Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where Did My Summer Go???

Wow! It has been a really long time since I have updated my blog or even communicated what has been happening here in Denmark. I can't believe it is already September and I keep thinking, what happened to my summer? When did it become September?!? There is so much that has happened, that I am not even sure where to begin. So, lets go through the highlights of the past two months.

I have been working a lot of hours in the cafe. It is hard when we first open and are still trying to figure out our patterns and business. July was a really slow month for us. We had a lot of days with not very much business at all. That was frustrating, but I think it was also a blessing because all of the cafe team members were on vacation. It made it a little easier to work extra hours for them when we were not crazy busy. August was also slow in the beginning, but the past couple weeks business has been growing and we are having busier and busier days. This is great, we are beginning to bring in the amount we need to stay afloat. I have enjoyed my work hours in the cafe behind the bar and in the kitchen. We have some great volunteers from the Greve church, that are a lot of fun to work with. Also, we have met a lot of new people and have regular customers now. Daily we have to opportunity to talk about what we are doing and why. We have a number of people interested in us and that is great.

We had a Work and Witness team come and help us out in July. They were a wonderful group to have. They started the work in our activity room, cleaned out 2 storage rooms, and did an evening childrens activity. It was such a blessing to be with them and to share Copenhagen and the cafe ministry with them. We were not able to finish the activity room, but that is what happens when you have certain things that have to be dealt with by professionals and paperwork. However, they made a huge dent in the work. As always it is an encouragement for me to have others with the heart for mission work around. I really connected with some on the team and they were a true blessing to have here.

We have started weekly church services. We meet every Saturday evening after closing. This has ben a great time to worship, pray, and encourage each other as a small group. This last Saturday we got to pray over one woman who is coming and struggling with alcoholism and she shared with us that we were the only family she. She also, visits Julia and I every day in the cafe.

Last week, I had visitors from Poland. They are the current volunteers there. It was exciting to share what is happening in Copenhagen and hear about the cafes I worked in before. They were a great encouragement for me as well. It is nice to be able to share openly and discuss the struggles we face as volunteers and the ministry. It is nice to have others to share with. I also, enjoyed showing them my beautiful Copenhagen.

There are a lot of things happening this fall. Now that we have a balance in our work hours we can focus on starting more activities and groups in the cafe. I will be starting a women's group and a young adult group. Also, I will continue with working with the youth at the Greve church. I am excited to see where God is going to lead us this fall.

I had a wonderful experience last Monday. I performed a baptism service in Sweden. I baptized 2 women who are meeting with the couple starting a ministry in the Malmo area. We drove out to a lake and braved the very cold water! It was a very simple and relaxed time. It was a gathering of friends and family. Both women shared their hearts and how they are wanting to work with the ministry we are starting there. I was blessed to be a part of their great act of faith. Exciting things are happening in Sweden!

It has been a crazy summer and I can not believe it is already September! But, this fall has so much in store for the cafe and ministry! I am excited to see where God leads me and the work in the cafe!

photos of all the adeventures

Monday, June 24, 2013

Keeping Busy

The shop is now running in full swing. I think I have gotten into a good pattern of life and the shop. That is if you can ever be in a full pattern working in a cafe ministry. We have our days of up and downs. There still does not seem to be a steady pattern of customers, but we have a good mix of busy days and slow days. This weekend was a big exciting weekend for us.

Friday, we were featured in one of the top newspapers in Denmark. A tough food critic gave our show 5 out of 6 stars. The article talks about our concept of being volunteers, how great our brunch was, and how well we fit our target group. It compliments that we think about our clients and really do have items that are great for kids. The next day we had 3 different families come in and congratulate us on our review and order brunches. Already business was boosted by a positive review. However, a local politician did not feel so positive about us and wrote some provoking messages on our facebook page and his facebook page questioning our true agenda. He is against Christianity and tried to attack what we were doing, though he has never come into the shop or spoken with any of us. But, this is what we can expect face in Denmark, or in any post-Christian society. You can see the online part of the article here (but it is all in Danish)- Sweet Surrender Review

Saturday, we started our first church service in the cafe. For now it was cafe team members and our D.S. and his wife. It was a great time of sharing and worshiping together. For now we are keeping our services simple, but will build on them later. It is important for us to take time in prayer for the cafe, the team, and the ministry we are doing.

