Andrew is a twenty-three year old Taiwanese man who has been working for us for less than a month. He, in many ways, has been an answer to prayer. Angela, another cafe employee, was leaving us to study worship leadership and our community had prayed for the right person to come and take her role. as barista and first impressions for the cafe ministry. He started in late July and has fit in ever since.
One day, after his shift behind the coffee bar, Andrew was hanging out around the shop. I sat down across from him and asked if he’d tell me more of his story. I walked into the conversation knowing that he is a young Christian and the only one in his family. I was curious how that played out in his family life.
“My mother asked my brother why I went to college if I just wanted to work at a coffee shop…”, was a sentence I’d remembered hearing him say a week or two before. “But I really love my job and talking to people here at the Aroma.”
Andrew started telling me about his love of music. Just like me, he plays bass guitar and has dreamt before of being in a rock band. In high school he secretly joined a band and bought a guitar. He didn’t want to tell his parents though, because he knew they thought it was a waste of time.
Andrew’s parents are hard workers. They own a travel agency that takes organizes tour groups. His parents are both frequently out of the country leading these tourists around the world. Their desire is for Andrew and his older brother to continue this business. Perhaps they love their work a little too much though.
As we sat at a table on the second floor in the Aroma cafe, Andrew told me a story about his grandmother. She was very sick and his parents weren’t around. They’d chosen to lead a tour group together instead of one of them staying behind to help take care of his grandmother. “After this I spent two months that summer taking care of my grandmother.” As summer ended he recalled a dinner where his father accused him of always hanging out with his friends and never being home. “How can he even say this?! I was so angry. I just walked away.” After thinking for some time he quickly does the math… “Wow, that was six years ago. I hadn’t realized that.”
“So do you talk to your father now?”
“No, not really. Nothing more than hi, bye, where I’m going… Wh