Zambia (MNN) — If you want to send an e-mail but don't
have access, what do you do? You go to
an Internet cafe.
The Internet cafe phenomenon began in 1991 and quickly caught on. The traditonal café became known as a
place for information exchange. They were places to read the paper, send
postcards home, play traditional or electronic games, chat to friends, find out
local information and find out about the newest technologies.
It's no surprise then, that as demand for Internet access
grew, an entrepreneur would connect the dots between the cafe function and the Internet technology and equipment needs.
For that reason, in many developing countries Internet cafés are the affordable form of
Internet access as well as community. Sam Vinton with Grace
Ministries International says their Zambia team opened one because
of the need and opportunity.
In the month since GMI's Internet cafe has been open, "It's become not only a social place
where people come, but it's the main place where people can use the Internet. More and more, the university students are using the Internet for their
The cafe was a smart ministry. GMI missionaries Titus and Kristy Lloyd came
on board with the hope of working with organization/administration of the computer
training center and the Internet cafe, as well as training nationals for youth
and children's ministries.
Vinton says the hope
is that the café will eventually be self-supporting, but their purpose is more
than business. "We've looked at it also as evangelistic outreach and
discipleship — having people come in, where we have classes next to the cafe, and
invite them to take part in some of the other sessions that we have there for
As the ministry takes root, pray "that people will
sense the love of Christ from those who are working there and will respond to the testimony of these workers as well as the Gospel
that's given out to them."