Friday, February 8, 2008

Maiko: Bring me a Cuppa Fair Trade

From Maiko Minami, Earth Ministry Intern

This is my first Lent after I accepted Jesus in my life.

“What is Lent?”
It was the question I asked to my host mother when she came back from her church with her forehead with ash last year on Ash Wednesday.

I came to the United States in spring 2006. I grew up in a Buddhist family in Japan. So, I was a follower of Buddha before and when I came to Seattle. My motive to come to Seattle was that I wanted to study the relationship between religion and ecology, so I started with Christianity to pursue my study. About six month later, I started to go to a Bible study for international students who came from the different background from Christianity.

As I got to know about Jesus through the Bible study, I naturally felt that it was difficult not to be a follower of Jesus. I felt Jesus knock on my heart so that I had to open it, so I finally decided to let him come in to my life last year. Actually, it was on Good Friday in 2007.

I know what Lent is now and I have been thinking of what I can do for Lent this year.

First, I decided to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren because I wanted to have a stronger relationship with Jesus and this book has chapters which we can finish in 40 days.

Second, I am not going to drink coffee unless it is Fair Trade. Fair Trade is good not only for farmers who can receive fair price for their products but also for the environment. For example, they cannot grow GMO products to receive certification and agrochemicals are not allowed except when absolutely necessary.

After I chose to give up non-Fair Trade coffee, I found out that I can support Earth Ministry by buying Fair Trade, organic, shade-grown coffee through Grounds for Change. I just bought a bag of Earth Ministry’s blend of coffee and, as soon as it arrives, I will make a cup and read The Purpose Driven Life. In the meantime, I couldn't wait for my coffee to arrive, so I looked online for coffee shops that sell Fair Trade coffee. I found one 10 blocks from my house, so I walked down there and enjoyed a cup! It was good!


Anonymous said...

Thanks to your blog, I just purchased my first couple pounds of espresso from Grounds for Change. Having been a vegetarian for 35 years, I am a "tread lightly on the planet" kind of person. Kindness and love for living things is my mantra. BUT, I had not been paying attention to my coffee and how it was grown. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
AND, this is important...
I speak out quite frequently on the plight of farm animals and how we can live more compassionately. I get frustrated because my voice falls on deaf ears so much (if not all)of the time. But here is an example of a person (me) having vaguely heard this 'fair trade - shade grown' thing in the background of my life for probably years, and I am only now taking action. We need to keep speaking our truth in spite of the audience's seeming to not hear, because, eventually they will hear! My voice may just be background noise to a person, but eventually, if we keep speaking and living our truth, it will take hold.
Have a joyful day!

Anonymous said...

p.s. this is the first time i have ever answered a blog and the reason i am anonymous is i don't know what a url is!

Anonymous said...

I am Maiko. Yes. Indeed, I have just started seriously caring for the earth after I decided to live our truth.. Honestly, even though I have been interested in studying the environmnt, I was not really care about what I was doing to the earth. About the coffee I bought, I really enjoyed the aroma when I received and opened it. I hope you will enjoy it, too!