#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Clean Water, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, I NEED AFRICA, Orphan Care, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

Our time at Blessed Camp

Hey, Kathryn here!

I’m one of the members of the Mocha Club Journey 2018 team!  I’m excited to share the first-half of our journey with you at Blessed Camp through my photos below:

Meet Beatrice. She shares her talent of sewing by teaching other women in the community sewing skills so they are able to support their families.  Here, my team member, Fallon purchased a skirt sewn by Beatrice; and her sweet daughter, Favour wanted to join the picture!                                                                                                                                          >>>>

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What a blessing these children were. We loved playing with them and learning about how they keep busy…no iPhones, iPads or tv, just their beautiful imaginations!  These girls found a rope, so of course, jump rope it is!  We also experienced jump rope without a rope…try that at home!

 

 

 

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Peter, also known as ‘Pastah — Director of Action Ministry and Mocha Club partner, walked us through the first edition of Blessed Camp, which was originally known as Rejected Village.  Next to the leprosy hospital, patients were not welcome back to their homes, therefore they had to create their own community.  Today Blessed Camp is full of love, life and lots of laughter!  Here you see individuals going about daily life — carrying wood and making concrete.

And Mother Margaret, “Maggie”, welcomed us into her home.  She was one of the first people to arrive in Blessed Camp and due to leprosy has difficulty walking. But rain or shine, finds her way to church every Sunday!                                                                             >>>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The second day we were at Blessed Camp, we helped participate in their weekly sanitation and prevention of parasites known as jiggers. The leaders of Blessed Camp along with Doctor John are able to serve not only the children in the school, but have opened their doors to the entire community of children.            >>>>

 

 

 

What is Blessed Camp planning next? A guest house for future visitors!

 

Our trip to Blessed Camp was short and sweet, however we will treasure these memories forever!  And, of course, never forget these sweet faces that greeted us every morning and left us with big smiles!

 

Education, FROM THE FIELD

How your love stretches all the way to Kenya

Thirty-two years ago, with 3 young children in tow, Irene started attending a new church in an affluent part of downtown Nairobi. Surrounded by international consulates, embassies and ambassador residences, this church offered Irene a sense of security as she sought to minister to the affluent neighborhood. But soon, she discovered the other side of the hill.

Tucked behind the embassies and gated homes was a pitted, dirt road with a gate – not to keep people out, but to keep the slum dwellers in – trapped in lives of extreme poverty, ostracized from the opulence around them. It would be several years later that Irene would choose to step past the gate and enter their world of extreme poverty. What she discovered was cycles of poverty and powerlessness which cemented their feelings of hopelessness. She quickly realized the value of her degree in Education and knew she had to act.

This was the beginning of the New Dawn Educational Center – a secondary school for children in the slum who otherwise would be forced to end their education after primary school. Since the founding in 2002, Irene has been the chief champion for nearly 400 students who have walked the halls of this high school. When we asked her why she said “Christ’s love compels me to make the most of the time I have here on earth – it is awfully short and people are desperately in need of love! I felt compelled to show this love of God practically to the people of Huruma whose lives spoke of a people who had reason not to believe in a loving God.”

Irene goes on to say “Not all human needs require financial solutions; God provides us all that we need to create solutions that witness to His love, forgiveness, and material provision for the nations. He raises us for such a time as this.”

When we asked her how you can continue to help, Irene’s reply was “you can help me do this better by praying for me to overcome my inner limitations. You can come here and help me love on the New Dawn community. We love each other better by genuinely caring – this is demonstrated through giving time to each other and sharing material things.” We couldn’t agree more! Check out how these US partners are choosing to love Irene in person this month.

Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us online – hashtag #LovedPeopleLovePeople & #mochaclub and we’ll send you a Mocha Club magnet!

Follow the Mocha Club team on the 2018 Mocha Club Journey!

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS

Meet a Member: Fallon

Meet Fallon. Fallon works for Mocha Club and is passionately supportive of our partners like Irene. Twelve years ago, a 10-year-old girl in Nashville heard a call to care for those with physical needs in Africa. Over a period of time, she, her family, an army of volunteers and Irene linked arms to put on a race in Nashville to raise funds for New Dawn. The race was so successful, they ran it 9 more times.

Irene’s vision was to take an idea that was started here in the US and tweak it to work in Africa. With the blessing of the race volunteers and this young girl, Irene boldly decided to take the idea and invite local Kenyans to help financially support New Dawn. On August 11th, 2018, Irene will be running the 2nd annual Run For Hope in Nairobi, Kenya. Earlier this year, when Irene asked for help and guidance, encouragement, and helpers, Fallon was all in. Along with here, a group of four people from Nashville jumped on a plane to help Irene facilitate this race.

