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Nav20s: Coffee Shop Family Tree

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

As Navigators, we know that you can bear fruit by having biological children or by having spiritual children. In Mila’s story, God displays His creativity by doing both.

Mila John enjoys working the closing shift at the coffee shop because she can have unhurried conversations with coworkers.

My husband and I work with Navigators 20s in Oklahoma City. I got to know Mila John when she was a student at the University of Oklahoma. When we met, she was intrigued with learning, reading lots of theology and philosophy, and asking great questions about life. It was easy for her to absorb information, but it was difficult for her to process her past and to place her identity in Christ. We spent several years looking into what God says about her and learning to live out the simplicity of the gospel in daily life. I loved her so much that I was delighted to walk with her as she learned these beautiful truths from God’s Word.


Today, Mila is a supervisor at a trendy new coffee shop in town. She enjoys working the closing shift because the pace is slower and she can have unhurried conversations with coworkers as they clean up for the night. After building friendships with Peter and Allison*, two high school students who are believers, she invited them to an early morning prayer meeting she and her husband, Aaron, host. And when I say early, I mean 6:00 a.m., after closing the store at 11:00 p.m.! Both Peter and Allison have been attending consistently. They are engaging in conversation and seeking wisdom about relationships, application of heady theology in everyday life, and solid community. Both are observing Mila as she shares the love of Jesus with another coworker who does not yet know Christ.


Peter and Allison just happen to drive some of their high school friends back and forth to school every day. And one of those passengers just happens to be our son, Josiah Max. Ever since they started working at the coffee shop, their car conversations revolve around all the things they are learning from Mila. Now, Josiah Max is listening and thinking deeply, and asking questions at home. Just this week he asked, “What’s the difference between reading the Bible with a person one-to-one and discipleship?”


It was with great joy that we read I Thessalonians 2:8 together and discussed the difference!

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us” (I Thessalonians 2:8 NASB).

*Names changed


About the Author

John and Jen Kelsey exist to engage 20-somethings in the grand transitions of life, where you work, live, and play. The Kelseys can’t wait to meet you!  Some ways to be involved in OKC NAV 20s include: monthly NavNight, where we introduce you to Christian business leaders who give on the job examples of faith at work; bible discussions; regional and national conferences; one-on-one mentoring; career coaching; and lively gatherings. Also, we have opportunities for leadership development, and in some cases, even internships.

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