Sunday, was also another big day for us. Part of our non-profit, volunteer work is that we have chose to help a community group called Mother Help. This group supports single mothers who are having a hard time providing for their children. We have committed to throwing 1 birthday party a month for a child in these families. Yesterday was our first party to support this group. It was a mother, her 11 year old daughter (the birthday girl) and 18 of her friends. We decorated the cafe, served hot-dogs and cake, and played some games with the kids. We also gave her a gift. Both, the mother and daughter felt very appreciative of what we did for her. But, for me the biggest high-light was working with our friend. She is an older woman who lives above us, she use to get drunk everyday in the bar we took over. She has some problems in her life and is very lonely. We have spent many hours talking with her and trying to encourage her. We invited her to come and help us with the party. She showed up Sunday all excited and ready to do whatever she could. She was smiling and laughing the entire time while she helped with dishes and decorating and serving the kids. I loved how seeing how just giving her the opportunity to help someone else made such a difference in her attitude.

It was a very busy weekend for me. I am tired and struggling with finding the energy to head into another stressful week. But, it was a good weekend. Things are getting better and better in the cafe and God is working through all the challenges!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I am happy.... :)

In two days it will be our 1 month anniversary for the cafe. So far we have 50 volunteers giving some time in the cafe. We have started collecting coffee and snacks for Cafe Night Light (a state church ministry dedicated to helping woman leave prostitution). We are also in the process of getting Bibles, and the Jesus film for this ministry. Next month we have scheduled our first Mother Help birthday party (we are throwing birthday parties for children in poor single mother homes). We have another of visitors to the shop each day. Most of our visitors are mother groups and parents who are impressed with our play area. And in 2 months a Work and Witness team will be here to help us build the children's room. Things are going very well for us.

I have been thinking a lot about my future and ministry and what I am doing. And I truly love working in Denmark. I enjoy the ministry, the team I work with, the church I am connected to, and the friends I have made. I think God is about to do something big here and I am excited to be here and be apart of it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ministry Opportunities

Sweet Surrender Copenhagen in not only trying to start a church and be a blessing to our community, we are also working as a non-profit cafe trying to support foundations in our area. One of these foundations we have chosen to support is called Night Life Cafe. This ministry is connected to a State Church in our neighborhood. They work with bringing women off of the street and out of a life of prostitution. Our cafe has committed to support them in 2 ways. First, we will do a food drive in our shop, asking people to donate coffee and cookies that will be served to the women when they come into Night Life Cafe. Also, we are trying to raise funds for Bibles for them to hand-out. Because most of the women are not from Denmark, we need Bibles written in English, or Eastern European languages. We are really excited to help with this ministry. We have learned that there are a couple brothels on the street next to us, so this is a ministry that directly affects the area we are working in. If you are interested in helping us raise money, or have Bibles you can donate, please contact me at

Monday, May 13, 2013

Opening and Adjusting

We are open!!!! A week and a half ago we opened Sweet Surrender Copenhagen with a party and 3 days of specials. The following week we tried to get into the swing of things, trying to figure out how much we needed to buy and produce and train volunteers. It has been some busy times. And even though right now there is not a lot of sleep, and a lot of busy work, things are good. It is exciting to be working in a shop again and talking with people. Planning our activities and groups that will be done in the shop. Also, planning to have a work and witness team this summer to build our children's room is busy work, but exciting. There are so many things ahead and so many things to do to keep going right now, it can all be overwhelming and so adjusting needs to take place.

Through all of the hours I am spending just trying to make the daily business happen in the shop, I am finding I don't have time to get my other work done. My sleeping pattern has been completely rocked and it is hard to find time to do the computer work. So, I am adjusting my schedule and figuring out where everything needs to fit. How, I can get enough sleep and still accomplish everything I need to do in a day.

In the shop things are going well. We are attracting a number of customers and everyone loves the look and feel of our place. Also, we have a number of volunteers signing up to help work some hours in the shop. It is a lot of fun to have people come in and look around and enjoy our place. Now we are moving forward and meeting people and blessing the community one coffee cup at a time!

Here are some pictures of our opening night.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

the opening is almost here!

