Article by Nathan Marshall
Tonight at Cafe Church we shared a community meal. I was introduced to a woman who was there for the first time with her baby daughter. Through the course of the meal, I got to sit and get to know Sarah (not her real name), and was surprised to hear her story.
Sarah had come into Lalor Park from another community after a rough patch in her life and hadn’t had great experiences since living in our community. The breaking point was when she was confronted by three men at the bus stop and asked to hand over her mobile phone. Thankfully a bus arrived (not her bus) and became her escape vehicle from the threat of being robbed.
Sarah’s experience left her gripped with fear. She was so traumatised that she hadn’t been able to leave her house except when she really had to. One day she bumped into one of our customers and was invited to come to Common Groundz. Another regular to the cafe was busy at home when she felt led to come up to the cafe. In one of those wonderful ‘God moments’, this woman befriended Sarah and has been caring, visiting and encouraging her since.
For Sarah, the cafe has been an answer to her prayers. Sarah’s baby daughter has come out of her shell and Sarah has been so grateful for the care she has experienced here – “… a refuge and very present help in times of trouble.” (Ps 46:1)
God is so good. He takes broken lives; painful experiences, trauma and fear and makes something beautiful out of it, out of us! Sarah was cared for by two women, one who simply invited her and one who listened to the Spirits prompting. The Cafe provides daily refuge for many people in our community.
Recently someone wrote of Common Groundz Community Café …
“Whilst its counter is brimming with the usual cafe fare: scones, croissants and gourmet pies, this place feels different. It’s almost a community centre, almost a training centre, almost a meeting room, and almost a rehab centre. What it is, is unique. A place of welcome that uses food to gather and serve those in need of nourishment: physical and spiritual.”
To find out more and to support Common Groundz Cafe follow this link.