Showing posts with label mocha club. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mocha club. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Least Of These

Remember back in February when I was raising money for an organization called Mocha Club, specifically for Women At Risk? Well, if you remember correctly I far surpassed my first goal of helping two women off the streets in Africa and we actually helped THREE!  This week, I will be finally taking upon the challenge that I promised I would if you helped me reach my goal and I will be hitting the streets of my hometown to talk to and encourage the women involved in trafficking and prostitution here. I will be joining up with an organization called Inner Beauty Center at 9pm central on Friday Night...and it's not really the best neighborhood, so if you think about it, keep me in prayer. I'm definitely feeling nervous.

Anyways, I have another opportunity for you to make a difference. My friend, L, from All Glorious Within is raising money for Orphan Care during the month of April. I'll let her tell you what she is up to!

Hey Friends! 
 I am so thankful to Julie for allowing me to come and greet you all here in this space of hers and to share with you something the Lord has placed on my heart. 
Following my senior year of high school, the Lord orchestrated in an incredible way a trip to Africa which was totally unexpected. You can read the details here

 Since then, the Lord has been laying things related to that trip even more specifically on my heart. Changing me to love like He loves in many ways.

 Breaking my heart for those who feel unloved.
Giving me a heart specifically for orphans, adoption and Africa.
You'll have to watch this space to see what He continues to do with those heart stirrings. 
I have no idea what the future will hold and what the Lord has planned for us specifically yet. 
 I am hoping doors will open for us to pursue foreign adoption at some point.
 Maybe even heading to Africa long-term should that be what He calls us to.
 But for now, while waiting on further leading, I feel His particular burden to care for orphans where I am now, even if unable to adopt at this point in life.
To make it a priority to take action. Even if that doesn't require packing a suitcase and heading halfway around the world.
'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
The way I felt the Lord laying on my heart to care for orphans was through an organisation called the Mocha Club. They are an incredible organisation with existing long term projects in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe who work to provide for orphans and vulnerable children

  So this month I am partnering with them in doing something called a purpose project. I raise a specific amount of money for their orphan care projects, then should I meet my goal....I do a project so that my fundraising has a purpose. 

  The Goal:  Raise $750 for orphan projects ongoing in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe  

  (This will provide care for 3 orphans for a year) 
  My Project:    Once the money is raised, I will be running a 5K race aiming to beat my high school record of 26mins. 
  (I have started training!)
  How can You help?
  I am looking specifically for people to partner with me financially. 
 I realise money is tight for so many people right now. Myself included. But any donation NO MATTER HOW SMALL helps achieve this goal of working together to change the lives of three orphans.

 I opted to give up a Starbucks latte a few times this month and instead donate to the project. (So even $5 will help!)

 I can't do this without your help, friend. =) 


I would also love it if you would share about this project through social media! 

Please tweet or post to fb so that others may hear about this project!  
 Thanks so much for reading, sharing, donating, however you are able to help! 

 I am so thankful for each of you! 
So excited for her and for another opportunity to give into an amazing project.
I helped L by donating , will you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Weeping Of A Woman

I hear the weeping of a woman, a woman of many years
Her weathered skin is more than just old age, Her tears aren't of fond memories of days gone by
Each tear holds the name of a young girl she once knew,
I see each tear falling in slow motion to her tattered gown
It tells the story of a sister, a friend, a mother who lived their lives in fear
She remembers them so vividly, the hollow eyes gazing back at her
The girl afraid for her life and the lives of her children
The sister that died too young in the face of disease
The friend cowering in the corner, trembling after being raped
The mother who was burdened with no way to put food on the table
The babies left home alone  at night because there was no one there to care for them
While their mother looked for work on the streets, in the eyes of danger and regret

You see, this woman lived a full life, filled with happiness, she had what she needed
so it was easy to forget and close her eyes to the pain around her
Yet somehow she remembers vividly the pain of those, the lack, the hopelessness
The old woman looks to her lap, where a giant leather bound book lays
the pages falling out after being turned over and over throughout the years
One final tears drops to these words, and this tear, 
This tear, it holds the name of Jesus
"For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink
I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you didn't clothe me
I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."
Oh, these tears she weeps, these heavy breaths she breathes, she does with regret
She remembers each moment, looking into the very face of Jesus as he asked her
"Do you love me?" Assuredly, she answered, "Yes." And that was it.
She read. She spoke. She sang. But she never "did."