It has been a long time since I have updated my blog. And when I think of all that has happened this month, I don't even know where to begin. We have been extremely busy building and rebuilding and planning. The countdown to opening is almost done. We are now at opening week, 2 days left! I could go into a long explanation of all that we had to do to get the shop ready, but that description would take forever. Instead here is a photo album of all the work we have done in the shop-

progress photos

This week is opening week. We have Monday and Tuesday to finish up everything and then we open Wednesday evening with an event for kids. We continue the party all week long, including a concert on Friday and ending with yummy Brunch on Saturday.

There has been a lot of stress and pressure lately. Exhaustion has almost taken over. I really feel like I have been running on empty for a couple weeks now. But, in the midst of the exhaustion there is some excitement that we will soon be open! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Week Of Progress

Sometimes you can spend hours and hours working and everything still looks like a crazy mess or a horribly long process that will never be completed. At least this week was not like that.

I have worked many hours in the shop trying to be the best assistant I can to our DS/Pastor/Project Coordinator/Fix everything guy. This week the task was to prepare for the floor guy and the painter. Both were coming on Friday. Since we have a floor with more waves than the California cost and spots with a drop so dangerous it could be part of the Mavericks surf tournament, we had a lot of prep work to do before the floor guy came to lay the foundation layer. And so the entire week was spent laying a geometrical nightmare of plywood to create a level and stable foundation. Of course with my illogical mind this whole process looked like one confusing mess to me. It became my job to help lift and move boards and to make sure they were screwed down well. Along the way I also did some small finishing tasks to the walls. 

Finally after many, many hours of labor, cleaning, and preparing I met the floor guy Friday morning and this time he went to work. After we spent days ripping six layers of carpet, wood, and cement flooring out, it's kind of defeating to watch almost that many layers being put back on. Well, not on every part of the floor but on some of the lowest parts. Still it makes you think why didn't we just stop at the first layer of carpet. That would have saved us a lot of work. Well, most often it takes a lot of work to do a job right. We will now have an even floor throughout the shop and there is not the threat of the floor breaking beneath us anymore. So, yes all of that work may have been hard and long and set us back on our time schedule, but we will be able to guarantee that our customers won't fall through the floor. And even though it does not have the final flooring on it, it does look like a beautiful glassy sea instead of a coast line.

Friday evening I also met the painter and left him to spray the first primer layer. I am so excited to walk into the shop on Saturday and see how bright the white makes it. Also, I am excited that the amount of dust in the shop has dropped enormously.

So this week we see progress because it is beginning to look like a building we can use instead of a construction site (as long as you don't look in the kitchen, bathrooms, or storage rooms).

Yes, there has been a lot of sweat, blood, and tears (I really did start to cry when the vacuum cleaner died on me with still half the shop to go). Like anything in life it takes getting some bruises and shedding some tears to grow to a better place. :)

Help! We Need Some Supplies

Right now we are in the middle of remodeling the main cafe room and building the coffee bar. It has been a long hard process.  This week I met with the CEO of an industrial kitchen supplier here in Denmark. He is in the process of drawing plans and providing a list of suggestions for the kitchen appliances. The blessing of this is that the Founder and CEO of this company (H. W. Larsen) has come to see our place because they were interested in our idea of a non-profit shop and are preparing all plans free of charge. But, they can not provide us with all appliances free of charge. So, we are looking for help in being able to purchase much needed Kitchen and Bar items. These prices are actually discounted prices that they will give to us. Here is the list of items-
Item                                   DKK         USD
Espresso machine             17,788          3,086 (has been donated! THANK YOU!!!)
Coffee grinder (Espresso)      4,995             867
Coffee grinder (Black coffee) 4,375     759
Coffee brewer (Black coffee)  3,173      551
Display cooler (small)          3,750      651
Tapestry for wall                  1,500      260

Dishwasher                         22,089    3,832
Baking oven                           5,505       955
Toaster                                   1,961       340
Blender                                   5,019       871
Hand blender                           3,346       581

