We are delighted for you to hear from one of our full-time Cadence missionaries, Melissa Rafferty, who is serving in Okinawa, Japan. Melissa joined Cadence in 2011 with a desire to share the gospel and her life with young men and women in the military.
I separated from the Air Force and joined Cadence as a single 34-year-old woman, unsure of what the Lord was calling me to do. I knew two things. I knew I loved the military community; and I knew I had a desire to see people live in the fullness of who God has called them to be, rather than waiting on what culture around them said they needed to be.
I am currently the director of the Wired Bean, a coffee house and chapel ministry center for junior enlisted personnel on Kadena Air Base. At the Wired Bean, our desire is to reach out to those who live in the dorms and to provide a safe place for them to meet new people, explore life, learn about leadership, volunteer, and talk about faith.
Many of the men and women who enter our doors have just left their hometown for the first time and are trying to figure out what they believe and why they believe it. They enter a work environment in which talking about religion and politics is discouraged. So, the question is, where are they free to ask meaningful questions and have important conversations?
We provide a respectful place for people to have those conversations and seek information. Some people are receptive to the gospel and others aren’t, but we believe that the Lord is using us to plant the seeds.
As a single woman, I can adjust my schedule to be available when these young men and women are off work. We often meet up for a meal, or just hang out and talk. I receive occasional questions from other singles who have a desire to be in a relationship. My hope is to encourage them to seek the Lord in their current stage of life and trust His timing and plan.
One of our regular ministry events is Ohana Night, which provides a home-cooked meal sponsored by various organizations on base. Many junior enlisted personnel rarely have the chance to eat a home-cooked meal. We love welcoming both new and familiar faces to the table, where they can enjoy good food and even better company. These meals give us the ability to continue building relationships with these men and women and to hear about their lives.
Some prayer requests from Melissa
We have a new “council,” a group of men and women who lead and serve at the Wired Bean. We have started the application process and will follow it up with interviews. Pray for a united team.
Also, I will be traveling to the States this summer. Please pray as I begin to plan and prepare the logistics involved in keeping the Wired Bean up and running while I am away.
We are thankful for Melissa and all the lives she and her team are impacting.