When we asked Fallon why she was going she said “whenever I see someone giving from themselves for someone else’s benefit, I want to be a part of it. I love being a part of a community of givers that are helping a community of dreamers.” Of Irene she said “Irene and New Dawn are a clear picture of the word unstoppable. A woman had a dream to provide education for kids in her community. Logistics, costs, labor, and details did not stop her. Her own self-doubt did not stop her. And now, the kids that attend New Dawn are also unstoppable. Their lack of resources or situation in life do not stop them from achieving their dream to go to school and learn. They are a constant example to me of how to push through my own circumstances and be unstoppable in my dreams and desires.”

When Fallon referenced her own skills and resources she said, “I have been given the gift of time and money and I want to use them well. The Lord has given me a heart to learn and appreciate people and cultures of all kinds and any opportunity to learn more – and love more – I want to take.

Follow Fallon and her team on Instagram and Facebook as they travel across Kenya and support and encourage the New Dawn staff and students.

Also, you can meet the members of the 2018 Mocha Club Journey team here!

Uncategorized

When you thrive, we thrive.

I am convinced of the idea that when you thrive, we thrive.

Its nothing new or special – but its true. The concept that the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts. This is true in families, its true in classrooms, its true in communities. And its why we do what we do at Mocha Club. We believe that as we strengthen individuals within the communities we serve in Africa, we add to their ability to thrive together. When we work to create thriving individuals who understand the concept that “Loved people love people” they choose to leverage all that they have and all that they are to love well the people around them and create a space for themselves collectively to flourish.

LINK TO TEE ON MC STORE

I have spent some time recently with our African leaders and continue to hear of the power of this work. When the time is taken to invest in the lives of men and women leaders, communities thrive. As we invest in these leaders, they are gaining language, awareness, and skills to care for those in their communities. Often the circumstances of these communities stay hard – they continue to live in war, or drought, or refugee camps – but they thrive. Their perspective has shifted. They are leveraging all of what they have to dream of a future for themselves and their children. And they are flourishing amidst the hard and broken of their surroundings.

Its a gift to work and walk alongside them. I believe we are made to care for others. Its part of our DNA. We want to be a part of something larger than ourselves. We want to leave a legacy. We want to have mattered. This is a space where we can do that! We get to rally with friends from across the United States and leverage what we have and who we are and what we know to care for our friends in Africa. To dream with them. To equip. To walk and work alongside them.

Join our Mocha Club family!

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA NEWS, AFRICA TRIPS, CAMPAIGNS, Clean Water, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, Orphan Care, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

#MCJourney2018 : meet Fallon!

And last but not least, it’s time to introduce the remaining team member of the Mocha Club Journey 2018!

Lastly…

Meet Fallon!

Hey friends! I’m the trip leader for our journey this August! I officially joined the Mocha Club team in Nashville in early 2013, but have been a long-time member and supporter.  

As the Mocha Club Artist & Member Care Manager, I’ll make sure your trip to Africa is just one of the many ways you stay connected to the club! I love dancing, baseball (Go Tigers!), and leftovers.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

 

 

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA NEWS, AFRICA TRIPS, CAMPAIGNS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

#MCJourney2018 : meet Allison!

We are excited to introduce you to another person on our Mocha Club Journey 2018 team! 

Up next…

Meet Allison!

I’m thrilled to be heading to Kenya and I wish I could take all of you with us! I have been a Mocha Club member for 9 years and have loved learning the stories of our friends in Africa and hearing about their generosity, creativity, and ingenuity as they build schools, educate kids, and so much more. When I visited Kenya in 2009, I was inspired by many people (see ancient blog posts here from MC projects in Kitui and Nairobi) but felt especially connected to the students at New Dawn because of their courageous personal stories. As a MC volunteer, I helped raise funds for them for many years with friends in Nashville, and I’m so excited to visit them again and walk in classrooms and talk with teachers.

More about me… I’m the Managing Director of the Nashville Office of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We fundraise to support St. Jude’s mission of finding cures and saving children through wonderful volunteers, corporate partners, and brilliant committees who host dinners, concerts, marathons, radio-thons, walks, golf tournaments, a rodeo, and much more. When I’m not working, I love yoga, cooking, gardening, and walks with friends in my Nashville neighborhood. I was also recently described as “A Nashville food blogger without the blog,” because I love trying new restaurants and always have a new favorite.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

**If you would like to donate – either to Allison’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Allison’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Education, EVENTS, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

#MCJourney2018 : meet Angel!

