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I NEED AFRICA

I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, MOCHATERNS

Mochatern Monday 09.12.16: “Sit, sit and watch for a bit. Listen, listen a while before you speak.”

This summer, I went to a faraway place. The dirt covers your feet there, the mountains loom large and the children shout “mzungu!” (white person) as you pass. I went to Bundibugyo, a small town in rural western Uganda, and it did not leave me where it found me.

While in Bundibugyo, I learned to say about forty words in Lubwisi, the local language. I learned to say hello, goodbye, and thank you. I could say chicken, cow, and goat. I was a far cry from any sort of real conversation. I learned to buy chapati (a tortilla-flatbread-pancake sort of thing) from the lady chapati maker on the corner, though I too often forgot to greet her before placing my order. I learned my way around the market, through stalls of cabbage, tomatoes, fish, beans, and rice, always struggling to figure out how Ugandan shillings worked in my American-dollar brain. Though I was welcomed and loved by both the community I lived in and the organization I joined, as I drove eastward to the Entebbe airport on my way out of the country in late July, I knew I’d barely scraped the surface.

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I think this gets at one of the biggest things I realized, in those weeks in Uganda: the immense length of time it would take to really become a part of the community. You can’t simply pop over the Rwenzori Mountains from Fort Portal and start enchanting all the locals with your enthusiasm, your willingness to help, or your care for children or elderly people or pregnant women. No, it takes a bit more than that. Because even if you’ve got the Lubwisi down, you’ve got an accent too; and do you really know the culture yet? Do you know why western Uganda is the way it is? Do you fully appreciate all the nuances of life there? And let’s not forget you’re a Mzungu, a white person from a place very far away. Sit, sit and watch for a bit. Listen, listen a while before you speak.

This lesson is one that has served me well, even after returning to America, and into my internship here at Mocha Club. Much of the work that Mocha Club supports is done in places like Bundibugyo, places where joy and brokenness and sorrow and gladness live side by side. The Home Again Children’s Home, for instance, a ministry supported by Mocha Club that provides a home for over 70 children, is in Kaihura, Ugandaa town I drove right through on my journey back to America. These are places with need, but they are not places devoid of of histories, of traditions, of language, or of people who love them. The joy for us comes when we listen, when we wait, and when we join in the work that is already being done.

That’s the real privilege, isn’t it? Even here in the States, somewhere around 8,000 miles from a place like East Africa, we who are a part of the Mocha Club get to join in this work. We get to go to shows, contribute a few dollars a month, see photos, and hear stories of the work already begunwith, not for or around or in spite of, the people in places like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda. We join in. And maybe that’s all way more humbling than we expectedbut oh, see how much better it all is, and watch how much we learn.

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I NEED AFRICA

I Need Africa vv. 005 : CONTENTMENT

Since we launched the “I need Africa” 2.0 campaign a year ago, we’ve been pulling out quotes from the INA story to highlight as themes, to focus on the glorious truths that Africa gives us.


First, it was PEACE — with the launch of the Pocket Tee and fashionABLE INA scarf.  Then, it was LOVE — with the “Love is Sovereign”mug and Pocket Tote. Then we had JOY – when we partnered with Miriam Designs to create a “joy” necklace. And most recently, we highlighted GROW and partnered with Jessi from Naptime Diaries shop to provide a place for you to write down your story with a journal set.

Now, we are wrapping up the 5 version INA story with CONTENTMENT.

happiness

With the holidays already kicking into full gear, our minds are inundated with christmas trees, movies, christmas music, time with family, buying presents for everyone on your list, and more.  This year, we ourselves want to sit back and receive the gift of contentment.  We don’t need what we have, and we have what we need.  And our happiness is based on much more than the material.
need

 

 

 

 

 

 

We met Valerie and Chelsea from Love By Design at the Influence Conference this year and their hearts are full of a passion to support non-profits all around the world.  They created two exclusive print designs that will be available on our store. These phrases share our sentiment that we need Africa and we learn so much from our African friends.

OR you can get it free by joining MC (or inviting a friend to join your team!).*

*Limit 2 free items per person, per collection.
*If you have questions about inviting and your unique personal URL, email us at info(at)themochaclub.org
*Once you (or your friend) join, you’ll receive an email giving you instructions on how to get your free stuff!

 

 

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 Over the last year we’ve shared some of our favorite exerpts from the I Need Africa journal entry that has become the heart of our organization, as well as opportunities for you to share the story with your friends. As you might imagine, along with our passion for Africa, we have a love for writing down stories that impact our lives. Now it’s your turn, we’d love to hear your “I Need Africa” story. Maybe you’ve been to Africa and it changed your entire perspective, maybe you went on a short-term mission trip, or served someone in need. Regardless of the location or circumstance, we’d love to share your story of serving with the Mocha Club community. In exchange for your story we’ll send the first 30 people one of our brand new I Need Africa journals as an encouragement to keep writing your story. We want to hear about those times when what you learned trickled down from your head into your heart.

