and telephone numbers and parted ways.
I pressed on the next few weeks getting the newsletter prepared and printed. Interestingly enough, it seemed like The Cupbearer or Cheryl and her husband, Denny, kept coming up in my conversations. I realized that Denny and Cheryl became friends with a lot of people during their 11 years of business. I started feeling this tug on my heart for them and the coffee house. I did not know anything about the coffee house business, but I know management, people and the Holy Spirit, so I started thinking about the possibility of re-opening The Cupbearer with them. I talked to a few friends, and it seemed like a good idea.
Then one Friday I ran into Cheryl again at the library and I said, “I don’t know what the Lord is putting on your hearts, but you two have been on my heart heavy.” So, she invited me to dinner to meet Denny. That night we sat around their kitchen table for four hours reminiscing about The Cupbearer. They just seemed to bubble over with excitement talking about the people, music and experience. Eventually I asked them what they thought about reopening with me and they said, “No! We can’t do all that work again.” I was a little discouraged. I thought I did not understand how the Spirit was leading.
So we parted ways for the night with some thoughts of music ministry in the future and letting the Lord have His way. The next two months as I worked construction, Inspiration Ministries kept producing newsletters, and we tried to connect with the community. Then, out of the blue, I receive a text message from Cheryl, “Somebody approached us about reopening The Cupbearer. You interested?” I told them I was always interested in ideas and ministry, and we planned to meet at Tom’s Donuts the next morning.
Basically, there was a place downtown wanting to bring a coffee house into their building. Denny and Cheryl made it clear that they still didn’t want to manage it. So, they looked at me and said, “We want to give it to you and Inspiration Ministries.” Words could not do justice to explain the joy that filled me immediately. Praise God! I was stunned.
Next, we went to see the space. It was in downtown Auburn, Indiana. It was a mess. It was filled with used sports equipment. The place needed a lot of work, but my mind was already putting the coffee house together. Was this really happening?The following month was filled with conversations and ideas while the stores currently using the space were closing. Then came April 14th. I got word that the stores were closed and it was time to start the renovations. It would have been realistic to think that we could open in a couple months. I walked in that night and some of the building partners came to me excited and said, “What do you think about May 5th?” I figured they were talking about a date to officially start the renovations. They said, “That’s when we plan to open. The radio station has already been called, and they are going to do a remote on opening day.” We had no money, no equipment, and no materials. Oh, Lord, how?
Today, I sit here in The Cupbearer Café, tears streaming because He did it. Listen closely, please! HE – DID – IT! The Cupbearer is fully functioning right now serving the Auburn community. We have everything we need, the renovations are mostly done and we have live music booked every Friday night for the next two months already. We are talking about Jesus everyday; we are meeting new people everyday. We have free WIFI and a Facebook following. Brothers and sisters, He did it! Victory!
We know this is what God has called us to do. I had to be obedient, and the Spirit inspired thosearound me to help. This opportunity is because of Him and Him alone. We have spent the last three weeks working 20 hours a days painting, building, training and planning. I had to quit the construction, Jaimie resigned from her job and we filled the café with what we had. My apartment is empty…my tv, microwave, coffee maker, tables, chairs, towels, dishes, etc…are all at the café. People have donated their time and money, and Jesus created a place where Inspiration Ministries and The Cupbearer could tell people about Him freely. The debt we have is entrusted to the Lord, and we are serving the community as we are called. Jaimie’s parents, Bob and Sandy Kessler, have been instrumental and are just another example of God’s abundant supply.
So here we are, Lord. Use us! Be inspired, Brethren, knowing we are on the winning team. Always remember that God’s blessings are penetrating hearts, communities and prison walls. We are in this together, and I pray for your satisfaction in the Lord. Let Him glorify Himself in you! Amen.
Andrew L. Foster
Inspiration Ministries, Director
The Cupbearer Café, Owner
- Letter from the Editor & The Cupbearer Café, by Andrew Foster
- King of the Underground, by John Thornton
- The Elijah Complex, by Rigdel De Lardilles
- Our Greatest Weapon, by Anthony Ponds
- Love, by Lowell Davis
- How Easily We Forget, by Frankie Cueves