Wilfredo De Jesús Challenges Friends to Fill the Gap in Their Struggling Town
After attending The Global Leadership Summit for the first time in 2014, Doug King and Paula Cammarata were affirmed in their vision to open a business in a struggling mill town in Wisconsin. “The GLS affirmed in me that I wanted to make an impact on young lives and families in my community,” Doug says.
For a long time, Doug and Paula saw a gap in their community where there was no place for families to experience positive community outside the church.
God used the Summit to speak loud and clear through Wilfredo De Jesús when he challenged them to “fill the gap.”
Doug and Paula stepped up to the challenge.
They wanted to serve families and let them experience God’s love, so they opened Blu Play Café. Centered on Christian values, the business is part café and part playground, providing families with a place to gather and share community with others.
“This cafe is changing our community,” Dan DeRoche, lead pastor at the Wisconsin Rapids Woodlands Church, says. “They host birthday parties for kids, which is filling a huge need in our city. Many people say when they go there, it makes a difference in their lives.
“Doug and Paula use the cafe as a platform to share God’s love in practical ways. As a pastor, it is one of the most amazing forms of outreach I have seen,” Dan explains. “Our city went through a very difficult tragedy recently when a man who took the lives of his three-year old son and his five-year old daughter and then took his own life. His wife was not home at the time. In response, Blu Play Cafe hosted and sponsored many events in their honor, offering a safe place for the mother to come and ‘receive healing from her community’ (her words).”
“Here are two people who had a vision from God to make a difference in their city and they did that by opening a business that impacts the lives of many,” says Dan. “I have witnessed many in our community who have been impacted deeply by this business. It is making a positive difference for Christ in a city that can be filled with a lot of negativity.”
Centered on Christian values, Blu Play Café is serving families, and employing young people who are getting out of their shells and becoming leaders. We’re thankful for stories like these, and hearing about leaders who decided to fill the gap in their communities.
What might God want to share with you at this year’s Summit? “If you don’t think you can learn something from the Summit, then you definitely should be the one to go,” Doug shares.