Desire and Miguel Zova lead the coffee bar 'Koffieklap' in Antwerp. This is a work experience project for women who come from vulnerable situations and receive guidance here. Every morning before the coffee bar opens, we start around the table with the team. We take a moment to drink coffee or tea together, listen to each other and start the day with a passage from the Bible and prayer.

One morning four of us sat the table before work began. After some jokes we read a bit from the Bible. Everyone can contribute what we can learn from it and what God might want to speak to us today. One of the ladies, with a broad smile and a hard voice, lets us know that God makes the impossible happen again and again. “There is no impossible with God,” is the phrase we hear from her mouth over and over again. She had just been told that her application for a residence permit had been approved and of course this had to be shouted from the rooftops. She shares her happiness with us not only loudly, but also emotionally.

We have already been able to walk a road with her. Beautiful, but also difficult moments, happy, but also grumpy moments. Full of hope, and full of doubt, full of friendship, but also full of distrust. We've all been through those days.

Then a soft, friendly voice sounds. Another woman is sitting on the other side of the table: "I'm really happy for you!" It sounds friendly. I see in everything that it is sincere. She is genuinely grateful and happy for her 'colleague'. And maybe that's the biggest testimony for me that morning. Her future in Belgium is very uncertain. Her situation is not easy and her faith in God is in its early stages. But still she is genuinely happy for someone else. There is not a hint of jealousy to be noticed. I hear them encourage each other and so a beautiful prayer follows for a miracle in her situation and a clear presence and relationship with our King.

This same sweet lady said at the beginning of Koffieklap when she finally learned to make a good cappucino; 'I'm learning here that I can actually learn almost anything, if I just persevere and don't give up.' (a life lesson that is really not self-evident for many in our team)

The Koffieklap is a work experience program for women who come from unstable situations. They often have traumas and they have been wronged a lot. Yet they choose to get up and look for the possibilities that are there. Very often there is no freedom for them to choose and at The Koffieklap we want to create those fair opportunities because we believe that EVERYONE should have the opportunity to choose. Fair opportunities and freedom to choose in life and therefore also freedom to choose to follow Jesus.

And as we sit at that table, I can't help but think, 'wow, God is going His way and all of us together are the ones who learn from this. We fall and get up, we make mistakes and encourage each other.”

De Koffieklap is more than a place where people learn to make coffee or to work in hospitality. It is a place where we learn to be a team together, build a network and learn that there is a lot to learn. Koffieklap, a place where we all get the fair chance to grow.


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