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beautiful photography by Madeline from Harper Photography [ harper photographs.com ]

 [email your story to info@themochaclub.org]

Featured, I NEED AFRICA

I Need Africa vv. 004 : GROW

Since we launched the “I need Africa” 2.0 campaign a year ago, we’ve been pulling out quotes from the INA story to highlight as themes, to focus on the glorious truths that Africa gives us.
First, it was PEACE — with the launch of the Pocket Tee and fashionABLE INA scarf.  Then, it was LOVE — with the “Love is Sovereign”mug and Pocket Tote. Then it was JOY – when we partnered with Miriam Designs to create a “joy” necklace.

Now, we are excited to GROW

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beautiful photography by Madeline from Harper Photography [ harper photographs.com ]

What’s the product?! We are so excited to announce a collaboration with our very dear friend Jessi from Naptime Diaries to design this two set journal bundle!  These journals are exclusive to Mocha Club and can be purchased in the MC store separately for $8 each or together for $14. 

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photography by Madeline from Harper Photography

 

OR you can get it free by joining MC (or inviting a friend to join your team!).*
We find that the more we continue to give to Africa, the more we receive, and we want to continue to challenge the perception that Africa needs only our pity and charity, and instead seek to reveal the truth that its people have much to offer.  And we want to GROW in that knowledge and share it with others.


Click below to watch the INA video and learn more about the heart behind what we do at Mocha Club…

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*Limit 2 free items per person, per collection.
*If you have questions about inviting and your unique personal URL, email us at info(at)themochaclub.org
*Once you (or your friend) join, you’ll receive an email giving you instructions on how to get your free stuff!

I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

Love is Sovereign – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love is Sovereign VDay Mocha Club

It’s the season of cupids and candy hearts, but it doesn’t have to be all cheesy. We’re recognizing the LOVE that is all around…  the LOVE that calls us to consider others better than ourselves… the LOVE that shows unparalleled compassion and kindness to our neighbors… the LOVE that is sovereign.

Lindsay Letters LOVE is Sovereign Mocha Club INA print

We chose to highlight the “Love is Sovereign” quote from our I need Africa story a couple of months ago, and partnered with Lindsay Letters to create some beautiful products that celebrate the theme. They were so popular, that we’ve decided to bring them back for a limited time…

Mocha Club Love is Sovereign Lindsay Letters mug

That’s right, the beloved “Love is Sovereign” mug is back — but the only way you can get it is by joining Mocha Club as a monthly member! Once you join, we’ll send you both a mug and the “Love is Sovereign” 5×7 chalkboard print!*  And, even better, you’ll know that each month your small sacrifices are sending LOVE across the ocean to make a big impact in Africa.

Already a member? There’s a great deal here for you, too… you can get both items free just by successfully INVITING a friend to join your team!*

Joining and/or Inviting is the only way to get the mug… but if you want to grab an extra print or 2 for those you love… it’s back in the Mocha Club Store for $8!! (frame not included)

Love is Soveriegn Mocha Club & Lindsay Letters print

*Limit 1 free combo item (mug + print) per person. 
*If you have questions about inviting and your unique personal URL, email us at info(at)themochaclub.org
*Once you (or your friend) join, you’ll receive an email giving you instructions on how to get your free stuff! 

I NEED AFRICA, PERSPECTIVES, PURPOSE PROJECT

Alex’s Novel Project

We’ve loved watching people get outside of their comfort zone to make a difference with the Purpose ProjectEach project is about an apprehensive ambition — that thing you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had a reason or the courage to do so. By adding some purpose & raising money for people in Africa, your goal becomes a little less about you and more about doing something big & fun with your community. It’s been fun to share Carly’s Tattoo ProjectBrittany’s Pink ProjectLena’s Plunge Project, and Nathalie’s Recording Project.