Now this woman looks ups from her lap and gazes into the eyes of Jesus, the empty eyes.
The empty eyes of her friend, her sister, her mother, her daughter... and the empty eyes
of the woman in the heart of her city or a woman on the crowded death laden streets
the other side of the world. That woman she never helped. That woman that bore the
eyes of Jesus, whom she said she loved.
And in her ears rang these words as the tears begin the brim her eyes again.
"Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
This woman could be you. This woman could be me. But I do not want her story to be mine.
Her tears to be mine at the end of my life.
The tears I cry, I want to be with the heart of God, not just for the weak and the broken,
the addicted and imprisoned, but with them.

I was asking God, how do I put myself in these womens shoes. The truth is I can't. Because I have never been there. But I can put myself in the place of the woman who ignored the cries of others...
I am down to my final three days of my suburbia to the streets project.
Together, many of you have helped me raise money to help two of these precious women
off the streets and out of prostitution. I have 3 days left to help one more.
I have raised $950. I have $50 pledged. I need $200 more to help one more girl.
Will you give up your coffee today and help me, help them?
If so, click donate below...

These are the women YOU are helping...with your donations...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Tears Today...

You guys, this morning I am a happy girl.
You know that feeling when you are crying, and you are broken hearted or devastated
at the pain another individual caused in your life. I know that feeling all too well
~yeah, not that.
This is an emotion almost exactly the opposite. These are tears because of the joy
that people have brought int o my life, because of the good of humanity,
the good of friends and the good of people I barely know and of people I have never
even met...
If you have a few minutes, I need you to hear this...
Exciting news!!  I just recorded it this morning..

The majority of my support and cheerleading has been through people I have never met,
or only have met online, have only met once or twice in real life, some who I have never
met at all, and people I haven't seen in 15-20 years. I've had complete strangers walk up to me and hand me cash when they heard about what I was doing
That is both awesome and crazy...the good of people that connect with you...

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Favorite Accessory That I Own (It's more than JUST an accessory.)

I can hardly believe I am doing a post on accessories. I'm not the expert on fashion
or accessories by any means. But of course, I'm a girl. I love fashion.
What I can tell you is that I own probably close to 15 scarves, but none of them, but one, have 
sentimental value to me.
Scarves are in right now, right? But there is something special about this one.
It was made by a very special woman in Ethiopia. A woman who needed a better life.
But had no way to find it. Until people like you came along. People like me.

This is a woman who was grew up in a country where 1 out of 10 women involve themselves 
in prostitution not necessarily as a choice, but as a necessity. To care for their children, to provide 
basic necessities for themselves. That breaks my heart.
My scarf was named after a beautiful woman named Saba. She grew up working in a bar,
and she didn't think she could  escape or change her life. Saba was using drugs and admits
to hurting herself with the way she was living...Until one day, she was given a new opportunity.
An opportunity that would change her life...her destiny...

You see, this scarf is not just a scarf to me. This scarf holds a special place in my heart.
But more importantly it holds a special place in the  heart of an Ethiopian woman whose life has been changed by Mocha Club. One woman that needed a new opportunity in life.
It's just a part of what the Mocha Club does to help restore women stuck in the sex trade industry.
 Mocha Club teaches them a trade in which they can earn money and feel pride in their work 
and take care of their families, without putting themselvesin any danger, hurting themselves 
and leaving their children alone. 

This scarf that I wear (and I wear it a lot), I purchased from fashionABLE.
Making fashionABLE scarves is just one of the trades taught to these women. When you connect
the dots between Ethiopia and the West where they are sold, you continue creating new
opportunities for them.

