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Meet the Mocha Club Journey 2019 team!

Our team is assembled, ready to head to Kenya, and we want you to meet them!  

As a quick overview, the team will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their third annual Run For Hope! 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 members and 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.

First up, meet Kathryn:

Kathryn playing and loving on a girl from Blessed Camp.

I have now lived in Nashville almost 12 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.  Last year I had the opportunity to travel with Mocha Club to Kenya to visit Blessed Camp and New Dawn School.  I am beyond honored to be able to go back this year!  I loved being present in their stories last year and can’t wait to see what this past year has brought them!  Having the chance to continue to help Mocha Club and myself continue to build these relationships is a dream!

Next up, meet Maggie:

I’m a native Nashvillian, raised in the Antioch neighborhood. I graduated from Hume Fogg Academic in 2005. I am the middle child of 5 kids and fell in love with Jesus in high school while serving others on a mission trips. After graduating college at UT Knoxville, I was blessed to work in home-visiting environments and empower low-income families in goal-setting. Now I’m a school counselor and get to use those same skills with students here in Nashville! I’m married with 3 kids and we love to play with our two dogs, Sally and Wendell. I’m a runner and love being outside. God has been so good to me. He teaches me something new each day. Life is a journey and He is constantly revealing himself to me. I am so grateful to be a part of Mocha Club’s work! I’m excited to see what He is doing in Kenya!

Now, meet Margaret Claire:

I moved to Nashville about almost 2 years ago, and I knew that when I moved here I wanted to get involved in non-profits and explore what international mission work could look like.  Last year I was on a run with a friend who was telling me about Mocha Club and its mission and the opportunity to serve abroad.  It has been on my heart since last summer to serve Mocha Club on this international experience, and I’m so excited to experience my fist mission trip abroad. I have loved being in Nashville and being part of a community that supports mission work and serving both locally and internationally.  Nashville is such a great community of people, great outdoor activities and there is always great music.  I can’t wait to get to know the mission and the community of Mocha Club even more.

And lastly, meet our trip leader, Fallon:

Fallon and Nancy from New Dawn School.

Hey friends! I’m so excited to be leading my third trip to Africa this summer! I officially joined the Mocha Club team in early 2013, but have been a long-time member and supporter. I’m a Michigan girl but living in Nashville for six years has made it home. I love dancing, baseball (Go Tigers!), and leftovers. As the Mocha Club Community Care Manager, my hope is to make your trip to Africa just one of the many ways you stay connected to the club!


Make sure to follow along on our travels by following the hashtag #mcjourney2019 here on the blog and on our socials.

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How much do you know about South Africa?

Emily here.

There are few conversations I’ve had the privilege of having that spanned more topics, heart, and depth as this week’s conversation on our podcast Changing the Conversation. We were fortunate enough to spend the morning with our Country Director from South Africa, Allan Knowles. And we talked about everything from sports to politics, from failure to peace, and of course, coffee. 

Allan helped paint a picture of life in South Africa. While it’s nothing like much of the rest of the continent, South Africa too is marred by a painful struggle for independence and the challenges of living under the evil system of apartheid. There are parts of this remarkable country that beat with the same heart as its African neighbors and even our own country’s story: a passionate love of sports, children growing up amidst a changing political landscape, and how stereotyping our neighbor can drive a country apart.

I was struck at how often I resonated with things Allan was talking about and I hope you are too. It’s what I love about this podcast, it’s why we chose to create it. We are all unique. My story and background is not yours. But underneath so many parts of our circumstances and experiences are systems, questions, emotions, and hopes that we all commonly share. Amidst the many distinctions between the United States and the countries we work in across Africa, there is something profound about being human. Something we share in our DNA that invites us to know ourselves better by hearing the stories of our friends.

Being deeply vulnerable and courageous, Allan shared his story. One where he was raised in a developing South Africa – a country torn apart by apartheid and fear. It was into a world divided that Allan grew up in a 3-bedroom home with 9 children and 2 parents. It was a world that didn’t include interaction with another race or color until one day when a train stopped on the platform and Allan began to ask questions.

