Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
Megan Zuber was saved in an unexpected spot — a coffee shop.
Zuber didn’t grow up in a home where her parents taught her about religion; her mother was neutral on the subject and her father died when she was 12. However, when Zuber got a part-time job in a coffee shop where the workers were open about their religious beliefs, a transformation began for Zuber.
“I came off of doing drugs and drinking and being promiscuous, and realized that wasn’t the life I wanted to lead and I was working at a coffee shop,” Zuber, 25, said. “Some people really showed me the compassion and love that I feel Christ has represented and I was hooked.”
With a new perspective, Zuber became involved in a missions organization that took her to different parts of the world. She plans to continue doing undercover discipleship and teaching in places that are intolerant of open Christianity.
“I want other people to be able to choose their faith and not have it pressed down their throat,” Zuber said.
Recently Zuber returned from a missions trip to Nepal, the country she has chosen for her first coffee shop ministry. She hopes to introduce her workers and others in the community to the love and compassion of Christ that she experienced.
While in the mission field, Zuber became involved in raising awareness about sex trafficking. In the next six months, she plans to establish a shop to employ women hurt by the sex trafficking trade. The Nepal coffee shop would also allow working children to drop-in and become educated about the basic subjects, such as math, English and reading. Once the shop is stable, Zuber would like to turn it over to a native to run.
“I want to sell it to a Nepali woman, hopefully, and work myself out of the job so I can go then to Africa, Tibet, or China or I can go wherever God wants me to,” said Zuber. “I want them to be self sustaining, I’m just in the background.”
For now, Zuber is working at Common Grounds, a coffee shop in downtown Mattoon. She is relying on her personal income and the financial support of churches and individuals to be able to accomplish her plans for the Nepali coffee shop ministry.
“I want to do coffee shop ministry for the rest of my life if God will let me,” Zuber said.
When Zuber was asked why she chose coffee shops as a way to spread her message, the answer was simple. That’s where she was saved. And that is where, hopefully, many others will be.
Written by Michaela Daly