I'm just as girly as any other girl. I love my shopping (in the rare occasion that I have a few
extra dollars, thank you income tax returns). I love my nail polish. My jewelry. My occasional chick flick. Obviously, none of us thrive on girly things. But sometimes we feel like it's a necessity.
But some things mean more to me. Some accessories mean more to me. Now that I said
that, I realize how weird that sounds, but it's true. This scarf means more to me than 
anything I own. Because it means the life of another girly girl. Another girl who wants
to feel pretty and be happy and take care of herself without feeling scared or sad or alone.

Saba means more. All those women mean more. 
This is definitely my favorite accessory. My super awesome, rockin eggplant scarf.
And because of the woman of made it and women like her, I have been working hard during the month of February to not only purchase this scarf (which I did last October at Influence Conference)
 but working hard trying to raise money to help get two women just like her out of the life of prostitution...give her a new opportunity to learn a new trade she can be proud of, give her childcare for her children if she needs it so she can work, send her through an addiction recovery program, 
give her counseling, Bible study, and health care & treatment.

Saba...making scarves...

It takes $400 to help one woman go through this program. My goal was to help TWO women.
So I needed $800 to do this. I said NEEDED! So far, with all your generosity and sharing my project to your friends...I am only $97 away from my goal (with another $50 promised this week). 
And I am thrilled beyond words!!! SO that means I am $47 away from my goal!
I am not there yet, and I only have until the end of February. But if I make it over $800 before then,
I won't quit early. No, we are going to go as far as we can...maybe even help three women.
I would be so stoked.

I already promised that if I reach my goal, I would face my fear and join an organization in my city that works with girls and women stuck in the sex trade industry in my city. But I have decided to add another bonus on...
(and my husband doesn't know about this yet). Have you seen the crazy Harlem Shake videos on
youtube that have gone viral? If not, you need to go on youtube and look!

Yeah... me and my family will make one. For our celebration dance! 
This should be interesting...
Just click the donate button below to help me reach my goal and help more women
like Saba...

Monday, February 11, 2013

This Is My Husband, The Addict...

I have a confession to make. Hi, my name is Julie. And my husband is an addict.
A coffee addict.
This is Jeff. He lives I mean works I mean sits at Alterra...
and drinks lattes. Several days a week. At least 3 or 4 days a week.
Oddly enough, Jeff and I were never coffee drinkers until about 4-5 years ago.
And honestly, I still am not a coffee drinker. I will drink the occasional frappe,
but we are talking about his problem, not mine.

My husband, the coffee addict loves Alterra. If you follow me on Instagram,
you know this...Because almost every picture of him that I post is in Alterra.
yes, sometimes I follow him there. Otherwise how would I ever spend time with him?
I'm not kidding when I say sometimes he actually sneaks there. He will go to pay a bill,
or go to make a deposit...and I will say where are you going? He fully knows his
intention, yet he fails to tell me the entire plan. And an hour or two later, I figure it out.
At Alterra he sits, drinking his XL Iced Caramel Latte.
The workers there will actually start making his drink before he goes up to pay...
because they know.....just like I know...
we all know.

This is what I get. A hot chocolate. Clearly far cheaper than the XL Iced Caramel Latte, right?
Not to say that I can't cut corners elsewhere. I'm sure I can. But I don't have a lot of wiggle room
in my budget for many treats for myself. Yet I realize how much more I have to give than so many
people in the world. My occasional frappe or hot chocolate... or Jeffs 3-4 XL lattes a week could do a lot of good to some one who needs real help. I mean, the money we spend on these things could really make a difference...

I want to say we probably spend at least $40-$50 a month on coffee shops a month. When we spend it little by little, $5 here or $5 there, it doesn't seem like a big deal.
But I can't help but wonder, can we lessen that at all...Can we drop that to 1-2 Lattes a week?
Or maybe instead of an XL latte, can we get a small this week?
I understand we all need a break in life and I'm all for it... a treat now and then.
But wouldn't it be great, if we can take $20 of those dollars just this month and help someone in need.

