2018 was one of the biggest years we’ve ever had with Underground Coffee. As the year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and revisit a few of the accomplishments from the year. None of this happens without lots of prayer and support, so as much as this post is about updating from this past year, please also view it as a list of things to rejoice in as well as things to pray for going into the next year. So here are a few of the bigger highlights from 2018:
1. Training Center Construction
After several hiccups with construction contractors, we finished all the major construction of our training center last month. We are excited to get electric and plumbing done in January as well as start furnishing. The training center will be a key piece of our ministry going forward into 2019. Other than a place for trainings, we will be able to stay there overnight, roast and check quality on coffee and hold trainings.
2. Seedling Share Program
This year we started a seedling sharing program where we partnered with local farmers to distribute high quality coffee seedlings around our area. In 2018 we distributed over 10,000 seedlings to farmers and plan to double that in 2019. The program has been well received and we already have a lot of requests for seedlings again. This program has also been a great way for us to form new friendships in the village and get to know people on a deeper level.
3. Team Truck
We bought a truck! After a lot of support from people in the US (and a lot of waiting on the local car dealership) we bought a KIA cargo truck. The truck has been much more of a blessing than we could have imagined. During the long days of harvest this fall, we would have to drive home on mountain roads at night. Having a truck to move supplies as well as safely get up and down the mountain has been a key piece to our success in 2018. I’m incredibly thankful we didn’t have to drive my 20 year old jeep up and down every night.
4. Our First Harvest
This fall we participated in our first coffee harvest. This year was all about learning systems, capacities and figuring out how everything worked. All of these goals were achieved, as well as we produced some great coffee. In 2019 we will start to scale everything up and try to produce enough volume to hopefully bring high quality coffee to the US market.
2018 was an incredible year. We are very excited to start 2019 and see what God will do through Underground Coffee here in South East Asia.