Next up, hear from Alex, a student at Belmont University in Nashville, as she shares about her Novel Project

Alex Purpose Project

Last May, I traveled to Africa for the first time ever. Africa is just always one of those places where you go in with one expectation and leave with a new lease on life. Essentially, the “I Need Africa” campaign is exactly how I felt when I came back. I need Africa more than Africa needs me. I met the most beautiful, wonderful people during my time in Botswana and South Africa. The most beautiful of them all? The children. I have never felt so much love from such young people before. Even though we couldn’t understand each other’s words, we understood each other’s hearts and in the grand scheme of things, that’s all that matters. Since my return to the United States, my heart has still been living in the memories of those sweet children. Constantly I think about the best ways I can love them from here the way that they loved me during my time there. Then I remembered the Mocha Club. I had heard about the organization during a presentation given by Matt Wertz during my freshman year at Belmont. I had always been intrigued but couldn’t participate until I was generating my own income, which happened to be this year. This seemed to be my chance. I couldn’t deny that this is exactly where God was placing my heart and my future, so I put my trust in Him and followed with my eyes closed.

Initially I began by doing a monthly donation to the orphan care program, which daily still warms my heart. The ability to help extended families and other loved ones provide for these orphans is exactly what I was hoping to be a part of. Then, I heard about the Purpose Project through another presentation at Belmont. I initially just came to support Mocha Club, as it has become such a large part of my life, but I left there knowing exactly what I had to do. When I got to my next class (before class started, of course) I took out my iPad and started my registration for a project of my own. I just had to think of a goal to set for myself if I raised the intended amount of money. I thought about how I’d always wanted to write a novel and, though a lofty goal, I instantly knew that was the direction I was supposed to go with this.

I set the goal of $1250, which provides for 5 orphans for an entire year. By the end of the project I’d raised a total of $1330, more than I even asked for. I could not be more grateful for this experience, especially because people I don’t even know donated to this project. Yes, my family played a large part, but less of a whole than I thought. It just warms my heart that people believed in my endeavors and this project enough to help me out.

Currently, I am working on the first chapter of my novel, which will tie into the theme of I Need Africa. It will follow the life of an orphan and the woman whose life is forever changed by the appearance of this child who she thought needed her help. Well, I’m sure you get the gist of it. For the rest of the story, you’ll just have to read it when I’m finished!

If you’re looking to do a project of your own and you’d like to talk about it, you can reach me at xandraraye@gmail.com. Also, for those of you who want a sneak peek at the novel, I’ll be posting the first few pages up on my blog soon!  If you feel God tugging at your heart as you find yourself checking up on everyone else’s projects daily, it’s probably time to start one of your own. I would love to chat with you about it! Trust me, it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of. You won’t regret it.

Have your own idea? Submit them here or email info(at)themochaclub.org… we’d love to help!

I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

JOY.

Since we launched the “I need Africa” 2.0 campaign last September, we’ve been pulling out quotes from the INA story to highlight as themes, to focus on the glorious truths that Africa gives us.
First, it was PEACE — with the launch of the Pocket Tee and fashionABLE INA scarf.  Then, it was LOVE — with the “Love is Sovereign” mug and Pocket Tote.

Now we are celebrating JOY

JOY-quote+necklace

And our new product? We are so excited to announce another jewelry piece in collaboration with our friends at Miriam Designs.  This necklace is exclusive to Mocha Club, with the word JOY stamped on it. And you can get it free by joining MC (or inviting a friend to join your team!).*
This product is also available in the MC store for $30.

JOYonwood

JOY Mocha Club Miriam Designs INA necklace

We find that the more we continue to give to Africa, the more we receive, and we want to continue to challenge the perception that Africa needs only our pity and charity, and instead seek to reveal the truth that its people have much to offer.
Click below to watch the INA video and learn more about the heart behind what we do at Mocha Club…

INA video - JOY screenshot

 

*Limit 2 free items per person, per collection.
*If you have questions about inviting and your unique personal URL, email us at info(at)themochaclub.org
*Once you (or your friend) join, you’ll receive an email giving you instructions on how to get your free stuff!

I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

Lovely Lettering.

Mocha Club + Lindsay Letters

We cannot be more excited for this collaboration with the oh-so-lovely Lindsay Letters. Lindsay uniquely hand-letters and illustrates each of her designs and when we had the vision of turning some of the “I need Africa” (INA) story into prints, we knew she was the gal for the job. Lindsay not only brings ridiculous talent, but also immense heart and passion into her work. We are so grateful for the way her lovely lettering brought these words to life…

Lindsay Letters I need Africa  Mocha Club print

1st was the phrase that has become the heart behind all that we do: “I need Africa more than Africa needs me”.  Barrett (Mocha Club’s founder), while living in Ethiopia in 2008, had the thought of “I need Africa more than Africa needs me” keeping him awake, and he had to put this feeling into words… read the entire story.

Lindsay Letters Peace INA Mocha Club Print

Then, with the launch of INA 2.0, we decided to pull out some quotes from the story to highlight as themes. The first theme is PEACE:  “Possessions in my hand will never be as valuable as peace in my heart”.  This quote was printed on the inside of the Pocket Tee, and promoted with the first round of INA products.

