Micah and Nancy Smith, along with their daughter and son-in-law Hannah and Ben Phillips and son Jacob Smith, operate Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters in Bonners Ferry. But their work is much more than a business to them; it is one of many ways they bestow blessings to others around the world.
“We believe that when you are blessed, it is to be a blessing (to others),” said Micah.
At Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters, the family purchases green coffee beans from the farmers they work with and then invest at least 10 percent of the roasted proceeds back into their production.
“Coffee is just one of the platforms we use to meet the needs of suffering people,” said Micah, who adds that they started purchasing their coffee from small farms primarily in Southeast Asia and Nicaragua.
The inspiration behind the name Seven Seeds comes from the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy, 8:7-8, which reads: “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey.”
Micah shares that in these verses the seven species of Israel contain a seed, and each seed is a miracle of God, bringing people together around the table of life and relationship.
Micah said that they also view coffee as a seed and that it holds the same idea. No matter where he and his family travel, in the mountains of Thailand, Nicaragua or roasting on their site in North Idaho, the family nurtures the idea found in the seed and seeks to bless new friends from the tree to the cup.
But there are other ways the Smith family bestows blessings on others as well. Micah and Nancy are the founders of Global Gateway Network, a nonprofit Christian humanitarian organization. Since first forming in 2002, volunteers with Global Gateway Network have traveled throughout the world with an intentional focus on connecting the skills and gifts of its team members with the needs of hurting people, looking for various ways and means to gain a voice for Christ.
Their travels through Southeast Asia, Northwest India and the Middle East have certainly been a blessing to not only those who have received the benefit of the volunteers’ generosity but those who travel with Global Gateway Network and help to drill wells, assist with medical needs, build homes and support the agricultural field in those countries.
“It has shown me how wonderfully generous Americans can be with their time, resources and skills,” said Micah. “I’ve also been impacted by the compassion, which I believe is God‘s compassion, expressed through the hard work and generosity of the many teams that we have sent to these areas.”
Among the many things that Global Gateway Network has accomplished in its 16 years include planting churches in places that were otherwise unreached; launching more than 50 ministry teams to assist those hurting around the globe; rescuing countless children from starvation, prostitution and human trafficking, and even death; initiating a health education program in India. They have also drilled over 100 freshwater wells in India over the last decade and supported seven new village pastors in India as well.
To the areas of Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Egypt, Global Gateway Network has brought in medical teams to treat the children and adults. The teams travel to remote areas and pay their own expenses. Providing a variety of services including medical examinations, medication disbursement, dental care, nutrition education and vision care, the teams then donate medical supplies they have used, saving an estimated cost of $4 million over the years.
In Vietnam, they have built, developed and maintained The Center of Hope, which is a home for children in North Vietnam. They provide monthly support, school supplies, clothing, shoes, bikes, blankets and much more to the Center of Hope.
Global Gateway Network is currently working with United Hatzalah to establish what is called an “ambucycle unit” in Israel. Basically, an ambulance on a motorcycle, the vehicles are equipped with everything an ambulance has except for the bed. By avoiding traffic congestion, road closure and debris, the ambucycle allows first responders to arrive at the scene much more quickly than an ambulance.
The fact that Micah and Nancy have not only founded such an extraordinary organization to help people worldwide but have also committed a portion of the profit they receive through Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters back to the families who supply them with the coffee beans, is a wonderful example of how we can all make a difference in the world.
This Christmas season, take a moment, count your blessings and think of ways you can pay it forward. Take it from Micah, you, too, will be blessed in return.
“God has blessed us, so we should return the blessing to others where we can,” said Micah.
For more information on Global Gateway Network, go to GlobalGatewayNetwork.org.