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AFRICA TRIPS

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA NEWS, Education, EVENTS, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Orphan Care, PERSPECTIVES

When Africa Comes to Nashville

A team of five Mocha Club members made a 25-hour trek to Nairobi, Kenya on Friday, August 3rd. For three of them, this was their first time to travel with Mocha Club to Africa. Their purpose was two-fold: to use their assets – their love, their experience organizing fundraising races here in the US, and their capacity to care well for others; and to learn from the ingenuity, the solutions, and the ongoing stamina of the leaders we walk alongside in Africa.

They stopped first in Mombasa, Kenya. This huge port town on the edge of the Indian Ocean is a major stop for many wealthy tourists in Africa. But it’s also the home of one of the world’s largest and last leprosy camps. We’ve shared a bit about Peter Ochiel, but these members wanted to see first-hand what it looks like to love and care for individuals rejected by their communities and ostracized because of a curable disease. They visited homes, they removed parasites from children’s hands and feet, they laughed and shared meals with the staff and families who give their whole lives in this corner of the world.

Next, they moved to the Huruma slum to spend three days with Irene Tongoi. Many of these Mocha Club members have helped organize a fundraising race here in the US to support the work Irene is doing in the New Dawn school. As she and her staff prepared for the second annual running in Nairobi, she prayed God would send her additional help and encouragement in the final few days. That help came in the shape of these members, several of whom knew exactly what it looked like to throw a race like this. Their contribution of organization, encouragement, and passion helped make this race highly successful.

When these members got back, they organized a time to share about their trip – and Peter Ochiel was in town – so it was a reunion of sorts. While they were together, we circled back to their original purpose: in what ways had their gifts been helpful in Kenya? Peter’s reply was encouragement. Their presence was seen in this community as such an honor. Their love and encouragement and willingness to touch the skin of an outcast brought joy, and laughter, and dignity. Their touch was a tangible expression of the hours of work Peter puts in every month. As to what they learned, Kathryn mentioned how simple an act it was to engage and ask questions about someone’s story — but also how profound. Fallon nodded her head and added “it’s so simple to give the love I have to another.”

Success was experienced by them all. Community – a sense of belonging and being known, a place where the pronouns used are “we” — was deepened.

Read more from these members and see their trip in pictures here.

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Education, HQ, Orphan Care, Uncategorized

The extraordinary at New Dawn : guest post by Angel Snow

What an experience it was for me to be welcomed to such an extraordinary environment where children are taken in and loved as they truly are.  Visiting New Dawn and their staff had an impact on me that I can’t fully put into words.

New Dawn Educational Center was built to restore hope and bring healing to the Huruma Village and their children. And it is their vision to develop their students mentally, socially, spiritually and physically in accordance with Luke 2:52.

I found myself spending time with several of their talented staff including David who teaches biology and chemistry and is the academic master for New Dawn High School.

He was kind enough to share his experiences as an educator and how humble these kids are.

Song “Maze” from singer/songwriter, Angel Snow

All I know for sure is the love and confidence that shine through these students at New Dawn comes from a source beyond us yet also exists in the hearts of the brilliant staff that God has chosen to lead them into a better way of life.

To be born into an environment where the living situation is not ideal, and to eventually be seated in a place where education, unconditional love, spiritual and emotional support flow from God’s chosen people is such a blessing beyond anything I can imagine. It must be such a life changing experience that only they can fully tell you about! I am so thankful to know that there are critical changes taking place all over the world today especially at New Dawn School. I know my experience there is only scratching the surface of what God has in store for these children and the generations to come.

I can’t wait to return! So happy to be a part of something so extraordinary!

Angel Snow, Mocha Club Journey 2018 trip member

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

Our time at Blessed Camp : guest post by Kathryn Tuck

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!

 

#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!

#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

 

AFRICA TRIPS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

MOCHA CLUB JOURNEY 2018 : RUN FOR HOPE

Have you ever dreamed of running a race in Africa? Do you have a heart to serve others around the world? Do you love to meet new people around the world?

Join our team for the Mocha Club Journey 2018 trip – Run for Hope!


This summer we are 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.

  • Dates: August3- August 13, 2018 (dates could vary 1-2 days on each side, depending on flight availability)
  • Cost: $3,700 – 4,000 (depending on single or double room occupancy)
  • Trip Book & Application: Click here!
  • Interested? Email fklug(at)themochaclub.org. We will follow up with details! But don’t wait too long… space is limited! 

