Six months ago, I wasn't sure that I would ever see a coffee shop open in Avoca. Fortunately, I found someone who was willing and able to take on the role of managing this hypothetical coffee shop as a full-time job! We have an employee, a board of directors, even 501(c)(3) status. We don't yet have a building, but I hope that will change soon.
I recently described the place I'm at in this process as "skiing very quickly down a steep slope." I know how to ski, and I'm doing it pretty well. It's just that, at a certain speed and a certain level of confidence, you will come to a realization while downhill skiing that if you were to forget how to ski right now, things would get really ugly.
I don't think I'm going to forget how to ski. But smarter people than I have tried and failed to start a small business or a nonprofit, and I'm basically trying to do both at the same time. Two things will save me. First, I'm not doing this alone. It's not my project anymore, it's the project of the church, the community of Avoca, Lackawanna Presbytery, and most directly, our manager and our board of directors. Second, I'm not doing this for myself or for profit, I'm doing this because I believe that this is how God wants me to express the love I receive from God to the people in my own community. So it's not my project, or even our project: it's God's project. And I'm trying to trust God with it!
Perhaps, one day next Spring, a new coffee shop and community center will open in Avoca, in a brand-new building. If so, amazing things will be on their way for our community. But if we all forget how to ski and God decides to go a different direction, I still believe amazing things will be coming for Avoca.