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Orphan Care

AFRICA TRIPS, FROM THE FIELD, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care, PERSPECTIVES

Meet Jerry

There is only one thing I regret from my 18 years working with African Leadership: that I didn’t get involved sooner.

My life back then probably looked a lot like yours — I went to work, came home to family, and was involved with our church. My days were fully engaged at The Southwestern Company, working to grow our company both in the U.S. and internationally, and in the process building character in young people. My free time was spent with my wife raising our children and trying to instill in them a sense of sharing and service. Friends of ours worked in Africa and when asked to donate to things they cared about, we did —it seemed to be an easy way to support the church and to model “giving back” to our children.

One year, a corporate incentive trip took me to Cape Town, South Africa. Our itinerary included safaris, relaxing and exploring the modern city…until a friend with African Leadership showed up at my hotel and asked me to come with him. We went to Khayelitsha, a slum packed full of makeshift dwellings that over a million South Africans called home. There I saw tremendous poverty and need, but I also saw what African Leadership was doing to address it. Leaders were being trained and developed. Community centers were being built and staffed. Children were being fed and provided daycare and schooling.

Later in the suburbs I met the National Director for pastor training. He was working with young people who desired to become more effective leaders for their churches and communities. They had been given the chance of a lifetime to gain a theological education they otherwise would have never received. In them, I recognized the young adults I worked with through The Southwestern Company — I saw the eagerness to learn, to better themselves, to grow into capable leaders. In myself I recognized I had something to offer them: the experience and skills acquired from so many years dedicated to building character in young people.

This realization was inspiring and impactful. In the years that followed, I used what I knew to help grow African Leadership and the Kingdom in Africa. And the more I gave, the more I got. I experienced the joy of serving; I gained cross cultural experience that in turn strengthened me professionally; and I made lifelong friends in Africa who are more like me than I would have thought, family oriented people who just want to live peacefully and improve the lives of their families and communities.

The strengths, skills and expertise I had to give, the assets you have to give, can have so much more impact than you can imagine, and getting started is as easy as knowing what you are good at. We are called to build the global church, but no church grows on money alone. It requires time and effort and wisdom and willingness to open yourself up to what the Lord might possibly say when you ask, “What do I have to give?” Responding honestly to this question led to one of the most rewarding experiences of my life — serving as the Chairman of the Board of African Leadership.

What do you have to give?

AFRICA NEWS, Clean Water, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care

Let’s celebrate all of the impact in 2018!

Behind each and every donor that gives is the belief that the support you commit to each month can add up to make a big difference. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the big picture and hard to imagine how your gift is exactly impacting people and communities in Africa. Well, we want to assure you that you DO make a difference – and we want to celebrate the impact Mocha Club members had this year!

In 2018, Mocha Club members’ giving:

• Started community development courses in 2 South Sudanese refugee camps.

• Provided clean water for 90 Pygmy families in Rwanda.

Built a local board of directors for our program in Sierra Leone to ensure local ownership and direction.

• Expanded trauma healing training for local leaders in Ethiopia, reaching around 500 local leaders.

• Trained 20 South Sudanese refugee leaders in child trauma healing.

• Reached over 850 children in Congo through “Healing Clubs” that help them work through their trauma and play and bond with others like them.

• Provided jigger treatment to over 600 people living in a leper colony in Kenya.

Enrolled over 5,500 local leaders across the continent in our education program. 

• Took 11 Mocha Club friends to Africa with us to see their impact firsthand.


We can make an even greater impact. Would you join our community of change-makers? Join Today!

FROM THE FIELD, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care

This is change in Congo

Meet Denis. He is one change-maker in this global community you are a part of. For the last 20 years, he has worked to better the lives of orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Amidst war, chaos, and trauma, he remains unwavering in his commitment to affect real and sustainable change in his corner of the world.

He is passionately playing the part he is uniquely made for and gifted to play. Denis is a wonderful example of what’s possible when this community of change-makers leverages who we are, gives what we have, uses what we know and learns what we don’t to leave a lasting impact.

Thank you for walking alongside men and women like Denis. There are many roles in this international community and we couldn’t make this kind of impact without you. As Denis so fiercely states: “We have to help the others. We have to work for the others who do not know.”

Thank you for helping Denis and others like him work for those who do not know.

#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 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.

 

 

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!

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

Imagine all we can do together in 2018!

Behind everyday generosity is the belief that the little things we do on a daily basis can add up to make a big difference. A mocha here, a mocha there — sometimes it’s easy to forget the big picture and hard to imagine how those sacrificed mochas add up over the course of the year. So we decided to take a step back and look at some of the impact Mocha Club members had this year.

The everyday generosity of Mocha Club members in 2017 turned into:


CLEAN WATER
200 households in Mvera, Malawi have access to clean water (and electricity!) after developing a community-driven solution to the problems caused by a lack of clean water in their village — low school attendance among girls, high rates of waterborne illnesses, and more.


ECONOMIC FREEDOM
Over 40 women stuck in the sex industry in Ethiopia received counseling, medical care, and skills training, pulling themselves out of life on the streets and creating a sustainable, healthy future for themselves and their families.


EDUCATION
95 students in Nairobi’s slums were able to receive a secondary-level education, something vital to breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Kenya.


HEALTHCARE
More than 30 children in Addis Ababa whose mothers are recovering from being trapped in the sex trade were provided with medical treatments and care, as well as nutritional support so they learn how to create healthy habits for themselves.


ORPHAN CARE
224 orphans and vulnerable children in Congo were counseled through the trauma they’ve experienced because of war and violence and taught life skills that will help them cope in the present and have hope for the future.


 

We can make an even greater impact if you commit to making your mochas matter in 2018!

Will you join our community today?
Join Today!