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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, 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

 

FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

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!

AFRICA NEWS, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

Loved people love people

Loved people love people
A note from Mocha Club President Emily Blackledge.

 I often get asked why I do this work…why Africa?

My answer is simple: loved people love people. And for me, that answer is not specific to Africa. Sure, I work at an NGO that focuses on Africa, but I have a lot of hours in my day that aren’t spent at work. I serve at my church, I care for a family, I volunteer in the inner city.

In each case, my “why” is always the same: I am loved, so I love.

Being loved is an asset. It’s a gift that I have been given. And I don’t believe we are given gifts for ourselves alone. I have been loved, and I have been loved well. So out of that love, I have much to give.

I see that modeled so well when I travel across Africa.

Places and people who do not know me, welcome me in, offer me food and drink, give from what they have. Why? Because it has been done for them. Somewhere along the way, someone loved them, offered them food and drink, welcomed them in.

It’s a mark of humanity that I want to champion in all parts of my life. I can only give from what I have – and love is my best asset. The love of Christ compels me.

Loved people love people.


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!

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.

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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

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!