If I had come up with the name of the MOCHA CLUB, I would have called it the LATTE CLUB.
But the idea behind it is that not everyone has lots of money to give people in need. But we all have
the occasional extra $4-$5 to buy ourselves a coffee. So give up that coffee this week, this month...
and give someone else a new chance in life.
In case you haven't heard, I am working on a Project I call Surburbia to the Streets .
If I raise $800 this convincing people to skip a coffee, this week, or this month to help get women stuck in the sex workers trade, stuck by fear and poverty and lack of opportunity... off the
streets in Ethiopia. Then I will leave my suburban life and go out to the streets of my city and
help women on my streets...that need hope and courage.
Something I always wanted to do, but was afraid of.

Are you like us? Do you realize how much you spend on coffee shops a month?
Can you skip one or two coffees this month to help me reach my goal?
But more importantly, help two very precious women redeem their dignity and value and purpose.

If so, click on the button to donate to the Mocha Club. Help me, Help them...

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Friday, February 1, 2013

My Suburbia To The Streets Project

If you know me or have read my blog at all for any length of time,
you know that my heart is deep for helping the broken, the hurting, the destitute...
and those stuck and bound in lifestyles and addictions they so desperately need rescue from.
Whether it be depression or drug addiction, whether it be poverty or human trafficking..
I have always wanted to see people through God's eyes.
When I was nineteen years old, after coming home from a missions trip to Albania, 
I remember coming arcross a man walking along the street who wreaked of alcohol, 
who looked skinny and lost in his world of addiction and he looked hopeless, 
even though he may have not even realized it.
My heart broke that day. I start sobbing to my mom. And it was then that I cried out 
and asked God to give me His heart, a heart of compassion.
Today that heart has brought me to do something I have never done before.
I have started a project of my own for the month of February called
Suburbia to the Streets Project.
If you would take a few minutes to watch my video, I will explain a little more about my 
personal project and how one day I came across an organization called Mocha Club and 
decided I wanted to help.

Between my personal facebook account, my blog readers, email contacts, twitter followers...
I have well over 2500 people. If only 80  of those people could give
 at least $10 to help rehabilitate one precious woman and give her a fresh start, 
that would cover my goal for the month of February,  the $800 
 I need to help TWO women off the streets.
This is my birthday wish this year.
160 people give $5
80 people give $10
40 people give $20
20 people give $40

I have confidence that together we can help two women and give her & her family a new
chance at life and love and caring for her family.

Things I want you to know about Ethiopia:

Understanding the Sex Industry in Ethiopia:
In Ethiopia, the sex industry is often linked with deep levels of generational poverty and
financial hopelessness. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many young women
and ever girls, resort to becoming sex workers as a means of supporting themselves and their
families. These women are often desperate to leave the sex industry but remain trapped by a
lack of opportunity and rehabilitative support.

*ONE of NINE women are trapped in the sex industry in the capital city of Addis Adaba
*THREE of FOUR contract HIV/AIDS
*Children are endangered and left home alone at night

Here are the details of the care they will receive:
*Individual and group counseling
*A twelve step addiction recovery program
*Pre- & Post HIV Counseling and testing
*Daily Devotions and Bible Studies
*Skills training and job placement services
*Day Care Services
*Tuition & schooling for children's education & many more programs that
address the unique needs of rehabilitating the women.

I will be running this campaign, the Suburbia To The Streets Campaign though the
month of February as 'My Birthday Wish.' Anyone who wishes to help me make a
difference in the life of TWO WOMEN, can do so by clicking on the donate
button any time this month. This will take you to the MOCHA CLUB where
all funds raised through me will be totaled!

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When I reach MY GOAL of $800 at the end of February, I will join a 
Milwaukee organization called The Inner Beauty Center  that promotes value and love
 in our own streets with our own women.

***If you can help spread the word by tweeting about it, blogging about it, grabbing
a button or allowing me to guest post THIS post on your blog, let me know!


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