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Filtering by Category: Who We Are



Sorry for the lack of blog posts over the past two months.  Things have been pretty busy.  In December we were all able to take breaks and go back to our home countries for Christmas.  January has been busy getting readjusted to life in Asia and also waiting to have our new website up for this post.  After you read this, please take a moment and poke around on the site.  Hopefully you'll like the shine and polish we've applied.

2014 was a great year for us here at Underground Coffee International.  In May we were able to send a family overseas to work alongside Luv-Luv.  It is great to have a team in place instead of only one person trying to do it alone.  Everyone overseas has been making big strides with learning language, building relationships and figuring out life in a foreign country.  Toward the end of the year we started supporting a local pastor who travels up to the mountains on weekends to help teach underground house church pastors.  These house churches are made-up of coffee farmers.  Most of these farmers would be considered members of unreached people groups.  Also, as an organization, we managed to finish the year with more money in the bank than when we started (which is pretty amazing since we are still short on reaching monthly support goals).  This past year was great and if we were going to try and list every way that God showed up and blessed us in 2014, we wouldn't have room for it in this post.

We are all very excited about the possibilities of 2015.  Language learning continues for everyone, which isn't glamorous or fun but it is necessary.  Relationships continue to deepen with our local friends and being able to do things like starting bible studies with people who aren't yet believers.  There are also some big, daunting goals that we honestly won't be able to accomplish unless God shows up (which we're confident that He will).  One of those is trying to get the coffee business established overseas so that we can start buying coffee from farmers to send back to everyone in the US.  The government overseas doesn't make it easy for foreigners to start businesses, but we are continually working on getting that up and going.  We also hope to buy a small plot of land later this year so that we can establish a coffee training center and start bringing farmers in for trainings.  The hope is that the farm can be used to educate the farmers both in coffee and also provide a venue for Christian trainings and maybe even some seminary type classes for village pastors.  All those things are a little ways off, but we hope to start paving the way for it in 2015.  

Once again, thanks to everyone who has bought coffee, given donations and spread the word about Underground Coffee over the past few years.  We all feel truly blessed to be doing what we're doing, and also expectant for great things to happen in 2015!

A Quick Update on Luv-Luv


Just wanted to update everyone on what we've been up to lately.  A little over a month ago Luv-Luv went to East Asia to be a full-time missionary.  He's been meeting local guys, traveling out to their villages and getting relationships started. Luv-Luv has also been traveling quite a bit.  There's a retired missionary who has partnered up with us that has helped us with some relationships in town.  He is currently trying to get some ag work up and going a little further south that we could potentially work alongside.  Luv-Luv spent about a week and traveled down there to see if it was a possibility for us.

Luv has also been working on his visa a lot.  He came in on a tourist visa and has been trying to switch to a business one so that he can freely go out to villages and not raise any questions.  It turns out switching visas is nearly impossible for us to do in-country.  Sometimes working with foreign countries and visas can be a little tricky.  Actual information doesn't always match the information they'll tell you and a lot of it can depends on the mood of the guy working the visa counter.  We're trying to figure out the best solution for Luv's visa and hope to have it all resolved in the next few weeks.

I'm leading a group out there in June, so the plan is that Luv will be back in time to meet up with us on that trip.  He'll help us out with translation and hopefully we can encourage him as well.  Plus I'm excited for our group to see him again and hear about the work in person.

Luv-Luv's Story


We’ve talked about Luv-Luv a lot over the past several months.  I emailed him a couple of weeks ago and asked if he wouldn’t mind writing out his story so that we could share it with all of you.  Here is his story: I grew up in a small village in the southern part of the Philippines.  I grew up in a broken family with my grandmother and grandfather.  When I was young, I worked hard to feed all our chickens and pigs and worked in the pasture with the water buffalo.  I had to work hard on the hilly farm.  Because the farm is far away from the community, I had to use my water buffalo as my transportation to buy food and groceries.  When I was 17, I did things my own way and tried to find out on my own where my life was going.  I had already stopped high school because I didn’t like it, I was bad in my classes and my grandmother was very poor.

At the time, I was living with my Uncle and working in his rice field when there was a seventeen-year-old guy from Florida that came to our house.  He shared the Good News about Jesus, but I was not paying attention at that time.  The reason why I didn’t pay attention was that was my first time to ever see a white person!  The next day, another white guy showed up and he followed up by asking if he could start a Bible study with my uncle.  He also said he wanted me to join.  Because of these missionaries, I became a Christian when I was eighteen-years-old.  From that time on, I’ve offered my life to missions.  I don’t know where, I just know that I am willing to die to share with other people what was shared with me.

The advice the missionaries gave me was that I needed to finish my college in order to have more of an open door for missions.  I didn’t want to go back to school, but God gave me direction to do my college, so I followed him.  God also provided a sponsor for my college, so while I was in college I was able to have a part time job and on the weekend where I would work with missionary teams going out to reach unreached peoples.  Every summer I would lead Filipino short-term mission trips, American short-term mission trips and also volunteer with medical teams.

I finished my college on March 30, 2007 with an agricultural degree.  In April of that year, I got a job with the Philippines government.  I enjoyed my time at that job, had a good salary, and was comfortable with my life, but I never forgot my commitment that I made to missions when I was 18.  A missions organization asked me to work with them in Laos on a coffee plantation as a platform to share with Lao minority peoples.  I quit my job and moved to Laos.  My time in Laos was tough.  It was my first time away from my family and it was hard to adjust to the food and weather.  We lived on a plateau in the jungle and the weather there is really cold for Filipinos!

After my year in Laos, God called me to go to an island in ‘East Asia’.  I stayed there for a few months, but things changed with my team and I moved further west to the Himalayan Mountains.  I try to stay away from the cold, but most of my assignments are in cold places.  I don’t know why.  Maybe God has a message for me about the cold.  Maybe He wants me to get used to it because maybe it is cold in heaven too.  While I was in the Himalayas I did research with Arabica coffee in very high elevations.  I also spent a year studying language.  When I finished my year term there, I went back home to the Philippines to rest.  While I was back home, God opened a door for me with Underground Coffee International.  When I was in the Himalayas, my roommate there and I had a vision to use coffee as a way to share with unreached people.

This past November, God opened a door for me to visit the U.S.  I didn’t expect to be able to visit the U.S. since I am an Asian from a poor family.  Some of my friends told me that only rich people can come visit the U.S., but God showed me how rich He is and how He provides.  My time in Texas was really good!  I met a lot of good folks.  While I was there, we spoke at some churches to promote Underground Coffee and the vision for reaching unreached peoples.  I really enjoyed my time in the U.S. but I feel like I didn’t belong there.  I feel like God has called me to the uncomfortable places where people have never heard about Jesus.  One thing I love about Texas, people are very nice and they love God.

Now I am back here in my country.  I am ready to go back to ‘East Asia’ for missions.  Being a single guy, I don’t know what is ahead for me, but I am sure God has something in my future.  I trust Him and that He will take care of me.  I am comfortable here in my country and sometimes I get big job offers that are tempting to me, but I still hold on to the promise of God.  I know He knows the needs of His children.  The work in ‘East Asia’ is all pioneer work.  For sure it is tough, but I believe that with God nothing is impossible.  I am ready and willing.

Please go with me by your prayers.