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#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!

 

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 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 NEWS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care

War, poverty…and thriving?

War and poverty have written much of Congo’s story.

But there’s a church in the countryside taking back the narrative. They are rewriting their story as that of a thriving community.

How? Your everyday generosity allowed Pastor Jean to dream of a new reality for the children in his community. Then you gave him the chance to learn how to make it happen.

Your support of Mocha Club helps equip local leaders like Pastor Jean.

What was this community like before? Pastor Jean explains, “I saw in the streets many kids. Children filled our church every morning. Some wept. They’d never smile and would get aggressive. Joy was missing and it was difficult for me to see. I tried to help them, bring joy to them with songs and dances, but it was not enough.”

Pastor Jean dreamt of helping the children in his community, but he didn’t know how.

 Thanks to you, he received training in child trauma-healing. He learned how to help children thrive despite the trauma around them.

“It was a blessing. It opened my mind and made me strong in this ministry, which is not only a pillarto my church but that will help many children in this place. We’ve become friends with these kids and have helped them commit their lives and pains to Jesus who can take care of us. Now I know the trauma these children live with and how to lead them. Now they can get healing in my church, in my family, and in our environment.”

In a place where thriving seems impossible, Pastor Jean is changing the storyline. His church has become an agent of change for traumatized children, a place where the next generation can heal and grow and thrive together.

He has been the difference to his community, and you have been the difference to him. Together, we are building Africa’s dreams.

Clean Water, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Orphan Care, Women at Risk

The secret to making a difference

“I don’t have the time, the money, or the giftings to make a difference.”

Ever caught yourself thinking this way? Peter Ochiel was once in your shoes. Now he runs a school, a church, and a clinic in one of the world’s last leper colonies.

How’d he do it?

He focused on the assets around him and took it one step at a time.

He embodies the asset-based development strategy Mocha Club teaches, and that you help fund as a member.

Peter was working in a restaurant in Kenya when one day, he met a man on the streets begging for school fees for his children. When Peter asked to meet his children, the man took him to Tumbe Village, which literally means “a place for rejected people.” It’s a leper colony that’s home to about 30 families who have been rejected by society.

Peter felt compelled to act. So he started small. He began going to visit every Sunday and renamed the village Blessed Camp.

People began to take notice of what he was doing and they joined him.

Peter’s heart for this village was contagious. The group started pulling together their assets and gifts to open a church in Blessed Camp, as well as a school for the children. Then they opened a medical clinic to help the lepers and, soon after, a feeding program. He built up this community step by step, utilizing the assets and talents of people around him in Mombasa.

Today, Peter’s organization, Action Ministry, is a Mocha Club partner. Your mochas are school fees for the children in the camp, medical supplies for the lepers, hope for a new generation in Kenya.

So his network of assets now includes you, and your assets now help him do his work.

Already, you’re providing hope for a new generation in Kenya.

It’s easy to think you’re helpless. But like Peter, you’re not. Start small, focus on what you have, and know that you’re already making a difference to people like Peter through your gifts to Mocha Club.

Not a Mocha Club member yet and ready to start making a difference? You can do so for less than $1/day. Start using what you have today and join Mocha Club!