What I love about hearing Allan’s story is that out of vastly different experiences and upbringings, we often all experience similar emotions. As human beings, we can each learn how to create resilience from our story, and like Allan, find a way to reconcile our past and use that story to leave a legacy for the generation behind us. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode of Changing the Conversation as much as I did in sharing a podcast booth with Emily Hickey and Allan Knowles.

End of Year Opportunities

Join our community of change-makers as a monthly donor or make a one-time donation of $350 to educate a local leader for a year and get this coffee mug for free!

 

 

Give a gift in their honor! Donate to the Mocha Club in honor of someone you know & love. And we will send them a “Joy to the World” card sharing your gifted donation.

 

 

Make a purpose with your purchase and shop our store for the perfect gift for your friends and family. 100% benefitting Africa!

 

 

Make your Amazon purchase through our AmazonSmile account. Give that perfect gift and let Amazon donate to Mocha Club! Each purchase gives back.

Real, lasting solutions do have a secret sauce.

Real, lasting solutions do have a secret sauce – it’s the perfect mix of each change-maker playing his or her specific part. The beauty of lasting solutions is that every change-maker takes their seat at the table – a seat that their uniqueness has crafted them for, and forms a coalition – a band of brothers and sisters, a “we.” Easier said than done, right?

Solutions require people who will leverage who they are. They require individuals who will give what they have. They require folks who will use what they know. And they require courageous individuals who want to learn what they don’t know to fight the extreme poverty that exists in their community. Without ALL of them, solutions won’t last.

Mocha Club has been building a network of change-makers for almost 20 years. We know individuals who can give from their resources. We have partners with specific skills they are willing to leverage. We work with local leaders and change-makers who know the uniqueness of a community in rural Malawi or Ethiopia or Sierra Leone. We have thousands of individuals willing to help. We know leaders who have plans and dreams they are working on. We are building thriving communities all across the continent. Together.

So the secret to fighting extreme poverty in Africa is:

1. Sign up to be part of the solution.

2. Consider what specific role you have to play in this specific community.

3. Listen and honor the other change-makers at the table and build a sense of “we.”

4. Together, craft an appropriate solution for the priority at hand.

5. Work together to implement that solution.

6. Learn from what you’ve done and CELEBRATE the victory!

 

The beauty of this is that change-makers come in every shape and color. From every corner of the world. You are vital. So are the rest of the change-makers at the table – the widow in Africa, the community chief, the orphan care volunteer, the pastor of the church, the cheerleader on your left and the engineer on your right. Together, we change the world.

When we work together, each playing our role, we transform the world. Learn some more examples of where we have seen the international Mocha Club community have impact here.

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

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!

 

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 : 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.

 

 

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!

How can you thrive in the midst of hardship?

Our culture tells us to avoid pain – it encourages a pursuit of pleasure or feeling good. And there is nothing wrong with feeling “good.” But one thing that has been lost in this pursuit is the beauty and goodness of feelings that don’t feel so good. When you experience a feeling, you have a choice, you can go to one of two extremes with that feeling. One is healthy and always invites community and growth. One is unhealthy and usually ends in isolation and despair.

Lets take hurt for instance; when I’ve been hurt, I can choose to either move toward resentment and bitterness or toward courage. Resentment pushes me away from relationship (at least with the one who hurt me) and leaves me to wrestle with this painful feeling alone. On the other hand, I could choose to move toward courage to be honest (with the one who hurt me) and potentially lead to restoration of the relationship. This honesty doesn’t cover up the hurt but chooses to express this emotion and create a space to find reconciliation.

From just this one instance, I can use hurt to grow my courage and potentially build a healthier, stronger relationship. This is thriving. Using the experiences life hands you to propel you forward physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And the beauty of thriving is that when you are thriving in community, you are naturally helping foster a thriving atmosphere for others around you. When you thrive, we thrive.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President