I often get the question, “How did you end up selling coffee from Uganda?” Typically from people that have known me for a little while. But, sometimes from total strangers. So, here’s the story…
I was going through a bit of a difficult point in my life. I had everything you could want: great wife, beautiful children, nice home, nice cars, etc. The problem is that I felt a gaping hole in my life. I ended up meeting with my pastor a few times, just chatting about life. He challenged me to raise $25,000 to build a school in Uganda. I said, ‘sure, no problem’. I asked him for some ‘marketing’ material type info on Uganda. He said “The best thing would just be for you to go see it for yourself”.
It was around October when he officially asked me to go. Said he was putting together a group of 10 or so guys to go in January for a week. So, naturally, I said yes. I had no idea what I was getting in for. Had I known I was agreeing to 18 hours on a plane each way, I may not have agreed so easily.
Before I go any further, let me get something out in the open. I’m not a charitable guy. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever given any money to a charity.
In Uganda, I saw how the people were living. Millions of people living in mud huts with grass roofs. Literally. The kind of thing you see in National Geographic but you tell yourself is only a small group of people who are choosing to live that way to maintain their culture. No, these people aren’t choosing this. These people are so poor that they can’t afford anything else. Most are living on a dollar a day or less.
One day, driving down the road, I see a young man sitting on the side of the road, resting under a tree. First off, that’s rare. You usually don’t see these people resting at all, but this poor man looked exhausted. I look at him and think “That could be me”. It is solely by the grace of God that I was born in the United States and given the opportunities I’ve been given. I have certainly done nothing to deserve it. Because of the grace that God bestowed upon me, it is my duty to help these people. I MUST help these people.
Over the next few days and on the plane ride back, my pastor and I tossed out ideas. What could we sell that came from Uganda that would enable us to help these people? Coffee. It’s perfect. It was literally on a plane back from Detroit to St. Louis that Three Avocados was born.