Lindsay Letters LOVE is Sovereign Mocha Club INA print

The second theme is LOVE: “Love is Sovereign”.  This is printed on the inside of the Pocket Tote (as well as on some other new products we’ve launched for the holidays!) and is being promoted with this second round of INA products.

>> We are offering these 5×7 prints in the new APARTMENT section of the Mocha Club store, available for $8 each, or $25 for all 3!

Lindsay Letters Mocha Club INA Print Set

( thanks to Christine of {declare} photography for the photos! )

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I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

INA fashionABLE scarf

We launched the exclusive “I need Africa” fashionABLE scarf at the INA 2.0 launch. The first edition featured cobalt blue stripes (coordinating nicely with the cobalt blue stripes on the Pocket Tee!).

The second edition is here… and the stripes are now a brilliant emerald green! (It is the color of the year, y’all.) We showed you earlier this week how the Pocket Tote is also sporting this fabulous color.

INA fashionABLE scarf

We teamed up with fashionABLE to further tell the story of “I need Africa more than Africa needs me.” The core of “INA” challenges the perception that Africa needs only our pity & charity, and instead seeks to reveal the truth that its people have much to offer. Made by Africans who have been given new opportunity, this scarf symbolizes the heart behind INA: that Africa, with all its need, has much to give & teach us.

INA fashionABLE scarf emerald 1

This INA fashionABLE scarf is the perfect weight for every season, and the mist grey base color compliments almost any outfit. And with a story of creating jobs for at-risk women, it’s the perfect gift with meaning!

>> Grab the INA fashionABLE scarf for $32 in the Mocha Club store.

*All INA products (scarves, pocket tee, & pocket tote!) are available as a FREE incentive for joining Mocha Club monthly and/or inviting a friend to join

INA fashionABLE scarf emerald 2

( thanks to Christine of {declare} photography for the photos! )

I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

Put A Pocket On It!

We’ve loved partnering with our sister company fashionABLE to create new exclusive products.  First, with the launch of INA 2.0, we offered a Pocket Tee. The tee featured a pocket from a fashionABLE scarf, made by Africans who have been given new opportunity. It was such a hit that we decided we wanted to put pockets on more things!

Mocha Club INA Pocket Tote 1

So for the 2nd installment of 2.0 products, we created a Pocket Tote. The pocket still comes from a fashionABLE scarf, but we wanted to expand on the story a bit… so we hired our friends at Thistle Farms to sew on the pockets!  Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women in Nashville, TN who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. So this tote not only provided opportunity for at-risk women across the ocean in Africa, but also for women right here in our own backyard!  We just love that.

Mocha Club INA Pocket Tote 3

The canvas tote is 100% recycled cotton and the pocket is made up of white & emerald green stripes (the color of the year!). On the inside you’ll find the phrase “Love is Sovereign” — a quote taken from the “I need Africa more than Africa needs me” story (lovely illustration by Lindsay Letters!)

Mocha Club INA Pocket Tote 2

And did we mention that it’s TOTES adorable? (I know, sorry, we had to.)

Moch Club Nov 2013 Shoot-22 copy

>> Grab the INA Pocket Tote in the Mocha Club store for $18! (And there are still a few Pocket Tees left, too, at $28).

*All INA products (scarves, pocket tee, & pocket tote!) are available as a FREE incentive for joining Mocha Club monthly and/or inviting a friend to join

Mocha Club INA Pocket Tote 4

( thanks to Christine of {declare} photography for the photos! )

HQ, I NEED AFRICA, MERCHANDISE

Give Joy to the World

Mocha Club Holiday 2013

Yes, we know that Thanksgiving is still 2 weeks away, and we don’t want to overshadow the season of gratitude (and pumpkin pie!)
Yet everywhere we turn it seems there are already sparkly lights and santas and snowflakes.

So, if you’re one of those who have already started scouring the gift guides and making your shopping list, we wanted to make sure you knew that we’ve launched some pretty stellar new products over in the Mocha Club store!

We’ll be sharing more about these products (and some super cool collaborations!) over the next couple of weeks, but here’s a quick glimpse…

Mocha Club fashionABLE INA scarf emerald green

Mocha Club + Lindsay Letters I need Africa prints

Mocha Club + Lindsay Letters mug & coffee

  >> VISIT THE MOCHA CLUB STORE <<

As always, when you BUY PRODUCTS you SUPPORT PROJECTS100% benefitting Africa!

And make sure you’re on our email list to be notified of sales & specials (coming after Thanksgiving!)Email Signup themochaclub.org

( thanks to Christine of {declare} photography for the photos! )