“God spends the day elsewhere, but He sleeps in Rwanda.”
This may be a popular saying in that East African country, but my view of Rwanda has been shaped by 1990’s era news reports of violence, genocide, and war. Jonathan David Golden has spent a few nights in Rwanda himself, and the result of that is a multi-million dollar coffee business that promotes justice through partnering directly with Rwandan farmers to make excellent coffee — and to make a difference.
Be You. Do Good. tells the story of Jonathan’s journey from conflicted and confused to confident and called. On his way to “The Land of a Thousand Hills” (the name of his company and another nickname for Rwanda), he extracts twelve principles that shaped his missional world view:
- Let Go of the Myths – We believe all kinds of false statements about calling and vocation that keep us mired in indecision.
- Be Who You Are – Life is a “cosmic collaboration” in which God works through the person he created to do a great thing. Don’t put that self on the shelf.
- Use What You Have — Take the first step, and don’t wait. Notice who is nearby to help, and live scrappy!
- Get What You Can — Sounds pretty radical, right? Jonathan is a believer in “The Big Ask.” Tempered by the truth that it’s not about you, but about the call, this is a legitimate position: you are inviting others into God’s work.
- Follow the Inkling — God invites us into adventure. Our experiences and gifts are custom-made to equip us for that faithful following.
- Pursue What Makes You Come Alive — Sensitive to social injustice from the time he was a boy, Jonathan realized that his entrepreneurial spirit and his heart for ministry could make a difference in Rwanda through the production of coffee. This chemistry of passion and ability is what we all need to find.
- Find a People to Serve — A healthy community is one in which everyone blesses and everyone is blessed in return. For Jonathan, it was a matter of not being “The Rich White Guy.” Serve and be served.
- Growing Little by Little — The work of forgiveness, finding your calling, reaching your goals: these are all works of slow grace.
- March Through Challenges — One foot ahead of the other requires a mundane soldiering through the hard times. Jonathan shares his “liturgy for life” which, essentially, is a daily turning of his face toward what is true.
- Follow, Don’t Force — Forging through with one’s own agenda can be dangerous. Pause and allow the Holy Spirit to show the next step.
- Stand Back Up — When the wheels come off our plans, the choice between give-up and stand-up is a tough one. The myth of “easy” can keep us from persevering.
- Stay Open to New Possibilities — Open eyes to the needs around us and open hearts to hear the voice of the Spirit are essential to readiness.
Intensely practical and yet highly motivational, Be You. Do Good. is a call to gritty obedience and a faithful following that honors God’s unique gifting of the believer. When the Spirit whispers, take one brave step. Then, see what God does with your availability.
Interested in more details about Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Co.? Check out the story here.
This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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