When you see the above symbol, what do you think of? If you said good coffee, you wouldn’t be alone. I love Starbucks coffee. I drink more Starbucks than any other brand. I’m so thankful we have an unending supply here on the ship.
But, did you know this is also a symbol representing a god called Mami Wata? Mami who ta? Mami Wata is a water god. She is actually worshiped in many African, Caribbean, and South American nations.
You might be thinking what’s the big deal Michelle? Since I had the day off today, I spent a portion of the morning with my sweet roommate from Ghana. She told me that in Ghana, Mami Wata is considered to be a fallen angel. She is evil. She lures people to their death in the sea. She is the spirit of prostitution. She holds real power over people who believe in her.
Because of this, Mercy Ships switched to the Starbucks sign above. They didn’t want people coming to the ship to be afraid. We are, after all, here in the name of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.
It’s for this same reason I’ve put a jacket of sorts on my awesome Starbucks reusable cup.
The apostle Paul says it best:
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
I love that the organization I work for loves people so much they made it a priority to change something that seems meaningless into something truly meaningless. 🙂