If you are interested in helping us out. Please email me (or leave a comment with your email address) and I will give you more details.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

playing or working... a month of progress

Today marks my 1 month anniversary for my second term in Denmark. I can't believe it has only been a month because I feel like I have been back forever. We have been working hard in the shop. I have been in the shop, almost every day, slowly work away at all of the many projects and many tasks it takes to make a cafe. The past week I have gotten to add cementing walls to my list of experiences and tasks that I have accomplished while doing ministry. It has been a time of work, work, work. But, all work and no play makes Katie a boring girl. So, during the times of chipping and sanding away at floors, walls, and ceilings I have found ways to keep myself and others entertained. Let's just face it, I am good at finding crazy things to do. Like-
deciding to climb out of a window just because I can do it. :) But, really we have made a lot of progress in the shop. We are a day of work away from the professionals coming in. The professionals will paint the whole shop with the sprayer and lay the flooring. We have been delayed with the floor. When we discovered the hole that goes from our shop to the basement and that part of it was rotted wood, we had to stop and now wait for it to be examined before we can continue on. The only plus side of this is that because it is a building problem, and not just our problem we will have some help paying for the repair. To see the progress of the shop check out this photo album- sweet surrender copenhagen

At least all of the work has not been the gross, hard, dirty, exhausting kind. Last week we met with two different coffee suppliers. It was so nice to discuss and taste coffee, and of course it resulted in an over-caffeinated Katie. But, they had fresh Kenyan to try- I could not resist! We have chosen our coffee supplier. :) Now we are almost a coffee shop. We just need the espresso machine set up!

Our opening date has been moved to the first of May. We are still in need of Work & Witness teams this summer. We are also in a real need to purchase items for the shop. We still need kitchen and bar appliances. If you are interested in helping us, please email me. Thanks!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Tour of Sweet Surrender Copenhagen

Thank You to all of our supporters. Here is a video showing what our shop is now and what we hope it will be in the future. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

the work has begun

I have been back in Danmark for about a week now. And I have been busy busy. It is go time for work in the shop. I jumped right in with the cafe team. We have been working at the shop every evening and all day on Saturday. We have had a number of volunteers from the church that have been helping us. Our first goal is to get the main rooms fixed up and ready to use. We also need to do some serious cleaning in the bathrooms and kitchen before we can open. But remodeling them and turning to old beer storage room into the children's room will have to wait until we have work and witness teams to help us. 

So it is time for us to do the hard core manual labor. I can now add floor ripper and wall sander to my resume. We needed to rip out the old carpet to be able to lay a new floor. We pulled up the first layer if disgusting beer and puke stained carpet only to find another layer and then another and another. We tore up 6 layers in all before we found the bottom wood floor. But that was only in half of the main room. When we started pulling layers on the other side of the room we found that the previous owners had laid cement in place of a couple layers of carpet. So we get to bust cement in the middle of our carpet ripping. The other great task has been to sand all of the wooden walls in the shop so that we can paint them. And by all wooden walls, I mean the entire shop. It has been hours of arm work-outs and dust baths. 

On the exciting side of work (because let's just face as accomplished as the construction work makes me feel, it would never be my first choice of work) we have been designing a bar, looking at different appliances/machines and talking about menus. All the wonderful things that make this old dirty bar a cafe. 

This has been a week of the joys of being a volunteer missionary. Switching from manual laborer, barista, cook, and minister. Life as a volunteer is never boring. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Leaving the States.... Again

It is almost that time again. Soon I will be packing that big suitcase, weighing it, stuffing it, hoping to get every little last thing into it. Then there will be airport checkins with heavy bagage payments and security checks, followed by long boring waits, feeling completely trapped in a little space for hours on end, wishing I could actually sleep on a flight. Only to land across the ocean, go through it again, but at least this little space is much shorter. Then there is picking up the heavy suitcase and going through customs and finally seeing someone, anyone from the church is like seeing the most important person in the world. Because that person will be the one who drives me to the place I get to crash, my Danish home. Yeah, it's that horrible traveling time again. I don't think I will ever enjoy this process.

But, even though the travel time is a pain, it will all be worth it when I walk through the door of my home in Denmark. I am ready to go. (maybe not physically yet, but emotionally and mentally.) I am returning to some new exciting adventures. We now have purchased a location for our shop. The team has already started the process of cleaning it out and preparing to do some remodeling work so we can open it soon. I am really excited to return to the shop and get things started.

I have raised enough funds to live and work in Denmark for another year! Thank you to all who helped me raise all of the funds. I appreciate all of the help. If you want to help me through out the year, you can donate online at- Katie Fitch in Denmark . Also, remember to check back here for info of what is going on in Denmark!