On the edge of the river in Derry, there’s a cafe where many of the youth in the area hang out in the evenings. It’s a small place with an open front room and a vault in the back. It’s built in a building that used to be a tax collection agency. The front area has been renovated and filled with games and a pool table and furniture that make it more welcoming. On any night it’s open, the Hope Cafe in Derry is full of young people from out on the streets. The demographic that walks in the doors is wildly diverse. The ages range from as young as 11 to as old as mid 20s. They comes from all different walks of life, but carry one thing in common: they’re searching for hope.
As we began our night there on Saturday, Pete, the manager, mentioned how diverse and broken the students who come in are. He said that, “almost all the kids know someone who has committed suicide.” These people are in pain and in need of hope. We took a half hour before the store opened to pray for the kids that would come, that they would realize God’s love and the hope they have in Him.
When you see the people in the Hope Cafe, it truly breaks your heart to see how they’re hurting. Many of the kids come in after having a smoke outside or after having one drink too many. They come in for a free tea or coffee, and are met with a homey atmosphere and open arms. Our students had the opportunity to meet and serve and love these people where they’re at.
We had the chance to talk to a young girl who was so passionate and beautiful, yet she was insecure and hid behind her makeup. She opened up to Emily about traveling and her family.
There was another little boy that came in from the streets in search of food and shelter. He’s come in several nights and this is one of the only meals he gets consistently.
The people of Derry are lost and in need of a Savior. The Hope Cafe cares so much for these lost sheep. It was an honor to be able to serve and worship beside them on our last day of ministry.