A team of students worked along side Joe’s Addiction staff and volunteers in Oklahoma City.
Joe’s Addiction is a coffee shop in the “red light” district of Oklahoma City run by John and Jamie Zumwalt. They have a mission to foster community and develop meaningful relationships with people from every background. According to their website, many who hang out at Joe’s are committed to living life together, walking together and serving the surrounding community.
The team was comprised of 14 JBU students and one staff member. Each person experienced something different while there, but came back with a unifying understanding of what evangelism truly means.
“Joe’s Addiction is a family,” said Rebekah Veldhuizen, junior. She loved the time the team spent getting to know the people who came to the coffee shop and hearing their stories.
“You could feel the love as soon as you got there,” said. Veldhuizen.
Daniel McCarley, sophomore, defined Joe’s Addiction as a 24/7 church.
“It’s not just a service they hold on Sunday, it’s evangelism and community at the same time,” said McCarley.
“Joe’s Addiction is a place where anyone from any walk of life can come and receive love,” said Mick Silvers, sophomore, “It’s the definition of a true community.”
During the team’s visit, the students spent most of their time at the coffee shop helping to clean and organize while holding conversations with people who came in and out each day.
The students saw a different version of church than they were used to, the services were unique, they worshipped to a Bob Marley song and shared what the congregation called “prouds” and “sorrys” in front of the body.
The team’s understanding and approach to what missions means transformed during their weekend with the Zumwalts. They found it to be more than going to a third-world country and teaching Bible stories to children; it is an ongoing call from the Lord.
Austin Robertson, coordinator of student success, and junior Tiffany Tucker led the team.
Tucker defined missions as spreading the love and message of Jesus across all ends of the earth.
“It is a necessary duty,” said McCarley. “I am not motivated to evangelize, except for that fact that I am called to.”
“Missions to me is all about relationships,” said Silvers, “We are not called to bash people with the Bible to just get them saved, but called to love people for who they are and where they are at in life. If we can build relationships and love people, then God will do the rest.”
Veldhuizen views missions as “living out the Great Commission” with what God has given.
Robertson’s view of missions is that it is about more than the unreached people groups and it can take place everywhere. He described it as, “living our lives in a way to bring Christ the most glory in the act of leading others to follow him as well.”