Port Lavaca coffeeshop-ministry offers place to relax, reconnect with God
Aug. 5, 2010 at 3:05 a.m.
Updated Aug. 6, 2010 at 3:06 a.m.
COME. ... WALK WITH ME Location: 108 N. Virginia St., Port Lavaca
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday, closed
Offers: Coffee, cappuccino, gourmet tea, cocoa, lending library, free Wi-Fi and computer use
PORT LAVACA - Where most coffee shop owners would be concerned about making sales, Kyle Boyd-Robertson just wants to have a cup of coffee with you and chat.
In fact, nothing in Boyd-Robertson's shop is for sale. Walk into his store and you get free coffee, cocoa, tea, Wi-Fi access and computer access - donations: optional. You can borrow any book in his library. Boyd-Robertson and his wife, Paula, do not want to turn anyone away.
"I don't want anybody to feel that they're not welcome," he said.
"What I want this place to be is a place for the community to come get away from their cares, have a cup of coffee, reconnect with friends and reconnect with God," he added.
A month ago, the Boyd-Robertsons turned their antique shop business in Port Lavaca into a hybrid coffeehouse-ministry called Come. ... Walk with Me.
In the first month, Boyd-Robertson said he received few visitors to the store. He hopes Come. ... Walk with Me eventually becomes a spot in town for Port Lavaca residents and out-of-towners alike to relax.
"We want them to come in and have a place to visit," he said. "We're always here to pray with people and help them in any way possible."
Initially, Boyd-Robertson thought about asking people for donations but did not want to put pressure on anyone who may not be able to afford it.
"We have received so much from God, that we want to give back," he said.
The Boyd-Robertsons became closer to God when the medication Paula was taking caused her to have two seizures. In the second seizure, Paula fractured her skull and subsequently lost her hearing. She was totally deaf for six weeks. Hearing aids now allow her to have 30 percent hearing ability in one ear.
"It changed our lives dramatically," she said. "It was a mountain that God helped me overcome."
Kyle worked 14 years as an interpreter for the deaf, so he was fluent in American sign and was still able to communicate with his wife.
The couple's faith guided them through the ordeal, they said.
"When you look back and see God's hand and how he walked us through it and was there every step of the way. ... I don't even have words," Kyle said, becoming teary-eyed.
Even though he feels a profound love for God, he doesn't want to necessarily preach to his visitors.
"I love to talk about the Lord, but I also love to talk about fossils and history," he said.
The history buff has a collection of 80,000 postcards, fossils, Calhoun High School memorabilia and history books.
Boyd-Robertson has seen more and more college-aged people walk into his store. Some come in because they want to start a Bible study. Others look for a venue to play music.
"You never know who God's going to send you," he said. "You have got to be totally open."