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AK: How did you find Jesus?
SC: My parents introduced me to Jesus when I was little. There were moments when I went on retreats and conferences where my experiences with Christ were super vivid. I can remember multiple times when I responded to an altar call to fully surrender my life or recommit my life to Christ or to commit to the cause of the Great Commission. God really did meet me. My walk with Jesus is pretty intimate in some ways. At the same time I am working out my faith with fear and trembling and there are moments where I know I need to surrender more to Jesus.
AK: What do you do to make a living?
SC: I am a barista at Starbucks. A barista in essence is a person that creates beverages at Starbucks specifically customized to the customer. Typically I get into work as an “opener” or “mid”. I go in at 4AM or 6:30AM and I get off at noon or 2pm. Mornings are super intense…those are the busiest times of the day. You have multiple rushes. You can get into a pretty good rhythm from 6:30AM -10:30AM too. There is a little break to clean up all the stations and bars, then you have to be ready for another lunch rush from noon – 2PM. I run around restocking items, ensuring coffee is being brewed on a ten-minute cadence… I make sure all the iced coffee is on par and that customers are satisfied with their drinks too. We cater to many different people and it never ceases to amaze me what people can come up with for their preferred drink concoctions! In the mornings there are about eight to ten people who work a single shift. I love seeing everyone work together and it really is a team effort. It’s definitely a fast paced work environment and exciting until you upset that one customer. Then you kind of have to work through that.
AK: What have been the joys of sharing Jesus in the marketplace?
SC: I love the relational aspect when it comes to loving others the way Christ loved us… I haven’t seen anyone give their life to Christ yet in my line of work, but I have seen glimpses of Light growing in people. A lot of my co-workers were super closed off to Jesus and the Gospel. It was super dark. But as I have been able to show them acceptance and love, we have gotten into some pretty sweet and transparent conversations. They have been super receptive and I have been able to share with them about my experiences with Jesus in the context of a real friendship. It’s not an “I’m right, you’re wrong” type of conversation. It takes being vulnerable and being open.
AK: What has been difficult about sharing your faith in the marketplace?
SC: One the most difficult things is feeling like you are in the spotlight all the time. I know that people are watching everything that I do and say to see if I am really someone whose actions follow my words. I have to check myself sometimes and ask myself if it’s more important to represent Christ or rebel in being Soh. I have to choose to die to myself. I can‘t just choose to be a Christian when I am at church or serving in the ministry… I have to choose it when I am at Starbucks and elsewhere.
AK: What is your favorite part about giving to support the Kingdom?
SC: There are two sides to giving in my mind. There is the sacrificial element, where I believe you should give even when it hurts. You know, give even when it costs you something. I wonder if it is really requiring any faith to give if I am giving out of my surplus. I have always been attracted to the widow and her mite. Then there is the other side of giving that is fruitful and promises us rewards in Heaven. You get to experience intimacy with Christ as you make the sacrifice and that’s a big win. It’s pretty cool that I have the choice to get to give a portion of my life and treasure to God and then watch what He does with it and be apart of what He is going to do with it.
AK: If you could leave our readers with any nugget of wisdom from your life experience, what would it be?
SC: I am realizing how much dependence on the Lord is required in our walk of faith. There is no moment when we should be able to say, “I’m good, I can handle this”. I am discovering there isn't a moment where I don’t need grace, unconditional love, forgiveness… I am dependent on God in every moment. In 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 it says “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Dependence isn’t weakness. This verse kind of says it all…