<< APPLY TODAY>>

(or download the application & mail in):

Mocha Club
P.O. Box 25266
Nashville, TN 37202


Meet Your Trip Leader:


Fallon officially joined the Mocha Club team in Nashville in early 2013, but has been a long-time member and supporter.  As the Mocha Club Artist & Member Care Manager, she’ll make sure your trip to Africa is just one of the many ways you stay connected to the club! Fallon loves dancing, baseball (Go Tigers!), and leftovers.

AFRICA NEWS, AFRICA TRIPS, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, PERSPECTIVES

Welcome to Adjumani Refugee Camp

 

REFUGEE: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.

This definition has been my understanding of a refugee for years and the images we see on US television paint a grim reality that thousands endure each year as they are impacted by the trauma forcing them from their homes.

In February, I was able to go and visit Mocha Club’s Country Director and staff who are working in northern Uganda with refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan. As we began our drive into the camps, my heart was ready for what my head was sure I was about to encounter.

Our journey led us to Adjumani, Uganda where I first met Anthony, an older man with a kind smile who looked to be in his late sixties. He was standing in front of the tarped structure he now calls home. Last September, when the fighting got close to his village in South Sudan, he sent his mother, his wife, and his five young children to safety in Uganda. He stayed behind, separated from his loved ones, salvaging what he could of their farm until army rebels took over three months later, forcing him to flee.

As Anthony shared his story, I could see the fear and heartbreak he had lived through on his face. He was not sure what he would find as he crossed the Nile and made his way to the processing tent at Adjumani where all new refugees must go to get registered and ask about their relatives. Did his mother survive the trek three months ago? Were all of his children still alive? Would his wife be there? It’s a reality I truly can’t fathom.

Anthony’s story lined up with what I have seen on TV or witnessed in other camps before. I had expected Adjumani to be unfathomable: hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees; makeshift communities dotted with tarped roofs; tons of stories just like Anthony’s.

I’ve been in many places like this before – places where poverty, war and trauma are overwhelming and it looks like – it feels like – all hope is lost. In these camps, there is a tension that exists and becomes normal. Refugee vs. Peacekeeper. Refugee vs. Refugee. Refugee vs. Local. This tension is often even tangibly represented by a huge fence around the camp – not to keep refugees safe, but to keep them in. In this reality, a refugee is fighting to survive – they never even dream about thriving.

Adjumani is different.

As Tito, our South Sudan Country Director, showed me around, I began to see things I had not expected. I saw smiles, I saw community, I saw – HOPE. Tito pointed out opportunity, vision, dreams, and plans for a future here. He was breathing hope to life.

I struggled to reconcile what I had expected with what was right in front of me, then it hit me… these people’s lives had been entirely wrecked, forever altered. But they were finally at a place where they could stop running.

Hundreds of thousands of people like Anthony had fought to make it here. But when they arrived, they found kindness and were offered land next to their Ugandan neighbors. I was able to ask several Ugandans, “Why are you so willing to share your land, your schools, your economy with so many South Sudanese refugees?” Their response? “Because ten years ago, they did that for us.”

For decades, this region has lived with civil war, with night commutes and child soldiers. Where we see a line separating South Sudan and Uganda, they don’t see anything. They lived here long before that line was drawn; they’ve been neighbors for centuries; they’ve hosted each other in times of crisis. And they continue to do so — because when all else fails, community remains.

Mochas Matter.

I now had a new understanding and appreciation for refugees. While what I saw was different than my expectations, it did not diminish the very real needs, which are still present. Remember those tarp roofs? Tito shared with us that they only last three months and an immediate need in the refugee community is to find a solution for them. Thanks to you and the Mocha Club community we have been able to provide zinc roofs for many of the refugee families.

adjumani_anthony___betty_in_front_of_their_house__will_get_zinc_roof__720

Oh, and Anthony? His family is one that will benefit from the zinc roofs – the roofs that are a result of your mochas. That’s me, Anthony, and his wife Betty in front of their current home, tarp and all. Soon that tarp will be replaced by the zinc sheets he has received. And for the next ten years, those zinc sheets – your mochas – will be the solid roof over his family in this community that has become their home.

Next?

I asked Tito what was next – for the refugees and for how Mocha Club could support them beyond a solid roof under which their families could lay their heads. He said he dreams of a place where they can rest their hearts as well. So he is beginning to teach these refugees how to walk through their stories of trauma and loss and begin to heal.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President