It’s time to introduce another team member who is joining the Mocha Club Journey 2018! 

Up next…

Meet Angel!

I am a singer songwriter/humanitarian/ substitute teacher currently residing in Nashville. I’m touring and also following my heart to serve others all over the world.

It’s not often that I’m not playing music and writing songs but I also have my hands full in other areas as well! I love my kids when I’m substitute teaching. I also adore acting and writing short stories. Books and running a 5K is also part of my many interests. My quiet time is gold and meaningful conversation is why I was put on the planet. Traveling and doing work with people from all walks of life is a priority as well as spending time with family and friends who I would be lost without.  I am so excited to be serving the people of Mocha Club this August and walking the path of the life God has for me!! What a gift.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

**If you would like to donate – either to Angel’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Angel’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, MOCHATERNS

#MCJourney2018 : meet Kathryn!

T minus one month and we will be heading out on the Mocha Club Journey 2018! And we want you to meet the team!

Up first…

Meet Kathryn!

I have now lived in Nashville almost 11 years (crazy!) after growing up outside of Atlanta and attending Auburn University!  I have always had a big heart and passion for helping others, which drove me to start being involved in mission trips and non-profits here in Nashville.  When I’m not playing with my niece and nephews and hanging with my family, you can find me on my porch with a good book, having a glass of wine with dear friends, or eating my way through Nashville’s amazing restaurants.  Having been involved with Mocha Club through Ellie’s Run, I am beyond excited to go on this adventure with Mocha Club and these ladies.  I feel extremely blessed to be able to learn from the incredible people of Kenya and play a small role in supporting Mocha Club’s mission!


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

**If you would like to donate – either to Kathryn’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Kathryn’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

 

FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

How Tito Is Love

Tito is our South Sudan Country Director. Although he has spent most of his life surrounded by war, Tito maintains an incredible capacity to love others. Here he explains what compels him to do so.

“We are truly the generation that can make history and it starts with us leading the way by not being selfish. The more you empower others and embrace team and mentoring – I guarantee, you will manifest more opportunity than you can handle.” –Gerard Adams

Fifteen years after hearing this, Gerard Adams’ message still rings in my head. I know with the knowledge God has given me I can become an agent of change. I know church leaders can be the source of hope and peace for my country.

As a college student in Kenya, I would periodically go back to South Sudan. I saw church leaders waiting for relief, waiting for someone else to make a difference – this I strongly disagreed with. Our motivation is supposed to be the love of God, but people were waiting to be given rather than giving. That was the state of the church I wanted to see transformed.

This compels me to be part of changing the situation.

I realized that sharing Christ through your own life, way of living, what you do, your business – in relation to all the difficulties South Sudanese are going through at the camps and villages, you can still be able to give hope. If you do this with integrity, peace can be realized in our communities, churches, and the country at large.

It is all the product of love.

The money you give in love has an effect – it has blessings on both sides and can actually change lives. What friends and donors have given in love has enabled us to train about 4,000 church leaders since 2004.

From being a student seeing a lot of need to taking action, I found peace and can now see hope in South Sudan.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us online – hashtag #LovedPeopleLovePeople & #mochaclub and we’ll send you a Mocha Club sticker!

AFRICA NEWS, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

Loved people love people

Loved people love people
A note from Mocha Club President Emily Blackledge.

 I often get asked why I do this work…why Africa?

My answer is simple: loved people love people. And for me, that answer is not specific to Africa. Sure, I work at an NGO that focuses on Africa, but I have a lot of hours in my day that aren’t spent at work. I serve at my church, I care for a family, I volunteer in the inner city.

In each case, my “why” is always the same: I am loved, so I love.

Being loved is an asset. It’s a gift that I have been given. And I don’t believe we are given gifts for ourselves alone. I have been loved, and I have been loved well. So out of that love, I have much to give.

I see that modeled so well when I travel across Africa.

Places and people who do not know me, welcome me in, offer me food and drink, give from what they have. Why? Because it has been done for them. Somewhere along the way, someone loved them, offered them food and drink, welcomed them in.

It’s a mark of humanity that I want to champion in all parts of my life. I can only give from what I have – and love is my best asset. The love of Christ compels me.

Loved people love people.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us online — hashtag #LovedPeopleLovePeople & #mochaclub and we’ll send you a Mocha Club magnet!