Inside Story: The Missionary Café

Sixteen-year-old Anya’s heart raced as she and her father stepped into

Image © Lars Justinen from

Image © Lars Justinen from

the small café in the heart of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Could she ask a complete stranger to turn a business over to some teenagers—even for a few hours?

The adventure for God had begun months earlier when Anya and her teenage friends had visited a sister church in Siberia. The teens there were running a successful café outreach. Anya and her friends returned home with a dream to start a similar outreach in their own city.

The youth prayed and planned. When they shared their dream with other church members, some tried to discourage them. “This will be expensive,” one said. “No one will come,” another added. “You’re wasting your time,” another protested. But Anya’s father, the pastor, encouraged the youth to let God lead.

Anya and her father stepped into the café and greeted the owner. They sat together at an empty table. “We are Seventh-day Adventist Christians,” Anya began. “Our youth group would like to use your café one Sunday morning a month to host a Christian program for about 30 young people. We can pay for food, but we can’t pay rent.”

Anya waited for the café’s owner to respond. “Business isn’t good on Sunday morning,” the woman said as she considered the request. “Yes, you can use the café for two hours. Just put things back where you found them and don’t make a mess.”

Anya smiled. God surely has gone before us, she thought.

Anya and her friends prepared advertising for Café Orange, finalized their program, and prayed for a good attendance. The doors opened, and people streamed in. The youth had planned for 30 people, but 55 came, including 15 who were not Adventists.

Anya noticed that the café waiters and the few other customers were listening to the program too. She realized that their mission field stretched beyond those they had set out to reach. How like God to give us more than we asked for! she thought.

The youth invited those who came to Café Orange to attend youth meetings at the Adventist church, and several came.

Today the church supports the café ministry, though it is still operated by the youth. “We want others to know that Christians can have fun. We want to give them a chance to become children of God.”

Anya cites one of her favorite Bible texts to sum up her philosophy of youth ministries: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers, in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity” (I Timothy 4:12, NIV). “That’s our goal,” she says.

Your mission offerings are helping the Adventist youth in Krasnoyarsk, a city in the heart of Siberia, to reach out for Christ. Thank you.

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
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