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Episode 84: More than Coffee: Using Business for Kingdom Purposes

By December 16, 2019January 3rd, 2023Podcast

"You don't ever really stop and think about the hundreds of kids who aren't being adopted and where they go. Unfortunately, it's not a good place usually—unless someone jumps in during these crucial times of preparing them for success."

Emily Schmidt opened the coffee shop of her dreams, a shop she called The Cracked Pot. People came to get quality coffee; they lingered; they built community. As a Christ-follower, though, she saw the potential for her shop to be used for something more. She learned about youth aging out of foster care and realized she could be part of their story. She could use her coffee shop for kingdom purposes. Emily’s story is an encouragement to reflect on what God has given each of us and a challenge to consider how we can use our time and resources for others.


God is working in the details of our lives.

Emily always had a dream to open a coffee shop. She also knew that she wanted to be involved with adoption somehow. God had given her two passions concurrently, and she didn’t know how they would fit together. She opened her coffee shop, but it lacked something. God was preparing her for something bigger, a way for her to live out both desires stirring in her soul.

“As soon as I figured out the need, it came to me that these [aging-out youth] could actually work in the coffee shop and we could be a family, and mentor them, and employ them, and goal-set with them, and we hit the ground running!”

God cares about our faithfulness.

Emily now had the vision to use her coffee shop to employ youth who didn’t have a support system in place. Through a nine to twelve-month training process, the staff at her shop teach the youth not only how to be baristas but how to set goals. It hasn’t always been picture-perfect, but Emily and her staff gracefully walk in relationship with the youth. God is using The Cracked Pot staff to plant seeds, to listen, to love, to pray, and to connect with aging out youth.

“It is exhausting, but the beautiful things and the transformation in the youth’s lives and the staff’s lives and our volunteers in our community far outweigh how tired we are when we leave.”

You can make God known through your life.

Without a safe, secure base to fall back on, youth aging out of foster care are left to figure out how to do life on their own. Something like driving becomes a roadblock, because of the hurdles it entails–getting a permit, having a vehicle to practice on, and later drive, getting and budgeting for insurance, and registering a vehicle. When life feels hard, discouragement sets in. Old coping mechanisms become comforting. At the coffee shop, though, God is being made evident to the youth, because Christians are showing up. Youth are choosing to run to God instead of old habits because they are seeing more of who He is through imperfect but committed people.

“We make it clear to them at their interview that this is God-centered; this is the foundation we stand on. It’s neat to see them slowly start to realize that we mean what we say and that our God is strong.”








We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

At a young age, Emily Schmidt developed a love for coffee and desired to open a coffee shop. After marrying her husband and having three children, Emily began pursuing this dream. At the same time, Emily and her husband were considering adoption. While the plan was to adopt a younger child, God was stirring Emily’s heart toward older children who were aging out of foster care without a permanent family or a plan for their future. After much prayer, planning, and waiting on the Lord for His plan and timing, the idea of the Cracked Pot Coffee Shop was born! Emily is now able to walk alongside, employ, and mentor youth aging out of foster care through the coffee shop God allowed her to open.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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