And for the customers of The Well who don’t like coffee, espresso, or cappuccinos, The Well serves frozen drinks, hot teas, and fresh homemade pastries. All coffee purchases go to helping Rwanda; all profits from any purchase (coffee or not) go to missions.
It is open five days a week, from morning to evening, in order to provide a place of fellowship or a quiet getaway for the people of Shreveport-Bossier. Not everyone can go on a mission trip to another continent to spread the Gospel; however, anyone can enjoy a drink or a pastry with friends. And the wonderful thing is that the drink will be fantastic, the staff will go the extra mile, the wi-fi will be free, and the atmosphere of The Well will always be welcoming and inviting.
Drink Coffee. Do Good.
Over the years, tension grew, and with it grew the amount of violence against the Tutsi members. On April 6, 1994, tensions exploded when the Hutu president of Rwanda was mysteriously assassinated.
The radio station in Rwanda began broadcasting calls to all Hutus to kill their Tutsi neighbors, friends, family members...anyone that was Tutsi. The government not only didn’t stop the hunting down and killing of Tutsis...they encouraged it. Bands of teenagers that had been trained by the government roamed the country, looking for hidden women, children, and babies to execute. Roadblocks were set up to catch those trying to flee the country. The radio broadcast the names and addresses of those in hiding. Tutsis fled to church buildings, thinking they would have sanctuary in the sacred buildings, but they were massacred as the killers walked down the aisles, swinging their machetes across the pews.
The government supplied the 6.5 million Hutus with as many machetes (called Pangas) as they needed. These weapons were given out at gas stations, on street corners, anywhere Hutus were that needed murder weapons. Tutsis had nowhere to hide, and no one came to help them for over 3 months.
An average of 10,000 Tutsis (along with Hutu sympathizers) were killed PER DAY for 100 days before the rebel army fought its way through to the capital and stopped the killing. In 100 days, a country of 8 million had murdered 1 million of its own people. The problem then was...how could a country rebuild when victims and murderers had to work, rebuild, and live together?
However, in the northern mountains of Rwanda, there is a small region called Bukonya. For years, reconciliation efforts had not reached this region because of how far north and how rural it is. When the founder of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee, Jonathan Golden, discovered this region and saw how in need its people were, he became determined to help rebuild and restore.
In 2004, LOTH Coffee committed to helping Rwanda rebuild through reconciliation. Coffee growers from both Hutu and Tutsi tribes were brought together at the communal coffee-washing stations. In order to earn a living farming coffee, reconciliation was necessary. Victims have learned to forgive, and murderers have learned about true redemption. Today, through the guidance of pastors supported by LOTH, healing is taking place over the preparation of coffee beans. Instead of just donating money, this company invests in many aspects of the village, especially modeling the love of Jesus Christ. “We don’t just go in, present the gospel, and leave,” explains Karen Houghton, a LOTH representative, adding, “We earn the right to be heard.”
These people are extremely proud; they don’t want to be given a hand-out. LOTH gives them loans to start their businesses (buying their own coffee trees, land, setting up boutiques, etc.). LOTH also has founded the Bukonya Co-op, which allows roughly 250 farmers to share equipment, coffee washing stations, etc. These villagers are invested in, believed in, and given back their dignity. Through that process, they become receptive to the saving power of Jesus Christ. This is why Brookwood has partnered with LOTH to serve their coffee.
The premium 100% Arabica beans are roasted by LOTH’s Artisan Roasters and sent immediately upon order to ensure perfect freshness.